The dynamic right back becomes the first player to sign with Seattle's first team from the club's academy system.The Seattle Sounders tapped into its youth pipeline for the first time, making Akron right back DeAndre Yedlin the first Homegrown Player in team history on Friday.
Yedlin, a 19-year-old U.S. youth international, played two seasons at Akron, amassing 12 assists -- six in each season -- in 45 games from his post on the back line.
Yedlin, a Seattle native, becomes the fourth Akron player to sign an MLS Homegrown Player deal this offseason, joining fellow defender Chad Barson, who signed with the Columbus Crew on Thursday; and midfielders Wil Trapp (Columbus) and Scott Caldwell (New England Revolution). The Zips also lost coach Caleb Porter to the pro ranks, with him taking over Seattle's chief rival, the Portland Timbers.
"We are thrilled to sign DeAndre as our first Homegrown Player,” Sounders owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer said in a team statement. "Hopefully DeAndre is the first of many local players who will come through our system and wear the rave green at the professional level."
The signing is a welcome addition for the Sounders, who have lost center back stalwart Jeff Parke to the Philadelphia Union and are poised to lose starting forward Fredy Montero on loan to Colombian side Millonarios for the 2013 MLS season.