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Player Profile: #5 DeAndre Yedlin

It was his coming out party and his going away party.

Jane G Photography

It's easy to gush about DeAndre Yedlin. He's as Seattle as Seattle can be. He waves the 12th Man flag, hangs with Seahawks players, loves area musicians, misses the Sonics, played on our fields. DeAndre is one of us and that would be true even if he was never a Seattle Sounders FC player. He's also a Sounder for life. Even now off chasing his dream with Tottenham Hotspur and the United States he is still one of us.

Yedlin will not just be a hero to Seattle, and finally challenge all those keepers as the greatest soccer player from the state, he will be a hero to our nation. The World Cup started that. The transfer to Spurs continued it. His time at Gold Cups, Olympics, Copa America Cenetario, more World Cups, his entire future as an adult will continue it.

DeAndre's 2014 with Seattle was strong, but still promise outweighed performance. At 19 and 20 he earned significant playing time. That bodes well for his future. His present showed that he developed and learned. Yedlin is part of a new wave of soccer that believes that the fullbacks can play like wingbacks in any number of backline.

DeAndre Yedlin graphic

Offense:

D is more known for his offense than his defense, and his speed more than either of those. He has a good dribble, in the top 10 in MLS among fullbacks. He's also a strong short passer. Over the year his crossing improved. Could dive into the area to threaten goal a bit more often. Loves to get forward. Plays back as a safety in set-piece situations.

Defense:

Yedlin's largest improvements are in on-man defense. No longer can a stronger dribbler just beat him. At the worst he will slow them down enough that the full defense can be set. His positional awareness improved throughout the year as well. Will use his speed to recover. Is a release valve in set-piece situations.

Physique:

He's got a motor, fast, quick - whatever positive way you want to describe speed he has it. Yedlin is slight, but very willing to tackle and tackle hard.

Best Case 2015:

His best case is the hardest to assess. Now with Tottenham and struggling to get playing time, the best case is to earn some starts and be a regular option off the bench while serving as the United States starting RB at this Summer's Gold Cup.