Friday, September 12, 2014

DeAndre Yedlin, Jordan Morris, and the Promising Future of Seattle Sounders FC

DeAndre Yedlin playing for Sounders U-23's vs. Kitsap Pumas in 2012
(photo by Chris Coulter,
There was a great story on DeAndre Yedlin in The Seattle Times today. DeAndre grew up just north of Seattle, and was raised by his grandparents. He has never met his dad, who is now incarcerated for life. His mom also spent time in jail when he was young; she now has her life back on track, however, and teaches at a community college. DeAndre grew up playing soccer, and dreamed of playing in Europe. He played for O'Dea High School in Seattle and joined the Sounders Youth Academy. He spent two years at Akron University, before joining the Sounders as a Home Grown Player. He played for the United States in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He will play next year for Tottenham Hotspur, located in London. DeAndre Yedlin is 21 years old.

After the World Cup, DeAndre had offers from many of the top clubs in Europe. However, he was adamant that he wouldn't leave the Sounders until after the current season. The Sounders currently lead the race in MLS for the Supporter's Shield. They play for the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday. The ultimate goal is MLS Cup. As a Sounders fan, I will miss DeAndre not wearing the Rave Green. However, it has always been his dream to play in Europe. Next year I'll probably be waking up early on Saturday mornings to watch DeAndre play right back for Tottenham Hotspur in England's Premier League.

Jordan Morris playing for Sounders U-23's
vs. Portalnd Timbers U-23's in 2014
(Photo by Chris Coulter,
The United States Men's National Team recently played a friendly in the Czech Republic. Only one college player was called up to the match. He was a Stanford University sophomore named Jordan Morris. Morris has been the most promising player in the Sounders Academy since DeAndre Yedlin. He didn't play versus the Czech Republic, but he has certainly gained the attention of Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. coaches. After Stanford's season, Jordan will have a choice. He can join the Sounders as a Home Grown Player. He will also most likely receive offers from Europe. Jordan is a forward, which means if he signs with the Sounders he would play up top with Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins.

Jordan grew up on Mercer Island. He would actually join the Sounders as their fourth Home Grown Player. This year the team also signed Aaron Kovar, from Seattle, and Sean Okoli, from Federal Way. Kovar and Okoli have mostly been bench players this year, and have gotten little playing time. Next year there is a very good chance that Kovar and Okoli, and other Sounders prospects, will play for a Sounders USL Pro team, a minor league team similar to baseball's Tacoma Rainiers. The USL team would play at Starfire. It's hard to believe the Sounders have only existed as a Major League Soccer franchise for six years. It's a good time to be a Sounder.
  • Geoff Baker's profile in The Seattle Times on DeAndre Yedlin here. Warning for younger readers: DeAndre's dad committed some horrible crimes, and they are named in the piece.
  • Dave Clark at Sounder at Heart muses on Jordan Morris here and here.
  • Liviu Bird of Sports Illustrated reports on Seattle's potential USL Pro team here.

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