Since it's nearly the Fourth of July, we might as well discuss a rumor that popped up earlier this evening involving America's latest next big thing. Roma and Genoa are reportedly working in tandem to bring U.S. defender DeAndre Yedlin to Italy. Yedlin, soon to be 21-years-old, was one of America's break out players during their run to the round of 16, captivating viewers the world over with his speed, athleticism, and willingness to commit as much to defense as he does to attack.
Yedlin impressed so much that he was reportedly a topic of discussion at a recent dinner between Roma and Genoa executives, with the latter keen on his immediate services and presumably needing the more moneyed and reputable Roman name to seal the deal, as reported by Gianluca DiMarzio earlier this evening.
According to DiMarzio, Roma will technically acquire the Seattle Sounders fullback, immediately sending him on loan to the Grifone for an undetermined amount of time. Granted, this is, as yet, an unsubstantiated rumor, but DiMarzio is about as reliable as Serie A rumor mongerers come, so it bears repeating.
Obviously, this rumor comes stamped with a gigantic asterisk, as Yedlin could simply be the latest in a line of American youth to fall prey to the hype machine. We've seen it with Freddy Adu, Oguchi Onyewu, Eddie Johnson and, to an extent (at least in Europe), Landon Donovan, so you'd be right to restrain your emotions. Not only that, his entire professional career amounts to less than 50 appearances, so despite his impressive form in Brazil, he is very much a project.
But, there is a reason we're discussing this, Yedlin is an extremely intriguing prospect. If you only caught a minute of the U.S. the past few weeks, you probably still noticed the somewhat small, but incredibly built young man bombing up and down the right flank, making opponents appear as if they were caught in quick sand. Yedlin was far and away Jurgen Klinsmann's most effective weapon against Belgium on Tuesday, blowing past the Red Devils to the tune of five dribbles and three key passes, while also serving up eight crosses and managing four clearances.
Quite simply, Yedlin has an incredible base upon which to build; he's fast as hell and shows little hesitation in using that to his advantage, no matter the opponent. Furthermore, based on his MLS stats, he's not nearly as inept at the defensive side of the game as we're led to believe.
Besides which, at only 21-years-old, Yedlin is already emerging as one of, if not the star, of what many believe will be the first generation of American talent to make a genuine and widespread impact on the international stage, which is sure to make Roma's P.R. department salivate.
This was just a one-off rumor, so we're miles away from this picking up any steam, but one would imagine this would be a symbiotic move for all three parties, one that should easily fall within Roma's plans, both financially and tactically.
For much, much more on what Yedlin brings to the pitch, check out this piece from our Sounders site, which address Yedlin's tactical abilities in greater depth.