The U.S. men’s national team, once again, has called upon Sounders FC in the buildup to this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Seattle’s Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and DeAndre Yedlin were named in coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s 22-man roster for an April 2 exhibition against Mexico, but the Sounders hope this time, at least, there won’t be much impact on the MLS season.
The trio is set to leave for Phoenix after Saturday’s home game against Columbus and return in time for an April 5 road game at rival Portland.
“To have three guys representing your club with the national team in a game against Mexico is a nice honor,” said coach Sigi Schmid, whose team was in constant flux last season due to call-ups.
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“They’ll be available for the game against Portland, but again, it’s always a function of how many minutes they play (against Mexico). At least the travel is not a major issue, so that makes it easier.”
Dempsey, who will be completing his two-game MLS suspension Saturday, is considered a lock for the World Cup roster, but Evans could use the game to solidify his status. Yedlin, the second-youngest player called in at 20, is trying to make a late push to make the team.
Evans and Yedlin play right back at the international level, while Yedlin starts there for Seattle. The position has received much attention in this World Cup cycle, particularly with the recent retirement of veteran Steve Cherundolo.
Said Schmid: “Right now, the national-team situation at outside back is a little bit cloudy. … I think (Klinsmann) has got to look at different options that he has back there.”
Evans is recovering from a calf injury that kept him out of Sunday’s road win at Montreal. He said getting back on the field against the Crew is his immediate focus before looking ahead to his first rivalry game against Mexico — in his hometown, no less.
“It’s going to be a packed house,” Evans said. “Hopefully my family is there, as well, but I’m hoping to get through this weekend unscathed and then focus on Wednesday.”
For Yedlin, the call-up is just the latest in a meteoric rise in pursuit of a World Cup spot — something that would have seemed almost unfathomable when he signed as a 19-year-old homegrown player before the 2013 season.
Yedlin just made his international debut Feb. 1 following his first call-up with the senior team for January training camp. The Seattle native, Schmid estimated, is already in the top 40 in the USMNT player pool, though only 23 will go to Brazil.
And does the latest call-up have Yedlin thinking about the World Cup?
“No,” he said. “Hopefully, if I perform well enough, I can get to that point. I think it’d be a great experience for me. … If you look too far ahead, you start to get caught up in things, and that’s not what I want to do at this point.”
• The Sounders will partner with the American Red Cross to collect donations at Saturday’s game for disaster relief, particularly the Oso mudslide. Volunteers will accept donations at various gates, along Occidental Avenue and throughout CenturyLink Field.
Team ownership, through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Hanauer Family Foundation, will match donations up to $15,000. People can also donate by visiting redcross.org or sending the text message “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
• Columbus defender Michael Parkhurst was also called up by the USMNT ahead of Saturday’s game and is in potential competition with Evans and Yedlin for a World Cup spot.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184
On Twitter @joshuamayers