Despite increasing interest from European clubs, Seattle Sounders full-back DeAndre Yedlin insists that he isn't distracted by the speculation surrounding his future.
The 21-year-old, who had an impressive run in his first World Cup, acknowledged that clubs from abroad have contacted MLS about a potential transfer, but he won't allow that to affect his performances with his current club.
"It's moving along, we're excited and we're trying to find the right situation," Yedlin told ESPN FC during a promotion for EA Sports' upcoming FIFA '15 video game. "The main thing for me right now is focusing on Seattle.
"I think if I get caught up in what's going on in the other side of the pond then I'm going to get too distracted and it's going to hurt my performances."
AS Roma are among the clubs to have been mentioned as possible suitors for the second-year MLS star, with one report suggesting that Yedlin could be purchased by last season's Serie A runners-up and then loaned to Genoa
As tempting as those possibilities might be, the young star acknowledged that thinking too far ahead could be a red flag for anyone who is monitoring his progress.
"If it is the right situation, teams are watching my club performances here...so I have to perform," he explained. "So the main thing right now is Seattle and winning the MLS Cup."
He added, "What makes a good pro is being able to put those distractions away and really being able to focus on what's going on right now. And then maybe in the future, more of those opportunities come along."
Yedlin's focus on being grounded is based on his own realization of how much the past few months have been a whirlwind for the Seattle-raised player. Aside from MLS fans, he wasn't on many people's radars prior to May. After a shock inclusion to the United States national team's World Cup squad, he quickly found himself under football's giant microscope, especially after his fearless play in Brazil.
While he admits that he didn't know what to expect when he initially joined the Yanks in their World Cup training camp, he credited Jurgen Klinsmann and the great team chemistry of the U.S. for giving him confidence.
"The older guys were all super cool with us and that was huge," said Yedlin. "You saw it when me, John [Brooks] or Julian [Green] went on, we had all of the confidence in the world. I think that was because of the older guys really supporting us. They made us feel like we belonged there. That we should be on this team and I'm grateful for that."
Yedlin, Green and Brooks were the three youngest players on the national team and along with Mikkel "Mix" Diskerud and Aron Johannsson bonded and called themselves the "Young Guns." With Green and Brooks coming from Bundesliga clubs in Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin, they were intrigued with Yedlin's experience coming up the ranks in MLS. The Sounder admitted that both appeared to be surprised at the quality of the league.
"I think that anyone outside of MLS thinks that league is still way behind," he said. "That's the stereotype of American soccer, but the MLS is a lot closer than people think it is. They obviously had a view of 'MLS, that's bad soccer,' but I tried to explain to them that it's really not as bad as they think.
"The league has some big players here and the young American talent in MLS is amazing and is only going to grow."
If Yedlin's stock continues to rise, he may soon be taking his MLS ambassador show on the road to Europe.