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Yedlin Family Ties

Yedlin Family Ties
July 9, 2014

During the World Cup fever that has made its way around the globe, it was hard not to hear the name DeAndre Yedlin.

As a member of the U.S. Men's soccer team, Yedlin played a crucial role in the team's surprising success in the World Cup. The native Seattleite is also a member of the Sounders and is the first "home-grown" player in the franchise's history.

While his name has received world-wide recognition since the World Cup, that name is a familiar one to our campus. South Seattle College instructor Rebecca Yedlin, is DeAndre's mother.

"By now, a fair amount of my students know," she explained. "Most of them think it's exciting or will ask me questions. It's been a real positive response from the students."

Family has always been an important part of the Yedlin family. While some may say that necessity is the mother of invention, in DeAndre's case his grandfather, Rebecca's father, was the mother of invention.

"At the time, there weren't any soccer teams in the area for children that age," she explained. "So my Dad created the first team he played on."

DeAndre was two years old.

Despite his early start in soccer, the success that this 21-year old phenomenon has reached was unexpected – even by his mother.

"I'd be lying if I said that I always thought this would be happening," she explained. "I never thought that he would have this success at such a young age. He has always had real, natural, athletic ability. In addition to playing soccer, he ran track and played basketball. He has really done well at everything and I think it's because of his speed. The speed was something that always stood out for him. "

In fact, because of his young age many critics were surprised that DeAndre was selected to be a part of the U.S. World Cup team. But for him, that was just the motivation that he needed.

"He gives 100% all the time and he works well as a part of a team," she explained. "But I think he gave a little extra effort when he thought that being a part of the US team was even a possibility."

With her son's newfound fame, some of her students have connected the dots and realized that they are related.

Rebecca, who holds a Liberal Arts Degree from Evergreen State College and a Master's Degree in Post-Secondary and Adult Education, has been a part of South's faculty for eight years.  During her time at South, Rebecca has built a wide-ranging resume that includes everything from a Business Communications instructor to Internship Coordinator for students in the medical field.

"One of my favorite things about South is the students. Every quarter there are students that I get to know really well and then quarter after quarter I see them; I see their success and I see their challenges. But best of all, I get to see their progression and that's why students are my favorite part of South." 

Despite their busy schedules, Rebecca and DeAndre have still maintained a close relationship and see each other at least once a week, either after a game or just for a family meal at home.

For some, DeAndre might be one of the hottest stars in the soccer world but if you ask his mother he is simply her son whom she will love and support in everything he does.