2022 World Cup: 5 things to know about former Akron soccer star DeAndre Yedlin of the USMNT

Former University of Akron standout DeAndre Yedlin is in the FIFA World Cup for the second time in his career as a member of the United States men’s soccer team.

Yedlin, a reserve defender, helped USA reach the round of 16 in soccer’s premier event in 2014 in Brazil as the first former Akron player to play in the World Cup. The Americans did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

There will be two former Zips in the 2022 World Cup with Yedlin and defender Richie Laryea of Canada.

For Yedlin and the USMNT, action begins Monday in Qatar.

When does USMNT play in 2022 World Cup

Yedlin and the Americans are in Group B in Qatar. Here's the USMNT match schedule:

  • vs. Wales, Monday, Nov. 21, 2 p.m., ET

  • vs. England, Friday, Nov. 25, 2 p.m.. ET

  • vs. Iran Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2 p.m., ET

  • Group B winner and runner-up advances to Round of 16, Dec. 3 or 4.

  • All of the USMNT matches are scheduled to be televised by Fox and Telemundo, with assorted streaming options.

Here are five things to know about Yedlin, who will wear jersey No. 22 for the United States:

Is DeAndre Yedlin one of the most experienced players on the United States roster?

DeAndre Yedlin points at fans, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in New York, after being introduced announced as a defender on the U.S. men's national soccer roster for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)
DeAndre Yedlin points at fans, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in New York, after being introduced announced as a defender on the U.S. men's national soccer roster for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Yes. Yedlin is 29 years old and is the only player on the Americans' 26-man roster in Qatar who competed in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Yedlin has competed in 75 matches with USA’s senior national team, which is the most on the current roster. He has eight assists as mostly a right back for USA.

USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin:DeAndre Yedlin's role as USMNT's 'glue guy' as important at World Cup as defense | Opinion

Gregg Berhalter is the fourth American manager for whom Yedlin has played. The first three were Jurgen Klinsmann, Bruce Arena and Dave Sarachan.

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Following Yedlin in terms of seniority on USA’s roster are midfielder Kellyn Acosta (53 caps), midfielder Christian Pulisic (52), forward Jordan Morris (49), defender Tim Ream (46), midfielder Weston McKennie (37), defender Walker Zimmerman (33), midfielder Tyler Adams (32) and midfielder Cristian Roldan (32).

The five oldest players on USA’s roster are Ream (35), goalkeeper Sean Johnson (33), and defenders Aaron Long (30), Yedlin (29) and Zimmerman (29).

USA men's soccer:Former Akron soccer star DeAndre Yedlin makes US men's national team World Cup roster

The USA roster also includes quite a bit of youth with two 19-year-olds in defender Joe Scally and midfielder Yunus Musah, 20-year-old midfielder Giovanni Reyna and 21-year-old forward Jesús Ferreira.

Where has DeAndre Yedlin played soccer professionally?

Yedlin has played for professional clubs in the United States, England and Turkey.

The 5-foot-8 Yedlin started his professional career in Major League Soccer in 2013 after signing a homegrown contract with his hometown Seattle Sounders FC, a team that included former Akron star Steve Zakuani.

Yedlin played the 2014 season with Seattle and signed with Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League in August of that year.

Yedlin joined Tottenham in January 2015 and then played for Sunderland (2015-2016), Newcastle United (2016-2021), Galatasaray (2021-2022) and Inter Miami (2022).

How did DeAndre Yedlin do in the 2014 World Cup?

DeAndre Yedlin is the only USMNT player with World Cup experience.
DeAndre Yedlin is the only USMNT player with World Cup experience.

Yedlin was 20 years old during the 2014 World Cup.

Yedlin did not play in the Americans’ World Cup opener in 2014, a 2-1 victory over Ghana on June 16, but he did log minutes as a reserve defender in a 2-2 draw with Portugal on June 22, a 1-0 loss to Germany on June 26 and a 2-1 loss to Belgium on July 1.

More on DeAndre Yedlin from 2014:World Cup: Performance against Belgium could land former UA standout DeAndre Yedlin a chance to play in Europe

How did DeAndre Yedlin land at the University of Akron?

DeAndre Yedlin is the only USMNT player with World Cup experience.
DeAndre Yedlin is the only USMNT player with World Cup experience.

Former Akron coach Caleb Porter and current Zips coach Jared Embick recruited Yedlin from his hometown of Seattle.

According to an article on ESPN.com, Yedlin was tiny during his freshman year at O’Dea High School and barely topped 100 pounds. He competed in football, soccer, basketball, wrestling and track and field during his time at O’Dea, an all-boys Catholic high school.

Soccer became Yedlin’s primary sport during his junior year of high school and he garnered attention as a talented player on his high school and club teams.

Yedlin brings speed and athleticism to each team for which he competes, and that included UA men’s soccer teams in 2011 and 2012.

More on DeAndre Yedlin from 2014:Akron soccer coach Jared Embick is like a proud papa anticipating the World Cup debut of former Zips star DeAndre Yedlin

Yedlin signed a national letter of intent with Akron on Feb. 8, 2011, after the Zips won the NCAA Division I national championship in 2010.

An Akron Beacon Journal article on February 9, 2011, said Yedlin was ranked the No. 7 recruit in the country in 2011 by Top Drawer Soccer. Porter inked a nine-man recruiting class that also featured future Zips stars Wil Trapp and Bryan Gallego.

FILE - United States' DeAndre Yedlin chases the ball during the first half of a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Mexico and the United States, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati. On what figures to be the youngest of the 32 teams by average age, 29-year-old right back DeAndre Yedlin is the only holdover from the 2014 World Cup.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
FILE - United States' DeAndre Yedlin chases the ball during the first half of a FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Mexico and the United States, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, in Cincinnati. On what figures to be the youngest of the 32 teams by average age, 29-year-old right back DeAndre Yedlin is the only holdover from the 2014 World Cup. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

Yedlin came to Akron after seven Zips players were selected in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft in January 2011 — Darlington Nagbe, Perry Kitchen, Zarek Valentin, Kofi Sarkodie, Michael Nanchoff, Chris Korb and Anthony Ampaipitakwong.

The 2011 Akron team returned four starters — Darren Mattocks, David Meves, Scott Caldwell and Chad Barson — from the 2010 national title team.

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What does Zips coach Jared Embick see in DeAndre Yedlin?

Embick was an assistant on Porter’s staff for both of Yedlin’s seasons in an Akron uniform.

Yedlin was a two-time All-Mid-American Conference first team honoree with UA in 2011 and 2012. He appeared in 45 games — including 41 starts — as the right back and finished with one goal and 12 assists.

UA was 33-5-7 overall and 13-0-0 in MAC play during Yedlin’s time with the Zips, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each season.

“Yedlin brings experience,” Embick said in a recent interview with the Akron Beacon Journal. “He is one of the few Americans that have played in a World Cup before. He has played in Premier League other top European leagues before coming back to MLS. I think USA will be counting on those experiences to help them. On the field, he can match up with top attackers and offer the USA width in attack. He usually plays for the USA when the opponents have direct fast wingers.”

Yedlin will also bring his personality to the pitch.

Yedlin featured a flashy faux hawk with blonde highlights to his hair during his playing days at Akron. He has since added several tattoos to his body and at times plays with dyed green hair.

Michael Beaven can be reached at mbeaven@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Beaven on Twitter at @MBeavenABJ.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: What to know about USMNT's DeAndre Yedlin for 2022 World Cup