Exclusive: Interview with DeAndre Yedlin’s former manager

Roma Press spoke exclusively to Jared Embick, current manager of Akron University and the former manager of DeAndre Yedlin, the Seattle Sounders and United States national team player who has recently been linked with a move to Roma.

You managed DeAndre during his university career, how would you describe him as a person?
“DeAndre is a very humble kid. He has an outgoing personality and is always in on the jokes. Very loyal to friends and family. He is a tremendous person.”

Many professional players have come from Akron University, who are known around the United States for their success, what would you attribute this to?
“I believe it is our style of play. We play an attractive attacking brand of soccer where we look to use possession to control the match and create many goal scoring opportunities. We will High press and press immediately after loss possession. This is very demanding and the players have to learn to focus and concentrate for 90 minutes. We work on intelligent movement and positional play in the attack. I believe this style develops players. It forces them to improve as players because everyone has to contribute to this style at a high level or it will not be successful.”

For the first time, many were able to see DeAndre Yedlin on display with the United States at the World Cup. As a player, what are his strengths? His weaknesses?
“His strengths are his pace, explosiveness and fitness. He can run all day and run fast. I believe his passing is very underrated. His weaknesses are his positioning defensively would need to improve as well as his one v. one defending. I believe the last two will come with more experience.”

DeAndre has been heavily linked with a move to Serie A with Roma and Genoa, how do you think he would fare in the league?
“I think the Italian league would be the perfect place for him. His athleticism and ability to attack will help him compete right away and the league is a great place for him to improve the tactical side of his game. I think Roma signing him and loaning him to Genoa is the best way to break him into the league and then he would be ready for the 2015 season with Roma.”

Who is one player that you would compare DeAndre to?
“I am not huge on comparison’s as I don’t think they are fair to each player. A right sided Jordi Alba would be my best comparsion.”

Do you think it would be more beneficial for professionals to leave the MLS and play in more competitive leagues in Europe?
“I think it depends on the player. If you are a young player and starting and playing every day in MLS is it better for you to leave to Europe and possibly not play for long periods? I am not so sure it is. Eventually you will need to leave and challenge yourself in the best leagues playing against the best players and with the best players every day to reach your potential. It is the timing and opportunity of the move that I think determines if you go. I would advise players to go if they will start or the club has a plan to continue to get them meaningful games until they are ready to start for them.”

The Editor of RomaPress.us, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including ASRoma.com, EuroFantasyLeague.com, and ESPN.