Watch the video above to see Yedlin’s interview in the “One Nation. One Team. 23 Stories” series.
Here’ what you need to know about him:
1. He is Not Predicted to Start Against Ghana
Yedlin is up against the strongest defenders in the nation to grab the starting sport in the Group G games this year.
Coach Klinsmann may or may not give Yedlin a lot of time depending on how he proves himself.
The U.S. team was unlucky enough to be placed in Group G that has been named “Group of Death” that includes Ghana, Portugal and Germany. All three teams have made it to the second round of the World Cup in 2010, while Ghana has booted the U.S. out the past two times they have faced them.
2. He is the First Sounder FC Player to Play in the World Cup
Yedlin has established many firsts for his current team, the Seattle Sounders FC.
By signing with the Sounders in January 2013, the Seattle native became the first Homegrown Player in the club’s history. Watch the video of MLSsoccer.com’s analysis of Yedlin on the Sounders.
AS the starting right back, Yedlin has logged 2,710 minutes, the most minutes played on the team with the second most appearances in the season. Yedlin was also a finalist for the MLS Rookie of the Year award after a goal and assist at the Western Conference Semifinals.
In 2013, MLS Commissioner, Don Garber named him the 2013 MLS All-Star to become the first rookie All-Star in 8 years.
He will also be the first current Sounders FC player to participate in a World Cup.
His current salary for the Sounders is $80,000, but his salary doubled after making the USMNT.
3. He Was Raised by His Grandparents
It's so he could see DeAndre Yedlin's hair in person. pic.twitter.com/nuaBqqEDB4
— IBELIEVETHATWE'LLWIN (@NaturallyKatz) August 3, 2013
Yedlin’s famous hair is a product of being born half-Latvian, one-quarter black, one-quarter Native American. The star player had a much different childhood than other after being raised by his grandparents, Ira Yedlin and Vicki Walton. Yedlin hasrecently began communicating with his mother who is trying to become a larger part of his life while he has yet to meet his father.
Yedlin told sportspressnw.com:
My grandparents were my main guardians growing up, so I’m pretty thankful for them. At the time I don’t think my mom would really be able to afford soccer, so I’m blessed to have had them in my life.”
Yedlin sparked an interest for soccer when he was 4-years-old when he watched his uncle, Dylan Walton-Yedlin, who was a two-time All-American football player at Union College.
4. He Was Ranked 10th Best Freshman in the Nation in College
Yedlin attended the University of Akron where he excelled for two years before being drafted into the MLS.
As a sophomore, Yedlin played in 22 games with 21 starts on defense. As a defender he had 6 assists, the third most on the team.
As a freshman in 2011 he was named All-American and ranked No. 10 in the country out of all freshman by Top Drawer Soccer. He proceeded to become an All-MAC First Team honoree with 20 starts in 23 games.
5. He is Dating Mackenzie Schoener
Yedlin has been dating girlfriend Mackenzie Schoener publicy for awhile now. The couple can be seen posting photos of each other on instagram and facebook. The Alabama native met Yedlin while they both were in attendance at the University of Akron.
Click here to view her instagram account.