DeAndre Yedlin’s international transfer saga is complete, with the talented young defender headed abroad after the 2014 season for a lucrative transfer fee.
The Seattle Sounders confirmed reports on Wednesday that they have completed a deal with English Premier League side Tottenham for the rights to Yedlin, the 21-year-old Homegrown defender who was one of the brightest young stars on the United States’ World Cup team this summer.
The deal will see Yedlin stay with the Sounders through the 2014 MLS season, and Sounders part owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer said Wednesday that Spurs will assess Yedlin and their own needs this winter and decide if he'll join the club then or next summer.
"We are extremely proud of what DeAndre has accomplished in his young professional career," Hanauer said in a club statement. "His success is a reflection of his individual ability as well as soccer development in Washington State and the continued commitment to progress the sport in this country.
"DeAndre is and always will be a special member of the Sounders FC family, and we are excited to have him in Seattle for the remainder of the season."
We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Seattle Sounders for the transfer of DeAndre Yedlin. pic.twitter.com/nfBTmI96Kv— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 13, 2014
ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman broke the news on Wednesday and reported that Yedlin has been sold for a transfer fee of $4 million. That number was not confirmed by the Sounders, but if true, it would make Yedlin’s sale the largest ever for an MLS Homegrown player, easily topping the reported $3 million that Belgian side Anderlecht paid for D.C. United winger Andy Najar in January 2013.
Per MLS rules, the Sounders will keep 75 percent of the transfer fee because of Yedlin’s Homegrown status – MLS teams keep two-thirds of a transfer fee for non-Homegrown players – and the league will keep the remainder.
Yedlin is the second player the Sounders have sold in the past 13 months. The club dealt Colombian striker Fredy Montero for “up to $4.5 million” to Portuguese side Sporting CP in July 2013.
A native of Seattle, Yedlin first signed with the Sounders Academy for the 2010-11 season, and signed a Homegrown contract with the club in January 2013. He started 30 games as a rookie for the Sounders and has been a mainstay in the lineup this season while not away on international duty.
"I first want to thank everyone involved in my development. From my family to youth coaches to the Sounders, I am lucky to have such a strong support system," said Yedlin. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to play with Spurs in the English Premier League, and I look forward to helping the Sounders win a championship this season."
Yedlin made his US national team debut during an international friendly against South Korea in February and was a surprise selection to Jurgen Klinsmann’s 23-man roster in Brazil this summer. He appeared in three games at the World Cup and helped set up the team’s second goal of a 2-2 draw against Portugal on June 23 in Manaus.