Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
It is the question on the mind of every American soccer fan right now. What’s next for DeAndre Yedlin?
According to multiple reports, Yedlin’s representatives and the Seattle Sounders have been fielding numerous international offers, with a chance for Yedlin to use his 111 minutes of World Cup performances as a springboard to greater glory.
Then again, Yedlin could remain in MLS, where he’s pretty much guaranteed to start at right back after winning the job in his rookie season, playing for his hometown club in the city he’s always called home.
So what should Yedlin do next? Let’s take a look at his options:
MOVE ABROAD TO A EUROPEAN CLUB
If Yedlin were to accept one of the many offers on the table from European side’s, it would certainly put him in good stead with U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Klinsmann has never been shy about urging his squad to move to Europe and challenge themselves in new environments, constantly moving up the ladder until they become regulars on UEFA Champions League clubs and/or title contenders. If it’s true that AS Roma are one of the clubs interested in Yedlin, a move to Italy’s capital would put him immediately into a squad participating in the Champions League.
While he would likely have to wait a year or two to see the field on a regular basis at Roma, (barring injuries to other players), Yedlin could eventually take over as the ready-made replacement for right back Maicon, who at age 32 probably only has a few years left playing at top-level.
Even if Yedlin moved to another club in Europe that isn’t in the Champions League, he could join a smaller side, work his way into the squad, impress, and then a year later move to a bigger club.
One thing is clear. Interest in his services may never reach this high a level again for several years, so this is probably as good a time as any to land a big payday for his services.
REMAIN IN MLS FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON, THEN MOVE ABROAD
While the Sounders and MLS would certainly part with Yedlin if a buyer met a high enough price, the club would rather Yedlin finish the season as they contend for an MLS Cup title.
If Yedlin did agree a move abroad and remained in MLS through January, it would allow him to continue to develop and start consistently, instead of potentially finding himself lower on the depth chart of a European club in July and having to wait it out.
That being said, a move in January would make it tough for Yedlin to break into the starting XI and he would likely not be in great rhythm due to the differences in the MLS and European calendars.
REJECT THE FOREIGN OFFERS, REMAIN IN MLS
Having noticed the wave of USMNT regulars remaining or moving back to MLS, Yedlin could very well decide that there’s no need to leave home right now, and that it may not be worth leaving a great situation for a more uncertain one.
Every time a coach is fired, almost every player has to prove themselves to the new coach, and sometimes the new coach doesn’t have a place for a player, even if they were once a regular in the squad.
In addition, as shown by Graham Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Brad Davis, and Matt Besler, staying in MLS as opposed to moving abroad doesn’t necessarily hurt your USMNT stock. Being stuck in poor situations abroad ultimately may have hurt players such as Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, and Brek Shea from making the final World Cup squad.
Finally, even if Yedlin does reject the current crop of offers, there’s no reason to believe that any future performances won’t be rewarded with more interest from abroad.
What do you think Yedlin should do? What would you like to see him do?
Share your thoughts below.