After Sounders FC played to a 1-1 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at CenturyLink Field, DeAndre Yedlin’s name echoed throughout the stands.
“It’s pretty incredible,” Yedlin smiled, gazing into the crowd as if he’s letting the feeling sink in just a moment more. “It’s amazing.”
The fans had reason to cheer, too.
Yedlin scored the equalizing goal for Seattle, heading in the rebound of his own shot in the 65th minute to become the youngest Sounders FC player to score a goal in league play, surpassing Steve Zakuani by a full year.
This in the same week that he was the first rookie since 2005 and just the second Homegrown Player to be named to the MLS All-Star team.
Though all of those plaudits are secondary to team success for the 20-year-old O’Dea High School product.
“I try not to pay attention to that stuff too much,” said Yedlin, who played two seasons collegiately at Akron before signing with Seattle this year. “It looks good when you look back at the end of your career, but right now I’m just trying to push forward and do whatever I can to help the team win.”
The goal came at a good time for the youngster. After struggling in the past two outings since returning from the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Saturday saw a return to form defensively and a spark offensively for Sounders FC.
“I thought he struggled a little bit the last time out, but I thought today was better,” Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. “It looked more like the DeAndre that was playing for us at the beginning of the year, using his quickness and speed, getting in there, making things happen.”
That the bounce back came at CenturyLink Field is hardly coincidence. All of the praise and honors from Seattle mean something extra to Yedlin, but so does the urgency to get results.
“This isn’t just my first professional place to play. It’s my home. I was born here, so it’s amazing to be in front of my family and these fans,” he said. “I just wish we could have won.”