The US national team began their preparation for next month’s Copa America Centenario with a 3-1 friendly win over Puerto Rico in Bayamon on Sunday as Tottenham Hotspur defender DeAndre Yedlin stood out as one of their star performers.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side, who were without their MLS-based contingent on the afternoon, opened the scoring in the 20th-minute when Tim Ream pounced on Alfredo Morales’ parried shot to score his first international goal.
Newly unveiled Hamburg striker Bobby Wood made it 2-0 14 minutes later after being teed up by debutant Paul Arriola, but the hosts pulled one back in spectacular fashion just before half-time when Luis Betancur fired home from outside the box following a US turnover.
Arriola restored the visitors’ two-goal advantage 11 minutes after the break, however, with a simple finish from captain Alejandro Bedoya’s cross as they went on to see the rest of the match out with relative ease.
It was certainly not a perfect display from Klinsmann’s team, as they conceded far too many chances to a team sitting 123 places below them in the FIFA rankings, but there were several positives to take from the game – including the performance of Yedlin.
The 22-year-old right-back was extremely active down the flank, repeatedly wreaking havoc on the overlap, and showed the benefits of his season-long loan at Sunderland with some shrewd defending.
His crossing did leave a lot to be desired at times, but fans and the members of the media on Twitter still gave the pacey defender’s overall display plenty of positive reviews.
Yedlin is having a field day so far. He's been extremely active #USMNT— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) May 22, 2016
Yedlin definitely a standout so far going forward, hasn't been tested defensively and this is Puerto Rico but good to see #USMNT— Rookie Rhino (@Rookie_Rhino) May 22, 2016
Yedlin is just finding ACRES of space on the right. #USMNT— Cody Sparks (@mr_sparks87) May 22, 2016
I know its just Puerto Rico, but if this is the Yedlin that we are going to see for years to come I will be quite happy. #USMNT— clinton kyle cowan (@kyle_cowan15) May 22, 2016
Really great return to form from Yedlin in this game. Struggled a bit over the last year, but looks to be gaining confidence back. #USMNT— FC Herb (@hscribnerSND) May 22, 2016
I really hope Deandre Yedlin either signs with or gets loaned back to Sunderland next year. He's gotten sooo much better with them #USMNT— Archie Reed (@ArchAngel97) May 22, 2016
Yedlin has improved so much this season! He's always had speed, but now he has the distribution & patience to use it effectively. #USAvPUR— Austin Wolff (@Daaang_Austin) May 22, 2016