DeAndre Yedlin praised by USA teammate Geoff Cameron for his progress at Sunderland

Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin

The Tottenham Hotspur defender made 25 appearances on loan at the Stadium of Light this past season.

Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin celebrates with Patrick van Aanholt after the game

Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron has told how impressed he has been by USA teammate DeAndre Yedlin’s progress during his season-long loan at Sunderland.

Yedlin, 22, joined Sunderland on loan from Tottenham Hotspur last September after struggling for first-team opportunities at White Hart Lane and went on to make 25 total appearances for the Black Cats, recording two assists.

The pacey right-back initially found himself stuck behind Billy Jones in the pecking order but managed to break into the line-up over the second half of the season to start the club’s final 13 Premier League games, helping them avoid relegation with a match to spare.

His time with Sam Allardyce’s side saw him make huge improvements defensively after previously being criticised for his work at the back, and Cameron believes his development over the last nine months has been nothing short of remarkable.

Speaking about Yedlin before the USA opened their Copa Ameria Centenario campaign with a 2-0 loss to Colombia on Friday night in Santa Clara, California, the 30-year-old centre-back told “It’s night and day. You see his tenacity, his aggressiveness, his thought process on the ball. He’s got the experience.

“He’s been fighting relegation pretty much all season and that changes you as a player because it’s do or die – the fact that you either lose your contract or go down to the Championship, or you stay up and that brings the team together or it doesn’t.

“Sunderland ended up bringing the team together, they worked for one another and he got a lot of experience on it, and that’s helped him and it will help him in his career.”

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta in action with Sunderland's DeAndre Yedlin

Yedlin ultimately endured a mixed night against Colombia on Friday, giving away a penalty just before half-time after being adjudged to have handled the ball when he tried to clear a cross into the US box.

James Rodriguez promptly converted the spot-kick to send La Tricolor on their way to an easy 2-0 win, but the Tottenham full-back was not convinced that the referee made the right call.

“It’s not like I tried to stop the ball with my hand,” Yedlin told after the match. “It wasn’t blatant at all, but the ref thought it was blatant enough to call it.

“In a perfect situation, I don’t turn my back to the ball. That’s obviously first and foremost, but human instinct sometimes tells you to do that, and unfortunately it got my hand and the ref thought it was blatant enough to call a penalty. It’s just those fine margins that can sometimes make or break a game.”

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Equador at USA

Regardless of how much Yedlin was to blame for Colombia’s second goal, though, he did have several other good defensive moments over the course of the match, including an outstanding block to keep Carlos Bacca from making it 3-0 in the second half.

The 35-times capped American’s future at Tottenham has been the subject of intense speculation over recent weeks, with reports even suggesting that the club would be prepared to let him make a permanent switch to Sunderland [h/t The Mirror], but it remains to be seen whether an impressive Copa America campaign could change things.

Friday’s result was obviously a setback, but with the US playing Costa Rica and Paraguay, respectively, in their other two Group A games, there is still a good chance he could be featuring in the tournament’s last eight.

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