TUKWILA — As DeAndre Yedlin’s profile has increased, apparently so has the target on his back.
The Seattle Sounders’ right back was booed every time he touched the ball over the last half hour of the match at Real Salt Lake last week. And after San Jose midfielder Cordell Cato assisted the tying goal Wednesday, he made a point of singling out Yedlin as the defender he beat on the play.
“I think (additional attention follows) somebody you think is a big player,” Yedlin said Friday. “You see (Sounders stars Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey), they get booed. It’s something … that comes with the rising stardom. It doesn’t affect me. I actually enjoy it. It’s good to see fans that passionate nowadays about soccer in America. It’s exciting.”
At Salt Lake, Yedlin was booed on every touch after he was awarded a yellow card for a tackle on Olmes Garcia in the 61st minute. After the whistle, he also kicked the ball off the reader board bordering the pitch.
Against the Earthquakes, Yedlin was defending Cato as he ran into the penalty area and sent a pass to the far post, where it was knocked in by Chris Wondolowski.
After the match, Cato — who played for the Sounders in 2012, the season before Yedlin arrived — was asked about the goal.
“It was more the defense than me,” he said. “He dropped off and allowed me the space, so I did what I was supposed to do: keep it in the box. … I did a couple of stepovers to create space, and I put the ball in a good spot, and Wondo does what he usually does.”
After Sounders training on Friday, Yedlin seemed to have no argument with that assessment.
“I gave him too much space, and he got the ball. It’s as simple as that,” Yedlin said. “It was a mistake on my part that I’ve watched video on, and it won’t happen again. I mean, he was right in his comments: I gave him too much space, and he did what an attacker is supposed to do.”
Yedlin was signed as last season Seattle’s first homegrown player. His national and international profile skyrocketed this year when he played in three World Cup matches, was named a Major League Soccer All Star for the second time, and last week was transferred to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League. That agreement will allow him to remain in Seattle for at least the remainder of this season.
The Sounders return to league play at 2 p.m. Sunday at Portland.
Midfielder Gonzalo Pineda (ankle) trained Friday, although coach Sigi Schmid said his status for Sunday is yet to be determined. … Schmid also said the Sounders were close to completing a deal on a new player before the transaction fell through. “We’re still looking,” he said. … Yedlin and Schmid said they were surprised to learn that the field at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, had been replaced. The Sounders and Earthquakes had opened the new home of the San Francisco 49ers on Aug. 2 and had no major complaints about the surface. “There were a couple of places where it didn’t look like it had fully grown in, but I’m a bit surprised that they ripped out the whole field,” Schmid said. “Maybe it’s because (the 49ers) lost their first game.” … The Vancouver Whitecaps, currently in fifth place in the Western Conference, completed a trade this week to acquire former Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales from Chivas USA. Schmid was asked the potential impact of the move over the final couple of months of the MLS season. “I’m sure (they wanted a) veteran player,” Schmid said. “They’ve got a lot of speed up front, so they’re hoping for when (midfielder Pedro) Morales isn’t available maybe Mauro can step in and slip those guys in. But I don’t know the inner workings.”