World Cup roster pick inspires Seattle high school



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Posted on May 22, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 11:40 AM

Two Sounders players will head to Brazil for the World Cup on the US Men's National Team 26-player roster.

One of them has a Seattle high school buzzing with excitement.

DeAndre Yedlin's yearbook photo at O'Dea High School was only taken a few years ago. The 20-year-old is now a defender for the Sounders, after graduating as the O'Dea soccer team's captain and MVP then heading for a short stint in college before joining the MLS.

"He was pretty small. 110 -115lbs as a freshman," said Athletic Director Monte Kohler.

Kohler coached Yedlin in track his sophomore year.

 "He was new to track and he would try anything," Kohler remembered. "For his size, he was probably the most athletic kid in that class."

Yedlin's old gym is filled with banners boasting of sports triumphs, but is relatively bare when it comes to soccer.

"O'Dea's not really a big soccer school," said junior Daniel Salle.

At least it wasn't until its alum made it big. And not just big - global.

"That's the best in the world," Kohler said. "It's just fun because he's a home-grown kid."

Salle and his friends are excited even though they don't know Yedlin personally.

"I'm going to be able to say that he and I walked the same halls as high school students," Salle said.  "I'm just happy to see someone from the same school that I go to do something so big like this."

Known today for speed and endurance, O'Dea remembers Yedlin for what's invisible in his yearbook photo.

"He's a good kid with a great heart and a great smile. We're just happy for him," Kohler said. "I'd watch [the World Cup] here and there in the past but this year we'll make sure we watch every game."