- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DENVER (AP) - Defender DeAndre Yedlin may want to repeat this over and over: Don’t pass the ball to Clint Dempsey. Don’t pass the ball to Clint Dempsey.

Nothing personal against Dempsey, of course. For this game, he’s just the adversary.

A few days after the U.S. national squad teammates combined for a goal during a Gold Cup game, they’re on opposite sides. Yedlin’s Tottenham Hotspur club will face Dempsey and the best from Major League Soccer in an all-star contest Wednesday night in Commerce City, Colorado.

That Yedlin is on American turf and still a visitor, well, it’s a little bewildering. Same with not being able to deliver passes to Dempsey, DaMarcus Beasley or some of his other teammates from the national team.

“It’s interesting. It’s weird,” Yedlin said after practice Tuesday in video provided by MLS. “But I think it will be more fun than weird.”

The 22-year-old Yedlin was acquired by Tottenham from Seattle and Major League Soccer in January. A good showing over the next few days may help him secure a spot with the Spurs this season. He could be moved to another team on loan.

“DeAndre is very young,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “A very good potential for the future. He has an opportunity to show his value and try to stay next season. He has the same opportunity to show his quality.”

Last Saturday, Yedlin played for the Americans in the CONCACAF Gold Cup third-place game, entering the contest late and helping set up the tying goal by Dempsey. Panama won the shootout 3-2 after extra time ended with the score 1-1.

The U.S. plays Mexico on Oct. 9 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, for CONCACAF’s spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. American coach Jurgen Klinsmann will need to decide whether to use Yedlin and fellow defender John Brooks for the game against Mexico or have them with the under-23 team for Olympic qualifying, which runs from Oct. 1-13.

“We’ll figure that one out,” Klinsmann recently said.

For now, Yedlin’s focus is on bottling up Dempsey, who suited up for Tottenham before joining Seattle.

“At the end of the day, you want to win the game,” Yedlin said.

Things to know heading into the MLS All-Star Game:

TOUGH TEST: Don’t expect Tottenham to treat this simply as a friendly. The squad opens the English Premier League against Manchester United on Aug. 8. “We need to be testing ourselves, and see how fit we are and what we need to work on,” forward Harry Kane said. “They’re all in their midseason (form), so they’re a little bit fit and ready to go.”

MISSING STARS: MLS All-Star coach Pablo Mastroeni had to make some changes to his roster with Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Steven Gerrard (LA Galaxy), Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), and Chris Tierney (New England Revolution) sitting out due to injuries. Among the players Mastroeni added was Sam Cronin, a player he coaches with the Colorado Rapids.

EAST-WEST FORMAT: Several MLS players wouldn’t mind seeing the old all-star format return instead of playing an elite international club. “The more players you reward, the better,” Dempsey said. “At the same time, it is cool to be able to play against some top clubs. It’s a difficult decision MLS has to make.”

TUNE IN: Thanks to expanded broadcast agreements, MLS games are easier to view around the world. “I’ve watched a bit more than I have in recent years,” Kane said. “Everyone knows that it’s becoming a bigger and better league. Hopefully it continues.”

BIG NAMES: The MLS has plenty of big names from abroad this season, including Brazilian star Kaka (Orlando City), Spain’s David Villa (New York City FC) and Italian midfielder/forward Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC). “In the future, we’re going to be one of the best leagues in the world,” Kaka said.

___

AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed.


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