Amid reports that Sounders homegrown defender DeAndre Yedlin might transfer to a big European club, coach Sigi Schmid was asked this morning how such a move might benefit Seattle.
"If a player transfers you end up getting allocation money," he said. "I’ll use the example of Kei Kamara in Kansas City. When he went on loan to Norwich, Kansas City picked up allocation money on the loan – there’s a percentage that goes to the club, a percentage that goes to the league. And then when he came back and they sold him, they picked up again allocation money on that sale. And then above a certain amount, there’s money that then goes to the use that you can have for the club, whether that is to do things for your academy, build infrastructure, build facilities, you can use that money as you want. At the end of the day, you want to do what’s best for the players and help the players to continue to grow and advance. We’re a club that wants to win and wants to succeed, but I also think that success is predicated on when you do what’s best for the players you’re going to have success, and the players are going to want to play there."
On if it's better for league if he stays in MLS: It is better for the league, but on the same token it’s just like why does Poa Gasol play in the NBA? Why does (Manu) Ginobili play in the NBA? Because the league’s better than their leagues in their home countries. And there are going to be certain players where it’s the right thing to do is to go overseas because they can deal with that opportunity. Players have done it in the past – Clint Dempsey has done it, Michael Bradley has done it – and now they’ve come back. And at some point he’ll come back as well. It just means the opening he creates means somebody else will be able to take advantage of that opportunity. That’s the way I look at it. But again, you have to do what’s right for the player, and the player is always trying to play at the highest level he can play at.
On Yedlin's return: DeAndre is DeAndre. He has his feet pretty well on the ground. I know it’s tough to get carried away with things, but he’s pretty down to earth. You just have to keep moving forward. As opportunities get presented to him, pick the situation that makes sense, not the situation that everybody else makes sense, but the situation that makes sense.
On if he's offered advice: That’s up to DeAndre. I think the people who raised him have given him that guidance. That’s what you always look to when kids have a good grounding, so tribute to that. But I told him, he’s got to talk with people that he trusts, that he’s comfortable with, and get the information that he needs to make a decision. But right now his focus is on our game Wednesday, and his focus is on our game Sunday.
On how this reflects on Sounders Academy: It’s good. He’s a guy who’s about to turn 21, and how many 21-year-old right backs have three World Cup games under their belt? That’s a very exclusive market. So it’s something that we’re proud of. It’s something that the guys who work the academy over the years – Dick McCormick has coached him, and Darren Sawatzky was involved in the academy, Marc Nicholls, who’s doing things now – all those guys who have been involved over the years with him – have a lot to be proud of because it’s a process, it’s not something that happens overnight.
Feeling when Yedlin went in to World Cup: I didn’t know how much playing time he was going to get. I think the little cameo appearances helped him. But I think it’s really the Belgium game that shot him into the limelight. So with the injury to Fabian Johnson, and when he came in and had some good moments and good minutes in that game, that sort of shot up his attention and his recognition factor.
If part of him thought "uh-oh" when Yedlin played well on that world stage: The thought briefly went through my mind.