Yi excited about landing in Dallas
including Eddie Johnson, Brad Davis and Philip Salyer -- are former teammates of Yi's at varying youth levels of the U.S. national team program.
Yi has appearances on the Under-17, 20 and 23 U.S. teams. However, he said that his goals in joining MLS were limited to doing what he thought was best for his overall career, not necessarily doing what might best help his chances to see more action for the U-23 team or perhaps even the full national team at some point in the future.
"(The decision) pretty much just had to do with how strong the league has become over the past couple of years," said Yi. "What I needed for myself was a little time to get my confidence back and I was kind of sweating my development as a player in the second division (in Belgium), so that was my reason for leaving. I wasn't really thinking about my involvement with the Olympic (U-23) team or the national team."
Often teams use players selected in draft lotteries as trade bait, but Yi stated that he doesn't see that situation applying in this case.
"I just spoke to (head coach) Colin Clarke and (assistant coach) John Trask," said Yi. "They welcomed me to Dallas and it didn't really sound like a trade was going on. In professional sports it's not always in your face, so nothing would surprise me, but I have a feeling that Dallas is going to be where I'll be playing."
The terms and length of Yi's contract were not disclosed. But he did say he would look back fondly on his years in Belgium as a great learning experience.
"It was an unbelievable experience," he said. "The professional experience I'll take from there is amazing and I'll always remember it."
Yi is likely to be the first of several new signing in Dallas in a short period of time, as the club holds five picks in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, scheduled for Friday at 12 p.m. ET. FC Dallas have two picks in the opening round (Nos. 4 and 12) and they also hold the No. 27, 28 and 40 picks in the four-round draft. MLSnet.com will provide full coverage of the draft on Friday including live video and audio and an up-to-the-minute live draft tracker.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.