Since our story published over the weekend that was openly speculating about the possibility of DeAndre Yedlin potentially leaving Galatasary — as opposed to reporting it was going to happen — a slew of dubiously sourced stories out of Turkey have run with that possibility. For the most part, these stories all claim to simply be following “American reports.” From the looks of it, they’re using our story as their jumping-off point.
That apparently prompted Soccer by Ives to reach out to Yedlin’s agent. Entirely predictably, Yedlin is “only focused on playing at Galatasaray” and “all reports stating otherwise are not true.” This, frankly, is exactly what I’d expect them to say.
While our story focused on the reasons that Yedlin might want to move, it’s worth pointing out that there are some pretty significant reasons that he likely wants to stay. The first is that Galatasaray is a few steps away from qualifying for the Champions League group stage. That alone is probably enough for Yedlin to want to try to stick it out. Playing in Champions League is among the top goals for every footballer and Yedlin is in a pretty good position to become the first Washingtonian to play in Europe’s biggest competition (Henry Wingo has a pretty good chance, too).
In addition to being a pretty big achievement in its own right, playing in Champions League probably also helps bolster Yedlin’s case to be in the United States national team as they attempt to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
The other consideration is money. Chances are, Yedlin would have to take a pay cut if he came to MLS. Assuming he’s on a guaranteed contract, there’s no reason for him to do that.
All of which is to say that the main question around Yedlin’s tenure at Galatasary is not so much his desire to be there, but their desire to keep him. Best I could tell, he did well for them during his time there. Maybe the health of his competition or Galatasaray’s roster crunch are overstated. If not, I still think there’s as good a chance as any that he ends up back in Seattle.