Kyle Tapper

DeAndre Yedlin Moves to Tottenham

Aug 14, 2014 11:40 AM EST

On Wednesday Tottenham announced the signing of Seattle Sounders and USMNT defender, DeAndre Yedlin. He will stay with the Sounders through the conclusion of the MLS season with a possible winter move to the Premier League.

Yedlin's move has been rumored for some time now with Roma and Liverpool as possible European destinations. It is Tottenham, though, who have secured Yedlin's services. We have to wonder whether former Tottenham man and Seattle Sounders teammate, Clint Dempsey, had any influence on Yedlin's decision. Dempsey moved to the Spurs from Fulham in 2012 where he spent a year before taking his talents stateside with the Sounders. Regardless, Yedlin will join a Tottenham side with a host of experienced defenders, most notably Jan Vertonghen, Moussa Dembele and Kyle Walker and may find it difficult to break into the squad, which begs the question:

Should young standout American players be big fish in a small pond by staying in the MLS or should they move to a bigger pond by traveling to Europe?

Fellow USMNT defender Matt Besler chose to keep his talents with Sporting KC as did midfielder Graham Zusi. And there's plenty of support for those decisions. Landon Donovan played his entire career in the MLS with temporary loan moves to European giants. That proved successful for his career, the MLS and the USMNT. The MLS is starting to attract bigger names with the likes of Frank Lampard, David Villa and Thierry Henry filling out rosters. However, the league is still a couple notches below the best European leagues, where the World's youngest and best talents practice their trade.

Other players have moved to Europe only to see their careers sputter. Freddy, the publicity stunt, Adu comes to mind as does current USMNT forward Jozy Altidore.

Yedlin has been a standout in MLS. So why change a good thing?

USMNT coach, Jurgen Klinsmann has been adamant about seeing American players in Europe. There were only three Americans in European cup competitions last year (Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones). If the national team wants to realistically compete in global competitions like the World Cup, the US have to have players playing against the world's best (which is not found in the MLS, yet) on a regular basis. Klinsmann has not been coy about his desire to see our players in other leagues. In an interview with the New York Times before the World Cup Kilnsmann said,
“The more players we can get playing at the top levels over there, the better it will be. That is one sign of progress.”

According to Klinsmann, things just got better. Yedlin's move continued the growth of American soccer on a global scale and illustrates the progress of the MLS and USMNT.