There isn’t much in Seattle that carries a bigger buzz right now than DeAndre Yedlin. However, for a kid from Seattle, there are few bigger honors than raising the signature 12 Flag for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
On Friday, Yedlin got to play a part in the Seahawks gameday experience before the preseason blowout of the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field, doing his part to send the crowd of over 67,000 into a frenzy in the moments before opening kickoff.
“I’m very excited. I’ve watched the Seahawks since I was young so to be able to get this honor is pretty amazing,” Yedlin told Seahawks.com in an interview following the ceremony. “To be able to do it in the stadium that I play in is even better.”
Yedlin, an O’Dea High School product and the first Homegrown player signed by Sounders FC in January of 2013, joins Head Coach Sigi Schmid, former goalkeeper and current broadcast analyst Kasey Keller and Owner Drew Carey as Sounders FC’s 12 Flag raisers through the years. Like Keller, Yedlin grew up rooting for the Seahawks, so having the opportunity to spend some time pregame on the sideline and playing a part in a ceremony he had seen so many times from the stands had him beaming throughout the day.
Yedlin played football for one season at O’Dea, but as a freshman standing five-feet tall and 103 pounds, he wasn’t exactly built for the rigors of the gridiron and opted to stick with soccer.
“Anytime somebody got a hand on me, I was down,” Yedlin laughed. “I was pretty small for a football player, but it was a fun experience. I was playing with my friends and I had a good time.”
The fans at CenturyLink Field gave a rousing ovation for the Sounders FC defender, who burst onto the international scene with a standout performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. It’s something he has grown accustomed to with the record-setting Sounders FC crowds at home games, but the Seahawks crowd is a different kind of loud.
“We’ve got the best of both worlds in Seattle,” Yedlin said.
The tradition of raising the 12 Flag started in 2003 with 12 inaugural Seahawks season ticket holders and has included legends of sports, music and entertainment as well as other local heroes with ties to the Seattle community. Now Yedlin can include his name on that exclusive list.
Now that is some Seattle love.