In 2013, DeAndre Yedlin, was just a 19-year-old kid trying to navigate Major League Soccer for the first time. Now a year later, the rising star from Seattle is pondering a career with some of Europe’s best clubs. Last week might have been one of the most hectic weeks in the young right back’s life, albeit, glorious.
After returning from Brazil swelling with pride from his heroic defending against Belgium’s Eden Hazard, Yedlin was hounded by the media and even appeared on the Today Show. Amidst the media commotion and demand, Yedlin celebrated his 21st birthday and made a grandiose return to his club team the Seattle Sounders. Although the contest against the Portland Timbers took place in front of a measly four thousand fans, compared to the tens of thousands that watched each World Cup match, Yedlin showed now signs of tiring or drop off in form. The rapid right back bombed up and down the pitch in a style very familiar to World Cup viewers, a style that still haunts Eden Hazard.
As his status in the pacific northwest of the United States continues to rise, the price for this young starlet has continued to rise for European clubs interested in swiping up the home-grown talent. Born and raised in Seattle, Yedlin has only ever played for the Sounders, but will his ties to Seattle out weight the hefty salaries that are sure to be thrown his way?
Multiple reports from the French media last week have stated that Ligue 1 side Lyon made contact with the Seattle club and were told that the crazy haired youngster would cost them somewhere between 2-3.5 million dollars. Since that report however, the battle for Yedlin’s signature has grown much more fierce. Several Italian league sides have been allured as well, including Champions League bound Roma. But the madness does not stop there, the Premier League’s newest powerhouse, Liverpool, has also expressed their interest in Yedlin. The fierce whirlwind that surrounds the 21-year-old has allowed to Sounders to start a good ole fashioned bidding war for their very coveted youth.
A few days after the reports that Yedlin could leave Major League Soccer for 2-3.5 million dollars, new reports surfaced that Seattle had nearly doubled their asking price to 7 million dollars. This drastic increase could potentially make the right back the most expensive player in MLS history, but that would need a large increase in the rumored fee.
Current Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore left the MLS for 10 million dollars to play in La Liga with Villareal, but a 7 million dollar fee for Yedlin would make him the most expensive MLS defender by leaps and bounds. This bidding war does not seem likely to end any time soon, and by the time it does wrap up, Seattle may be cashing a check for much more than 7 million dollars.
However, the exceedingly important question for Seattle and Major League Soccer is, do they want to let Yedlin go? The Sounders and the MLS certainly can see the major marketing value that their star youth player has in the wake of the World Cup and with peaked interest in the sport stateside. Both parties would be devastated to see another one of their best players lured away by European dreams. But those allures of international glory are hard to ignore for any professional, “[Playing in Europe] has obviously been my goal since I was a little kid,” said Yedlin to the MLS media. Seattle can certainly offer their promising young star higher wages in trying to keep him in the Emerald City, but it might be wise to take advantage of his rising transfer market value while they can. When asked about is he has put any thought into his future as a professional, Yedlin replied, “I’ll definitely be doing some of that in the next few weeks.”