Seven years after he left, DeAndre Yedlin is returning to Seattle, though he won't be wearing the Sounders' trademark rave green.
Born and raised in the city, Yedlin was Seattle's first-ever homegrown player, making his debut in March 2013 and going on to make 69 appearances for the club, winning a Supporters' Shield and US Open Cup double in 2014.
The USMNT defender is back in Major League Soccer with Inter Miami and returns to Lumen Field this weekend. Naturally, he's excited to be coming home and playing in front of his family after so long away.
“Obviously the return to Seattle is going to be amazing. I have most of my family there, my daughter is going to be able to be in Seattle for the first time, so that will be nice. Just to be able to be back in the stadium, where I kind of grew up, will be a good feeling,” said Yedlin.
He added: “I hope it's a warm welcome. I think it will be, but we’ll see. I’m going to go to my grandma’s house and have some food there, I’m looking forward to that.”
While Yedlin will have time to enjoy some home comforts and a warm Seattle crowd, his main focus has to be on helping deliver another vital win for Inter Miami.
Phil Neville's side suffered a terrible start to the 2022 season, taking just one point from their opening five games. But the Herons took a step in the right direction with a 3-2 win over the New England Revolution last week.
Inter Miami remain bottom of the Eastern Conference and Yedlin has outlined how difficult it'll be to take a result from the Sounders, who advanced past NYCFC to the Concacaf Champions League final on Wednesday night.
“It’s a team full of workers, and then you add the talent that they have and it makes them a very, very good team. That’s why they’re challenging for titles every year, so it will be a difficult game, especially playing away," he explained.
“I think the important thing is we have to stay compact, we have to try and keep them wide. We know it’s not easy to do. Especially with [Nicolás] Loderio and the creative guys in the middle, we have to get pressure on the ball and not allow them to pick their heads up.
"Those will be the main things, and then on the flip side of it we have weapons going forward, so if we can get the ball to those guys on counter-attacks and things like that, it will push them back a little bit and have to be a little more honest defensively…It will be a real challenge and I am looking forward to it.”