Seattle native, former Homegrown DeAndre Yedlin excited to train with the Sounders in his offseason

TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders have a special guest at training this week: DeAndre Yedlin.

The Seattle native and former Homegrown Player is back in town fresh off winning the English Football League Championship with Newcastle United and earning promotion to the English Premier League next season. Yedlin, 23, is training with the Sounders to stay fit in his offseason as well as prepare for upcoming CONCACAF 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers with the U.S. national team.

“When I first came, [head coach Brian Schmetzer] said, ‘You’re welcome back whenever you want,’” Yedlin said on Wednesday. “It’s a great feeling, I know I always have a home here. It’s my first club and it’s my favorite club. It’s my hometown club. Seattle will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’m excited to be back.”

Yedlin spent the 2013 and ’14 seasons with the Sounders, appearing in 62 regular-season and postseason matches. He scored twice and recorded seven assists from fullback before signing with EPL side Tottenham in 2014.

Yedlin did not get a chance to watch the Sounders’ 2016 MLS Cup title win as it happened — the match kicked off at 3 a.m. local time in England — but he viewed it at a later time. He was thrilled that his former club had captured its first league championship.

“It’s unbelievable,” Yedlin said. “Obviously I wish I could have been a part of it. I’m from here, so any time any Seattle team wins something, especially as big as that, it’s a great feeling. I’m proud of that team and everybody that was involved and hopefully they can get another run going this year.”

For now, Yedlin is happy to be back with some of his friends and former teammates. He will also attend the Sounders’ first 2017 Cascadia clash against the rival Portland Timbers on Saturday (12 p.m.; FOX, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) as a fan.

“It’s nice to see some old faces and some new ones as well,” said Yedlin. “The team has changed a bit since I’ve [left] here so it’s nice to meet those guys as well. Being back here brings back really good memories.”