The headline of an article published June 29 in Sports Illustrated’s “Planet Futbol” section is titled: “Yedlin’s youth club takes grievance vs. MLS, USSF over compensation to FIFA.” In the story by local writer Liviu Bird he goes into depth on the subject of youth clubs and their lack of compensation for developing players, something specific to the United States.
“USSF and MLS appear to behave in a conspiratorial manner, acting side-by-side to deny U.S. youth soccer clubs any training compensation and solidarity fees because they are afraid that the dam will burst and MLS will have to pay training compensation,” Crossfire’s letter to FIFA reads. “Although not specifically relevant to the relief that Crossfire and the U.S. youth soccer clubs are seeking here, the Executive Committee may wish to explore the seemingly improper relationship between USSF and MLS shown here. The facts are clear that the two are closely aligned in an anticompetitive manner in the U.S.”
DeAndre Yedlin also played youth soccer for Emerald City FC, Northwest Nationals and the Sounders Academy. As the article recounts, Tottenham Hotspur had a check ready to go until the USSF and MLS stepped in to stop the payment and to correct Spurs on how things are done in the USA.
Just last fall the MLS website had a story quoting Crossfire’s “help” in Andre’s fast rise…
From a September 2014 MLSsoccer.com article titled “Discovering DeAndre: How the Seattle Sounders found & developed DeAndre Yedlin” by Nick Firchau:
“I have no clue what position he was supposed to be playing, but he was all over the field,” saysSean Henderson, who was coaching with the Crossfire Premier Soccer Club in Seattle in the summer of 2004. “It didn’t take a soccer brain to realize right away that he was a good player.”
Youth coaches are smart enough not to waste talent like Yedlin’s, regardless of the sport. The most talented kid on the team plays shortstop, quarterback, or, in Yedlin’s case, central midfielder, where he could make the biggest impact with his athleticism and speed and, against lesser opponents, decide the game.
DeAndre Yedlin was a standout youth soccer player in Seattle by the time he was 11 years old, when he first caught the eye of future Sounders academy coach Sean Henderson. He signed with the Sounders academy at 17. (USA Today Sports)
Yedlin won a state championship with the Northwest Nationals club team the next year, but he was on the move shortly thereafter. His grandparents — Ira Yedlin and Vicki Walton, who raised him since he was 19 months old — quietly called Henderson and inquired about a potential switch to Crossfire, one of the Seattle area’s most respected and visible youth organizations.