There's no more buzzed about player in Major League Soccer right now than Seattle Sounders right back DeAndre Yedlin. Since his World Cup performance -- which was capped by a strong showing against Belgium -- Yedlin has been the hot commodity on the interview circuit, appearing everywhere from ESPN to Al-Jazeera.
Even before he rejoins the Sounders, all that chatter may have helped him land a big transfer to Roma. Greg Seltzer -- the best connected reporter when it comes to Americans transferring to and from Europe -- as well as several Italianoutlets are reporting that the transfer is all but complete. Details are apparently still be finalized, but Yedlin would apparently be allowed to finish the season with the Sounders and then potentially be loaned to another Serie A club, presumably one with an open non-European Union roster spot that Roma currently lacks.
When reached for comment by Sounder at Heart, Sounders GM and part owner said this: "DeAndre has had a very good season in Seattle and obviously had a fantastic World Cup. This has drawn lots of interest for him from leagues around the world. For now, DeAndre is in Seattle and we need him to help us win our upcoming games against Portland. If something transpires with a foreign team, we will announce it."
If the deal comes to fruition, it would be just another massive step forward for a player who's rise through soccer's ranks has been meteoric, especially by American standards. Prior to his senior year in high school, Yedlin wasn't even playing in a MLS academy. Since joining the Sounders, Yedlin managed to get himself recruited to arguably the top college program in Akron and played well enough to get his first professional contract after his sophomore season. Yedlin then won the Sounders' starting right back position as a rookie, played well enough to make the MLS All-Star Game -- where he played against Roma -- and was one of the United States best players in the U20 World Cup.
The dramatic rise through the ranks continued this year when he earned his first senior national team call up and then was possibly the most surprising name to make the World Cup roster. A move to Roma would certainly make sense in this larger narrative.
Roma has become one of Italy's best clubs over the past few seasons, finishing second in Serie A last year and qualifying for Champions League. Yedlin time with the club may be delayed by a loan, but he'd come to a team with an American owner, plenty of resources and ambitions of being one of the best in the world.
The Sounders, too, would likely see a heft payday. While it's tempting to suggest they should do everything possible to retain their budding star, Yedlin has long professed a desire to eventually play in Europe's best leagues and standing in his way would hardly help the team's reputation. Being able to keep him through the season would be as close to an ideal scenario as they could possibly hope for.