It seems as though DeAndre Yedlin's soccer career has been a rather amazing nonstop upward climb. Just take the last couple months as an example.
As recently as mid May, it seemed like Yedlin was a longshot just to make the United States national team. The Seattle Sounders had just been torched by the New England Revolution and it was Yedlin who drew the ire of most fans. Not only was Yedlin "clearly" not ready for national team duty, but some were wondering if he should even be starting for the Sounders.
But U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann named Yedlin to his preliminary squad anyway. Still, Yedlin seemed like he might be the longest shot of the 30 men to earn a ticket to Brazil.
Of course, he made the 23-man team. But there's no way he'd see meaningful minutes, right?
Sure enough, there was Yedlin replacing Alejandro Bedoya in a tied match against Portugal. There was a bit of a wrinkle, though. Yedlin was inserted into the midfield, ostensibly playing in front of Fabian Johnson. As he tends to do when he gets big opportunities, Yedlin made the most of it. The speedy winger was able to chase down a long pass into the corner and send in a cross that ultimately led to Clint Dempsey scoring the go-ahead goal in the 81st minute. That led to one of the more underrated moments of the tournament, Klinsmann searching out Yedlin and giving him a kiss on the head:
Yedlin also did an admirable job helping the United States kill off the clock, even if those efforts were ultimately in vain.
Now, MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle and Jesse Marsch are suggesting Yedlin has earned the opportunity to start against Germany (video above).
The thinking here seems to be relatively straightforward: Germany has struggled defending the flanks and Yedlin would offer a sort of double-barrel approach to attacking the left side of the defense. Johnson has so far been one of the more effective offensive weapons in Klinsmann's arsenal and pairing him with Yedlin would give the United States the flexibility to freely bomb down the sideline, as either one has the ability to recover if they get pushed too far forward. As an added benefit, Yedlin tends to hang out on the wings while Johnson is a big fan of cutting in onto his preferred left foot.
It's not a conventional approach, but neither has Yedlin's rise.