University of Akron sophomore DeAndre Yedlin has agreed to terms on a Homegrown contract with the Seattle Sounders FC of Major Leauge Soccer, thus forgoing his final two years of eligibility at UA to turn professional.
Yedlin is the first Homegrown player signed by Sounders FC in franchise history.
"We are thrilled to sign DeAndre as our first Homegrown Player," said Sounders owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer. "Darren Sawatzky and Dick McCormick deserve much of the credit, as they have developed a top academy program for Sounders FC. Hopefully DeAndre is the first of many local players who will come through our system and wear the rave green at the professional level."
In Seattle, Yedlin will join another former Zips player, Steve Zakuani, who was the first overall selection of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Yedlin is the fourth Akron player and second sophomore to sign a Homegrown contract this winter, following Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Scott Caldwell (New England Revolution) and Chad Barson (Crew).
With Yedlin's signing, 18 Akron players have been drafted by or signed a professional contract with an MLS team in the past five years alone.
Yedlin was a two-time All-Mid-American Conference First Team honoree and the No. 35 rated upperclassman in the nation in 2012, according to Top Drawer Soccer. In all, the Seattle native, who was a College Soccer News Freshamn All-American in 2011, appeared in all 45 games for Akron over the past two seasons, making 41 starts. He finished his collegiate career with 12 assists – including half of that total coming last fall, which was the third-highest count on the team.
Prior to his collegiate career, Yedlin was a starter for Seattle's O'Dea High School and the Sounders FC Academy team. He led O'Dea to three Washington State championships in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Yedlin was invited to the U.S. Soccer U18 Men's National training camp and the 2010 SuperElite International Showcase. He participated on the ODP state team from 2006-09 and was named to the USSDA 93 Academy Select Team in 2009 and 2010. Yedlin was ranked seventh in the nation among all 2011 recruits by Top Drawer Soccer and was ranked 12th by College Soccer News.