United States men’s national team defender DeAndre Yedlin is joining the San Diego Loyal’s ownership group.
Yedlin — who has been with the USNMT since 2014 and joined Galatasaray in Turkey this season after a five year stint with Newcastle in the Premier League — officially bought into the Loyal on Thursday, the team announced. Terms of his deal are not known.
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“We had great conversations,” he said, . “My values and morals, both on and off the field, matched with theirs. So I think for both of us it was a good match. It happened pretty organically and naturally. I was fortunate that they accepted me to be part of their club.”
Loyal walking off field drew Yedlin to team
Yedlin said that, among other things, it was the Loyal’s commitment to standing up to social issues that drew him to the United Soccer League club.
Last year, on the field. Former LA Galaxy II defender Omar Ontiveros directed a racial slur at one of the Loyal’s Black players during a game, which prompted the Galaxy to release him.
Then just a week later, Phoenix Rising forward Junior Flemmings called Loyal’s Collin Martin, who is openly gay, a homophobic slur. The Rising later released Flemmings. The Loyal .
“The fact that a professional sports club decided to forfeit a game and potentially lose a playoff spot because of issues that I believe are above sport was huge to me,” Yedlin said, .
Yedlin said he reached out to the club shortly after that incident, which is what led to him joining the ownership group.
"DeAndre's path through his own career is how we want to amplify [our message] and what we want to exemplify for our players," team chairman Andrew Vassiliadis said, . "For our front office: put your best foot forward, challenge yourself at the highest level and compete. That's what we kind of do here and that's how I see DeAndre adds value. It's just a great add for the club."