During their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Belgium on Tuesday that saw them be eliminated from the 2014 World Cup, the United States fought until the very end behind a stellar goalkeeping performance from Everton star Tim Howard.
In the first half, one of their emerging stars, Fabian Johnson, injured his right hamstring and was forced to exit the match. Jurgen Klinsmann had moved him up to right wing for this match, but Johnson was being counted on to help contain Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
The injury could have been a death sentence for the Americans’ chances, but instead it offered many their first look at one of the game’s rising stars, DeAndre Yedlin.
The 20-year-old was brought on in place of Johnson, both of whom, naturally right backs, were playing out of position at right wing, and performed admirably in his place.
Yedlin, currently playing in MLS for Seattle Sounders FC, would be an ideal fit for any team in need of a full back, as he provides outstanding pace and is adept at making swift crosses into the box, which he did to set up Clint Dempsey’s goal against Portugal.
A team such as Arsenal, who recently lost Bacary Sagna to Manchester City, would make sense should they lose out on long-time target Serge Aurier.
Other intriguing possibilities would be teams with new managers whose rosters are turning over, so Southampton and Tottenham are two other teams that come to mind.
While it may be a year or two away before Yedlin truly emerges as a star in Europe, the flashes he showed while playing in Brazil suggest someone will be very happy about bringing him over.