DeAndre Yedlin will not be playing in the Homegrown Game on Aug. 4. This bit of "news" was made official on Tuesday when MLS announced that Yedlin, as well as Montreal Impact duo Karl W. Ouimette and Wandrille Lefevre, were being replaced on the team by Danny Garcia, Zach Pfeffer and Carlos Salcedo.
The decision on any of these players should be surprising, which does kinda highlight the ridiculousness of this game. The chances of Yedlin appearing in this game -- even before he was named to the MLS All-Star Team -- was always slim. The roster is compiled of mostly players with extremely limited MLS experience. Not only is Yedlin a regular MLS starter, but he's coming off a solid performance in the World Cup. It seems highly unlikely that the Sounders were willing to have him appear in a match against the Timbers U23 team.
Add in the fact that MLS almost certainly knew Yedlin was going to make the All-Star team and it's hard to get around the likelihood that Yedlin's name was included on the Homegrown roster simply for marketing purposes.
That's all fine and good, I suppose. No harm done and all of that. But there is a certain pointlessness to the Homegrown Game.
Clearly, MLS is hoping to highlight one of its player-development initiatives. One problem is that most of the best examples of the Homegrown Player program won't be participating. Bill Hamid, Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Acosta and Yedlin are just some of the players who are being held out due to schedule conflicts.
While that is understandable, the decision to face off against a PDL side is what really kills my interest in this game. If Bayern Munich were bringing their U23 team, that would have been interesting. If MLS had decided to play a Homegrowns vs. SuperDraft game with some kind of age-restriction, that would have been interesting. But to line up against a team of guys who are essentially on summer break? I just don't see what this is supposed to showcase.