Dempsey and Yedlin excited to serve as Grand Marshals in Torchlight Parade

After training this week, DeAndre Yedlin noted a hole in his game that needs work.

Yedlin will be serving as Grand Marshal in the 2014 Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade along with Clint Dempsey on Saturday evening, but the 21-year-old has yet to polish his parade wave.

“I’m working on that with Clint,” laughed the ever-jovial Yedlin, who has sprung to the forefront over the last year-and-a-half with his rise to stardom with Sounders FC and the U.S. National Team. “You’ll be able to see it on Saturday.”

The parade, which will begin near Seattle Center and continue down Fourth Ave., draws over 150,000 spectators to downtown Seattle. The iconic event highlights a weekend of festivities in Seattle Center and includes live bands, drill and dance teams, floats, marching bands, the Seafair Pirates and Seafair Clowns.

Yedlin himself has been among the throngs of spectators that line the streets during the long-running parade and looks forward to the opportunity to be on the other side, participating in the parade with his Sounders FC and U.S. National Team teammate.

“I’m excited for that,” Yedlin said. “I’m excited to see what that experience is like and see all the people out there. I just remember all the people out there and it’s such a cool event. I think it will be a good experience.”

Yedlin is in his second season with Sounders FC. In both campaigns, he has earned MLS All-Star recognition. He was named to the team by MLS Commissioner Don Garber in 2013 and was voted in by the fans this season. In addition to his club success, he also burst onto the scene with the U.S. National Team this year, earning his first cap in a friendly in February and eventually working his way into the 23-man squad taken to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. There he made three appearances off the bench, totaling 112 minutes.

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Dempsey, meanwhile, captains the U.S. National Team and was the first U.S. player to score in three World Cup tournaments when he scored just 30 seconds into the opening match this year against Ghana. He would finish with two goals in helping the U.S. reach the Round of 16 for the second straight tournament, giving him 39 goals in 109 caps in his international career. He joined the Sounders at midseason last year and has been a human highlight reel for Seattle this season, with nine goals and three assists in just 10 matches. He, too, was voted to the 2014 MLS All-Star Game, his fourth All-Star selection.

“Seattle has shown us a lot of love and we want to show some love back. Anytime we can give back to our community and be a part of that, we want to do that,” Dempsey said. “Me and DeAndre and our families are excited about being a part of it.”

The Sounders FC duo join a list of Grand Marshals that includes Sounders FC Owner Drew Carey, as well as former Supersonics great Gary Payton, Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, former Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren and Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno, among others.

The parade starts at 7:30 pm.

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