98 games in the Premier League puts DeAndre Yedlin on the verge of joining a select group of Americans to have achieved the century mark in the English Premier League. Only three other field players besides DeAndre have started more than 30 games in a season (Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey x2 and Brian McBride x2).

Few would argue that the EPL is significantly more potent in the last few years with Liverpool and Manchester City becoming elite clubs and Champions League threats. The young right back has a varying fan base especially on the US side of things, but has gained respect in one of, if not the best, of Europe’s elite leagues.

USMNT EPL Appearances

Brad Friedel – 450
Tim Howard – 354
Clint Dempsey – 218
Casey Keller – 201
Roy Wegerle – 174
Brian McBride – 159
John Harkes – 137
Carlos Bocanegra – 115
Marcus Hahnemann – 115
Claudio Reyna – 105

DeAndre flew on to the scene of USMNT’s soccer for the Seattle Sounders. A Northwest product engaged in the ODP program and then coming up through a DA and then Seattle’s academy system. He played well for Seattle who were top table in the 2014 MLS season. He was named best young player in the MLS. It was his 2014 World Cup that really put him on the world’s radar. Tottenham Hot Spurs quickly swooped in to sign the speedy American.

Spurs

Being behind upcoming Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier looked intially like a great spot to learn and develop. It quickly became problematic for a young talented player wanting to spread his wings. As any right back would have, Yedlin had trouble breaking through. Spurs loaned Yedlin to Sunderland. 19 minutes into a start he was pulled and emotionally crushed by a poor Sunderland team. It took a tole on the young right back.

“For the next three weeks it was a period of feeling sorry for myself, that sort of thing, pouting about it,” said Yedlin.

Yedlin lowered his shoulder dug in and improved as a player for Sunderland, helping his side in many respects. Yedlin guarding talented attacking players and held his own. This while still proving the attacking prowess many hoped he would develop into.

Under Allardyce’s tutelage, there was a far better discipline and concentration to Yedlin’s defensive work, and he rarely found himself out of position and left with too much to do to contain the opposition winger. Even when Sunderland came up against an on-song Eden Hazard in their crucial penultimate home game of the season, Yedlin gradually got to grips with the Chelsea star. He also provided the cross to Jermain Defoe that secured the victory that put the club on the verge of Premier League survival.

– Chris Young, The Guardian

Mauricio Pochettino had no plans for him at White Heart Lane and rarely even put him on his bench. That and his poor experience at Sunderland led to him taking a risk to join the relegation tied Newcastle United. He left no hard feelings among Tottenham fans and said himself he had no hard feelings towards club or coach.

He certainly wasn’t as strong a player as Walker when he was here, but he was closest in skill-set to Walker when you compare him to Trippier, who has a very different style. I was disappointed that DeAndre Yedlin didn’t have a chance. A real chance prove himself in a Spurs shirt, but he was also only 21 at the beginning of his Spurs tenure, which is pretty young for a Premier League fullback.

Regardless, I’m happy that Yedlin has found his feet in the Premier League. He’s proven himself to be good enough to play — and stay — in the league. This is no small feat for an American footballer. I also hope that Son Heung-Min tears his soul from Yedlin’s body on his way past him heading towards goal, but that’s just the fan in me talking.

— Dustin Menno, Largest Spurs’ Blog in North America

Newcastle

Newcastle had just acquired their new manager Rafa Benitez, who had recently been over Real Madrid. A real opportunity for Yedlin to learn under a globally respected manager with a knack for defensive counter attacking football. The team was headed to the Championship. They eventually did head to the Championship. There was interest elsewhere, but DeAndre Yedlin decided to stay. With Rafa for the learning and committed to his new team and home.

Mauricio Pochettino [Spurs], Sam Allardyce [Sunderland] and Rafa have improved the defensive side of my game 100%. They’ve all got different qualities but they’ve all been good to me. Allardyce is more the traditional English coach, Pochettino’s a little bit standoffish, in the sense he just kind of lets you do your own thing, and Rafa’s much more hands-on. Rafa does a lot more one-on-one work with players.

“Playing at Wembley will be pretty cool. Even Americans have heard of Wembley! And I’ve still got a lot of friends at Spurs; people it will be great to see again.

“I understand [Pochettino’s] decision to leave me out. It’s all worked out, I’m very happy here. I thought London would be great but I actually found it pretty difficult. Newcastle feels more like home, more like Seattle, it’s more relaxed and the people are much friendlier. It’s a unique place – like nowhere else in England I’ve been. Newcastle’s fantastic.”

Newcastle was one of the top teams in the Championship and quickly returned to the Premier League. Led by Rafa Benitez they continued to be a counter attacking team and DeAndre Yedlin a regular for the club as a wing-back. This was on a very young but respectable back line. Fans calling him the best wing-back on the club. He received mixed responses from some fans, is well liked by most Newcastle fans. He was measured as the fifth fastest player in the Premier League. He’s shown speed for both club and country.

DeAndre Yedlin has been on the pitch for enormous encounters including Newcastle defeating Manchester City in which pundits recognized his tremendous contribution. Newcastle’s January win nearly derailed Manchester City’s run (they only lost 4 games all season) and handed Liverpool the title. He helped lead the team to 10th place finish, on a club that relied heavily on defensive cover for wins as they had the 2nd lowest goals scored for teams avoiding relegation. He ranked as a top 7 RB / RWB by Bleacher Report last season.

Yedlin also scored his first Premier League goal that season at the Etihad that season as well. Another American first, and one in which he honored retiring Clint Dempsey with his celebration.

With a new manager DeAndre Yedlin is not considered just another player for Newcastle in the 2019-2020 season. Even under yet another new coach in the Premier League (his 4th) he’s considered a vital part of the club.

He returned that season and played well before he got injured. In addition, he scored a beautiful goal that was overshadowed by Christian Pulisic’s.

USMNT


DeAndre Yedlin always underappreciated by USMNT fans who don’t follow Newcastle. As many believe he’s not even a top three right back for the team. Many have made comments about Newcastle being “just” a mid-table Premier League team. A team ahead of Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton (including today) at times and Tottenham this season. Just a mid-table team that has drawn Manchester City and defeated Manchester United, Tottenham and Sheffield this season.

To me it is unreal how undervalued his accomplishments are. Regardless, he’ll continue to be a polarizing figure for his country. He’s a great player and Reggie Cannon and Sergiño Dest are pushing him at the position for the national team. He will challenge for years to come. However, for club he’s will battle for his career. He is doing some amazing things in the top flight league in the world. Cheers to DeAndre Yedlin as he hopefully rings in the new year with a century in the Premier League.