Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DeAndre's Leap Across the Pond

   This past weekend the deal to send the 21 year old American Right-Back to the Tottenham Hotspurs was officially completed after he received his UK work permit.

DeAndre Yedlin (21) 2014 World Cup - Brazil (via: Goal)
After an impressive World Cup performance, DeAndre Yedlin turned many heads from some of the bigger clubs in Europe. Many transfer rumors circulated amongst the trendy football media, but on Saturday morning the deal was official, sending the Seattle Sounder to one of the top Premier League teams, the Spurs.

Yedlin's blistering pace is something that sparked many eyes during the World Cup in Brazil. He bombed down the right flank like many of the best full backs in the world. The experience he gained is second to none, guarding players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard among many other top stars.

This is a big jump for DeAndre but many can agree that it is a bigger leap for US Soccer. He already is a fan favorite from many American Outlaws as well as MLS supporters across the nation. Although he is highly lauded in the states, he is going to have to prove himself in the harsh, critically football-enthused UK. A feat that many US players have shrunk in, while few have made their permanent marks. Names like Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, and the recently retired Landon Donovan come to mind. Does DeAndre Yedlin have what it takes?

DeAndre signs with the Tottenham Hotspurs (Aug. 13, 2014)
Currently Tottenham have a solid group of young defenders across the board. At right-back, Yedlin would have to compete for an active role against the "Kyles". Kyle Walker, a young British full back who has held much promise for England but also has been hampered by multiple injuries. He shares many of the same qualities that DeAndre possesses. Especially, in the pace department. The 24 year old has enough experience in the Premier League to serve as a great mentor and challenger for the young American. The other right-back is Kyle Naughton (28) who has proven to be a decent back up for Walker in his absence. In the last year, his value has gone up due to solid play at his position. Although Naughton is reliable, Tottenham might be more inclined to develop their youthful defensive core in search for a true starter in the future.

The task of "breaking in" to this talented line up can prove to be testing for DeAndre, but with his youth and hunger he can truly become America's next big thing.

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