Meteoric hardly begins to describe DeAndre Yedlin’s rise over the past few months. Yedlin went from a promising prospect on the fringes of the U.S. national team picture to a trusted substitute at the World Cup. He always tempted foreign clubs with his displays as a youth international, but his performances in Brazil sparked more expansive interest in his services.
The dialogue accelerated when he returned from the World Cup. It waxed and waned from mid-July until his overseas excursion this week, but it always presented a potential distraction for a 21-year-old fullback still in his second professional season.
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“A lot of people have asked if I’m super stressed about stuff, but I’m not at all,” Yedlin told Inside MLS in a phone interview last month. “My agent is doing a really good job of taking care of me. A lot of people have asked me about Europe. My agent is doing a good job of keeping that away from me and letting me focus on Seattle and winning MLS Cup, which is really my main goal right now.”
It is a shared objective rooted in Sounders FC’s interest in keeping Yedlin through the rest of this season. Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer said on Friday the club planned to structure any deal to ensure Yedlin’s continued presence for the next few months. The exact destination — Tottenham Hotspur is the expected landing spot, per Goal.com — will not sidetrack those efforts.
Even with Yedlin likely to stay with Seattle for the remainder of the season, the situation is enough to distract even the most experienced player. Hanauer said Sounders FC has tried to limit the distractions created by keeping the lines of communication open between all involved parties.
“We feel like we’re a pretty good communicating organization,” Hanauer said. “We feel like we have a pretty good relationship with DeAndre’s representation. We have good relationships with the league and with clubs around the world. As long as the right communication is being communicated and everyone is on the same page, things go pretty smoothly. We feel like that’s been the case here. Certainly, for a young man like DeAndre, he’s just 21, this is a big time in his life. Certainly, he might have a different perspective to mine in this, but I think our club does a pretty good job of staying even keeled and taking it as it comes.”
At some point soon, the discussions will cease and the final decision will emerge. Yedlin will know his future. Sounders FC will trust in Yedlin to fulfill his duties for as long as he stays in Seattle. And his ascendancy will continue.
Five Points – Week 23
1. Yedlin deal won’t influence Sounders FC’s summer moves: Seattle cleared a roster spot and a modest amount of salary budget room when it traded David Estrada to D.C. United earlier this year. The decision to deal the little-used forward provides even more flexibility for Sounders FC to dip into the transfer market and supplement the squad with a piece or two to close out the campaign. Any potential addition will arrive independently of Yedlin’s transfer, according to Hanauer.
“We’ve been looking,” Hanauer said. “If in fact we get this one over the finish line, it will have no bearing on our moves (to come). We’ve been looking and exploring possible transactions through this transfer window. There is still plenty of opportunity with either out-of-contract players or trades within the league. We’re still trying to strengthen the roster, but the DeAndre situation is completely unrelated.”
2. Seattle prepares for reinforced Dynamo: Houston claimed its first victory since May 17 with a last-gasp triumph over D.C. United last weekend. Recent signings DaMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido both featured in the victory to provide the Dynamo with a somewhat revamped look heading into the date with Sounders FC on Sunday. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid highlighted those improvements and noted the changes to the side in their wake.
“It changes a little bit only because Garrido is such a defensive midfielder,” Schmid said. “He really sits in front of the two center backs. It forces Ricardo Clark into more of an attacking role than he normally plays. Normally, he was the guy who sat a little bit deeper. … It also takes Boniek Garcia out wide all of the time, whereas, at times, he was playing in the middle of midfield. So yeah, I think it does impact them a bit.”
3. Real Salt Lake enters the Designated Player market once again: RSL completed the long-anticipated deal to sign Argentinian forward Sebastian Jaime from Chilean side Unión Española on Friday. Jaime will count as the club’s third DP because RSL splashed out a significant fee to sign Jaime and stretched out the hit over several years to reduce the burden. Jaime’s arrival – combined with the recently unveiled plans to privately finance a $13 million, 8,000-seat stadium for a potential USL PRO team at the Utah State Fairpark – represents another considerable commitment from investor/operator Dell Loy Hansen to reinforce the foundation of the club.
4. Track those All-Stars carefully as this weekend unfolds: Portland coach Caleb Porter highlighted the importance of returning players back to their club sides in working order after the 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich. He accomplished that objective, but the impact of the midweek diversion still bears monitoring as this particular matchday progresses.
5. Galaxy settles for frustrating pointagainst San Jose: The expected StubHub Center romp to mark Landon Donovan’s impending retirement never materialized against the Earthquakes. The home side enjoyed the majority of the play, but it ultimately took a share of the spoils in the 2-2 draw instead.
“No, I don’t think it really matters that the statistics show that we had 70 percent possession,” Galaxy manager Bruce Arena told reporters after the frustrating draw. “The only statistic that really matters in this game is the score. This time of year, and for the most part in our league, there is a lot of teams that play to get results, which they should be doing. That’s the name of the game, and tonight with the kind of defensive posture San Jose had to concede two goals in the first half, you make things real difficult. To our credit, we came back behind the goal on two occasions, that’s a real positive. But I think technically we weren’t good tonight and it ultimately cost us the game.”