Washington Youth Soccer’s DeAndre Yedlin, Dylan Tucker-Gangnes See MLS Dreams Come True
19-year-old Seattle native Yedlin will be Sounders’
first-ever Homegrown Player
The next generation has officially arrived.
Nineteen-year-old DeAndre Yedlin, a Seattle native who developed through the Washington Youth Soccer system, became, in January, the first-ever “Homegrown Player” to sign a professional contract with Seattle Sounders FC. The “Homegrown Player” is a specific contractual designation in Major League Soccer which allows teams to sign a player to their first professional contract without going through the draft process, provided that player has spent at least one year in the club’s youth development system.
Yedlin will be joined in Major League Soccer by fellow Washington Youth Soccer alum Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, a veteran of Westsound FC and the University of Washington, who was selected in the second round of the MLS Superdraft by the Portland Timbers.
Yedlin and Tucker-Gangnes add their names to a long list of Washington Youth Soccer players who have gone on to the professional ranks, including American and Sounders legend Kasey Keller, Seattle Reign and Team USA star Hope Solo, U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer Michelle Akers, and many more.
"We are thrilled to sign DeAndre as our first Homegrown Player,” said Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer. “Darren Sawatzky and Dick McCormick deserve much of the credit, as they have developed a top academy program for Sounders FC. Hopefully DeAndre is the first of many local players who will come through our system and wear the rave green at the professional level."
A forward for most of his youth and collegiate years, Yedlin is listed as a defender on the Sounders’ roster, where he will compete for playing time with fellow rookies Eriq Zavaleta and Dylan Remick, the Sounders’ first- and second-round picks in the 2013 MLS Superdraft.
Yedlin played for the University of Akron the past two seasons after graduating from the Sounders FC Academy system following the 2010-11 season. Yedlin appeared in all 45 games for Akron over the past two seasons, where he was twice selected to the All-MAC First Team and was named a College Soccer News Freshman All-American in 2011.
A Seattle native who attended O’Dea High School, Yedlin played two years each with Emerald City FC, Northwest Nationals and Crossfire FC before joining the Seattle Sounders FC Academy for his final youth season. Yedlin also played for Washington Youth Soccer’s State Olympic Development Program (ODP) teams from 2006-09, and participated in Youth National Team training camps at the U12 and U18 levels.
“It’s amazing to start my professional career in a place where I started playing soccer in the first place,” said Yedlin. “I’m excited to be able to perform in front of all the fans. It’s the best place to play in the United States — one of the best in the world, I think. It’s very exciting for me.”