Two generations of Seattle Sounders FC outside defenders could share the pitch Wednesday when D.C. United visits CenturyLink Field.
Current starter DeAndre Yedlin, 19, is back from duty with the U.S. national team in the U-20 World Cup, while original Sounder James Riley, 30, returns with the visitors.
Neither is certain to appear. Riley has been a part-time player with D.C., playing in eight of 17 games, seven as a starter. Last week, he went 90 minutes in a U.S. Open Cup win over New England before sitting out United’s MLS loss to Vancouver.
Yedlin, meanwhile, suffered a slight shoulder separation while away with the United States national team, and neither he nor Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was certain about his availability for Wednesday.
“The first play I kind of got clipped from behind and I fell on it,” Yedlin said of his ailing shoulder. “Then I didn’t know what really happened to it — it felt a little irritated. But the next play, I tried to jump and I extended it a little bit too far, I guess. It’s a separation, but it’s feeling pretty good. We’ll see about Wednesday: just take it day by day, and we’ll see how it feels.”
Yedlin was Seattle’s regular right back from the start of this rookie season until leaving for Turkey, where Team USA (0-2-1) was eliminated in the group stage.
“Obviously, we didn’t go as far as we would have liked to,” Yedlin said after training Monday at CenturyLink Field. “But just to see where those players are at and see where I need to get to to hopefully one day play in Europe is great. It’s good to get it first-hand. It was a great experience and one that I’ll never forget.”
As with most players new to international competition, one particular memory was simply wearing his country’s colors.
“It was pretty amazing,” Yedlin said. “It didn’t really hit me until we were out in the huddle for the first game and you have so many Turkish people there that wanted someone against Spain, so they were chanting ‘USA.’ It was an amazing, humbling experience.”
Yedlin is a Seattle native who remembers watching the Sounders from 2009-11 when Riley was the regular starter at right back.
“He’s a great player,” Yedlin said. “A lot of stamina. That kind of is part of my game, too. I try to model that part of my game after that, because you can work hard every time. If you don’t have anything else, hard work can get you places. He’s a great player, and he was fun to watch when he played here.”
Schmid had no final word on the availability of Yedlin, forward Lamar Neagle and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, but hopes two of the three could be ready for Wednesday. Midfielder Mario Martinez’s loan to the Sounders ended Sunday, and Schmid said a final decision on his possible return to Real España of Martinez’s native Honduras is expected by Wednesday. Rookie forward Eriq Zavaleta was at training Monday after recording a goal and an assist Saturday while on loan to the NASL San Antonio Scorpions in their 4-1 win over Fort Lauderdale. Central defender Robert Chen is scheduled to return to Panama on Tuesday after a trial period of training with the Sounders. Schmid said one reason central defender Ashani Fairclough was released last week was to open a second foreign roster spot in advance of the transfer window opening next week.Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt