Interview with Joshua Yaro of the Philadelphia Union

By MLSAces
Dec. 02, 2016

Today I am extremely excited to bring you an interview that I had with Mr. Joshua Yaro, centerback for the Philadelphia Union. Here is a little background information on Joshua Yaro: He was born in Kumasi, Ghana and was brought over to the United States at a young age. He grew up in California and later attended college at Georgetown University. After three seasons at Georgetown University, Joshua decided to enter the MLS Superdraft as a Generation Adidas player. Joshua Yaro was selected and plays for the Philadelphia Union. In 2016 being his rookie season he played in 17 games, 15 of which he started. The rookie played 1,327 minutes and was a crucial piece for the Union backline. Today you can follow Joshua on Twitter at @Josh_Yaro_5, Instagram at Sneakyjosh5, and at www.joshyaro.com. Here is the interview with Mr. Yaro:

MLS ACES: As a youngster you came to the U.S. and attended the Cate School in California where you played soccer. How did your time growing in California help you with where you are now as a professional soccer player?

JOSHUA YARO: My time at the Cate School and growing up in California was an important time period in my life. I had always wanted to combine my academics with soccer and Cate provided me with an environment to thrive in both. California is a big soccer state and the competition is better than it is in most states in the country which helped me to stay sharp and to keep improving. The weather is beautiful..always nice and sunny which meant I could train all year around. Spending time with Santa Barbara Soccer Club also provided me with an environment to compete and get better each and every day.

MLS ACES: After the Cate School you played three years of college soccer at Georgetown University. You received countless awards at your time with the Hoyas including Big East Defensive Player of the Year. How was your experience at Georgetown? Who at the university really helped you develop your skills?

JOSHUA YARO: I chose Georgetown for many reasons. I loved the style of play and how the coaches developed players...this is an attribute that is hard to find in college soccer. Most programs care about just winning and player development is minimal. At Georgetown I was given the tools and coaching needed to become a competitive college player. I look back now to all the awards and accolades I got in college and it’s tough not to recognize my teammates and coaches for their tremendous help. It is always easy to do well when you are surrounded by amazing players and I was fortunate to have that at Georgetown. My experience at Georgetown was unique and one that I wouldn’t trade for anything else. I was fortunate to have coach Wiese and his coaching staff to believe in me and let me develop into the player and person I am today.

MLS ACES: You decided to become a pro and enter the 2016 MLS Superdraft. Many very talented rookies came out of last year's Superdraft. How does it feel to have been selected second? Also, how does it feel to have been selected in the same round as players like Jack Harrison, Brandon Vincent, Tsubasa Endoh, and Omar Holness?

JOSHUA YARO: I look back to the 2016 Superdraft class and I can confidently say it’s one of the best Superdraft classes the league has had in recent years. Many rookies this year did amazing with their respective teams and that is a testament to how strong the class was. It was a great feeling to be selected second overall but in all honesty, I did not care too much about my pick from the start because I wanted to go to a club where I could have the opportunity to develop and luckily, the Philadelphia Union provided me with that.

MLS ACES: Two other first round draft picks that you have come to know a lot closer, I'm guessing, are Keegan Rosenberry and Fabian Herbers. Both of them were drafted by the Union in the first round of the 2016 MLS Superdraft and played with you all season long. More specifically, you played with Keegan Rosenberry at Georgetown University as well. How did it feel to go through the rookie experience with them?

JOSHUA YARO: Making the transition to MLS was a tough one but helped that I had my Georgetown teammate Keegan Rosenberry with me and Fabian Herbers was also someone I considered a friend because we played against each other in college. I have gotten to know these two guys really well over the course of the season and having them with me made things a lot easier. I am lucky I get to play on the right side of defense with Keegan since we played together in college and know each other well enough. I am grateful for our relationship and the level of understanding between us on the field.

MLS ACES: The Union this year constantly put out a defense that featured many young players including; Keegan Rosenberry, Richie Marquez, Ken Tribbett, and yourself. Was there any type of help in that you are all so young?

JOSHUA YARO: The Union did a great job of giving youngsters the opportunity to play and develop this year. A lot of coaches rely on veteran players who have the experience but the Union is not afraid to play young players and let them make mistakes and learn from it. I was able to play and be myself and despite the mistakes here and there the coaching staff still encouraged me to keep going. You see this in our backline and how young we are. Although we had a young backline, each one of us is good enough to compete at the highest level and be able to face challenges the league presents head on. Already looking forward to the 2017 season given that we all have had a year to develop...should be an exciting one.

MLS ACES: Finally, the Philadelphia Union had a great 2016 campaign that included a playoff appearance. Before the season began not many people had picked you guys to go as far as you did. What would you contribute to the surprise that was your season?

JOSHUA YARO: No one really believed we were going to be as good as we were this season. The coaches and technical staff did a great job to create an environment where you had guys that were hungry for success and were willing to do anything to achieve our team goals. I’d attribute most of our success to hard work and belief. We worked hard and believed in ourselves when no one did and that was the difference between the season we had this year and the seasons the club has had in the past. 

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