United States' William Yarbrough wants to learn from Howard, Guzan
LEON, Mexico -- Leon goalkeeper William Yarbrough will head to the United States men's national team camp full of confidence, and says he hopes to continue learning from veteran teammates Brad Guzan and Tim Howard.
"It will be foolish of me not to learn something from them," Yarbrough, 27, told ESPN FC after Leon's 1-1 draw against Chivas on Saturday.
"Of course we are competing for a spot there, but that doesn't mean that we can't learn from two experienced guys like Guzan and Howard.
"With all the experience they have, it's important for us, who are stepping on their heels, to learn from them, and every day that goes by that you train with them there's always something new to learn."
This new call-up to the national team is the second time in which Yarbrough, who was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, could be present in a U.S.-Mexico game. The first time took place in San Antonio, Texas on April 2015, where he played the entire first half.
"We know about the great rivalry that exists between the U.S. and Mexico, especially in the Hex; it's going to be an important game. ... Being in the list is a big plus for me, it gives me great motivation. As I do at my club, I will give my best," Yarbrough said.
Right now, Yarbrough is living one of the best moments in his career. Against Chivas, his leadership was key as the team played most of the match down a man after midfielder Leonel Lopez was sent off in the 13th minute.
Leon's new Argentine head coach Javier Torrente has made a significant impact on Yarbrough's current state.
"Well, Torrente, he did a fantastic job when he came in, you know. He made sure that we switched our mindsets," Yarbrough said. "He had seen us play before, and he knew that we weren't respecting what it means to play for Leon. He knew that we weren't playing as a Leon player should always play, which is to always play offensively, look for goals, look for scoring opportunities.
"He noticed that we had switched our style, that's why fans, too, kind of lost faith, so when Torrente came in, he switched up that mindset of ours, and things just started working on the field. I think all of this helped me get called up back into the national team."
Yarbrough is one of three Liga MX-based footballers in Klinsmann's final 26-player roster for the upcoming matches against Mexico and Costa Rica. Defenders Omar Gonzalez and Michael Orozco complete the trio.
The Leon goalkeeper feels that as each year passes, he's gaining more experience. The No. 1 role in the national team is still not really within reach, but at his club he's always preparing for when that moment arrives.
"Game by game one gains experience, gains confidence, gains leadership. The time you have been playing with the club also gives you a little bit of authority within your teammates, but this is a great group, it's an excellent group.
"There's a lot of humble players, who we can all yell at each other in a good way, and that's just a big plus for us. This helps me, of course. I'm 27, there's still a long way ahead of me."
Nayib Moran covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @nayibmoran.