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January 11, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Sounders FC signs DeAndre Yedlin as club’s first homegrown player

Seattle Sounders FC Logo.jpgSounders FC’s first offseason signing is also its first homegrown player signing.

Seattle announced Friday that it has signed Akron right back DeAndre Yedlin, a Seattle native. The 19 year old played at O’Dea High School and came up through the Sounders’ youth development program, most recently with the U-23s last year.

“It’s amazing to start my professional career in a place where I started playing soccer in the first place,” said Yedlin in a news release. “I’m excited to be able to perform in front of all the fans. It’s the best place to play in the United States — one of the best in the world I think. It’s very exciting for me.”

Terms were not disclosed per MLS and team policy. You can follow Yedlin on Twitter.

Yedlin was named to the All-MAC First Team in his two seasons at Akron and was named a College Soccer News Freshman All-American in 2011. He appeared in all 45 games for the Zips, making 41 starts, and finished with 12 assists.

More of an attacking right back, Yedlin has often trained with the first team here, as well.

“We are thrilled to sign DeAndre as our first Homegrown Player,” said Adrian Hanauer, owner and general manager, in the release. “Darren Sawatzky and Dick McCormick deserve much of the credit, as they have developed a top academy program for Sounders FC. Hopefully DeAndre is the first of many local players who will come through our system and wear the rave green at the professional level.”

More team-provided quotes from Yedlin after the jump…

* * *

DeAndre Yedlin

(On the process of signing…) “I’ve been pretty anxious the whole time. I’m excited about it…With the holidays that just came around, everything just took a little bit longer. A little bit of anxiety, but it’s been good now that it’s finally here. I’m really excited.”

(On if he’s attended many games…) “Yeah I have, especially with the U18 team. We got to sit on the bench toward the end of the year, and that was definitely a great experience. Yeah, I’ve been to a fair amount of them.”

(On the atmosphere of games…) “It’s amazing. Seattle definitely has the best fans that I’ve ever seen at a sporting event. To be able to play in front of them now is just going to be unbelievable.”

(On being the first Homegrown Player to sign…) “Obviously, I’ve been blessed to have an opportunity to be the first. I know there will be more to come, but it’s a great feeling. It really is a great feeling. Hopefully I can start a path for the next homegrowns to come.”

(On Caleb Porter, Akron and preparing for MLS…) “At Akron, it’s definitely a professional environment, so that being one. Two, I watch a lot of Sounders. [Adam] Johansson and the right side seem to get up a lot, and as many people know I like to attack a lot. Just the whole attacking mindset will help me to succeed with Seattle.”

(On when signing became a reality…) “I’d gotten a few calls from Sigi [Schmid] in October or September, just checking up on me. I think it was then that it clicked that they were looking at me and tracking my progress. I think that’s when I realized this could probably happen this year. Then, obviously, when we got to December things moved along and finally came to an agreement.”


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