Seattle's DeAndre Yedlin and Mercer Island's Jordan Morris, two promising Sounders FC products, have been called into U.S. under-20 training camp and could make the roster for this summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
TUKWILA — Many of the world’s young soccer stars will be featured in the FIFA U-20 World Cup this summer in Turkey, and a pair of promising local products could be there.
Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin, 19, and academy forward Jordan Morris, 18, were each called into the U.S. under-20 national team Monday. And during the weeklong training camp in California, coach Tab Ramos will make evaluations toward his final roster for the tournament, which will run from June 21 to July 13.
The U.S. was drawn into a difficult group with Spain, France and Ghana.
Yedlin, a Seattle native, said a few weeks ago he has been thinking about the World Cup for “a long time.”
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“I think every player dreams of playing in a World Cup, whether it be the U-20s, U-17s or the full team,” he added. “It’s definitely been a goal of mine.”
Yedlin, who wasn’t a part of World Cup qualifying, has done about everything he could this season to support his case. As Seattle’s starting right back, he has played in all 10 games, including the CONCACAF Champions League, and leads the Sounders with 729 minutes played.
Coach Sigi Schmid said Yedlin is expected back Sunday, meaning the O’Dea High School product should be available for Seattle’s next league game: May 4 at Philadelphia.
Morris, a Mercer Island native, is a newcomer at the youth national level after starring for the Sounders’ U-18 academy team.
“In Jordan’s case,” Ramos said, “Sigi Schmid thinks very highly of him, and we value his opinion.”
Ramos also applauded Morris’ success at the academy level, where the Stanford commit has scored 22 goals in 22 games.
Schmid, a former U.S. youth national team coach, explained what Ramos will be looking for from Yedlin and Morris this week: “You see how quickly guys adapt. Some guys are swimmers and some guys sink.”
In other U-20 news, former Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller will serve as an assistant coach for the youth national team.
Bates ready to work
The dream of being a professional soccer player required a wait from Sounders FC’s Will Bates. But the rookie forward, after a couple months of recovery from knee and shin injuries, said he’s ready to contribute upon signing last week.
“I didn’t come here to be a practice player,” said Bates, a Virginia product. “Just got to start from the bottom and work your way up slowly through the reserves, and when that opportunity comes you have to make the most of it.”
• MLS is allowing intraleague loans this year for the first time in league history. The loans are for players under 25 years old and last the entire season. Schmid said he’s unsure what the impact of the new rule will be. “It’s the first year the league has really introduced it, so I think there’s going to be a little bit of trepidation there from teams,” he added.
• Reign FC midfielder Jess Fishlock has been voted NWSL Player of the Week. The 26-year-old Welshwoman scored Seattle’s goal in Sunday’s 2-1 road loss at Portland.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.