By Don Ruiz The News Tribune
Seattle Sounders FC has completed a deal that will transfer homegrown All-Star right back DeAndre Yedlin to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League.
All three parties on Wednesday reacted positively to the agreement, which will keep Yedlin in a Sounders uniform at least until the end of this Major League Soccer season.
“We thought it was ultimately a good decision for our club, although a difficult one,” Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “… Every club in the world sells players. It’s just a matter of weighing the benefits and the drawbacks, and we decided that this was a good decision for us. And by the way, DeAndre clearly wanted this transaction to occur as well.”
Hanauer said the deal benefits Seattle now by keeping Yedlin around for regular season and playoffs. Over the longer term, he said the club will benefit through allocation money.
“It provides us with some cash to reinvest in any aspect of our soccer business that we want,” Hanauer said, “whether that is on the youth side that hopefully allows us to develop two or three or four more DeAndre Yedlins, or designated players, or soccer facilities or infrastructure that hopefully will position us for strength going forward.”
Yedlin, 21, is a Seattle native who played with the Sounders FC Academy, Sounders U-23 and the University of Akron before signing with the MLS Sounders. He made the All-Star team in both of his pro seasons. This year, he debuted with the U.S. national team and played in three World Cup matches.
Transfer offers started coming in immediately after the World Cup, Hanauer said. He added that a friendly match played last month against Tottenham helped forge the relationship that resulted in the transfer deal completed Wednesday.
“From my family to youth coaches to the Sounders, I am lucky to have such a strong support system,” Yedlin said through a Sounders press release. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to play with Spurs in the English Premier League, and I look forward to helping the Sounders win a championship this season.”
Once this MLS season ends, Tottenham could bring Yedlin over to join them during their ongoing EPL season; or Spurs could allow Yedlin to remain with the Sounders until the start of the 2015-16 EPL season next summer.
“Tottenham is a phenomenal club with phenomenal fans and a great opportunity,” said Kasey Keller, who like Yedlin is a Puget Sound native who played for the U.S. national team, Tottenham and the Sounders. “But with any big club — it doesn’t matter where you go — you understand that there’s a high level of competition for you to earn your spots, and I have complete confidence that Yedlin has the ability to have a long career wherever, if it happens to be Spurs or someplace else. … As (with) any American going to any club, I just hope it’s the right situation for them, and they have a long and fruitful career at that club.”