Category Archives: Sports

A few minutes with DeAndre Yedlin

yedlingolazo

The locally-based energy/hydration drink company Golazo recently held a contest called “Play with DeAndre.” It meant that one lucky winner (and nine of their closest friends) would have DeAndre Yedlin, the 21-year old Sounders FC and USA Men’s National Team star defender, come by their home and have some pizza, drink Golazo, and play FIFA Soccer in a truck customized for playing video games. The contest was realized last Friday night, at the home of Nick Gurney, somewhere around Burien or White Center. It was a unique opportunity for a Seattleite to spend some time with the fast rising soccer star.

I stopped by for a few moments to chat with Yedlin about playing in the World Cup, the rumors of him going to Europe, the differences between playing against Major League Soccer teams and international soccer powerhouses like Belgium and eventual-World-Cup-winner Germany, and why he became involved with Golazo (which also counts soccer legend Pele among its “brand ambassadors”).

What brings you down here to Burien/White Center for the evening?

We did a contest where the winner got a pizza party with me and a big supply of Golazo, the energy drink, and got to play FIFA. It’s a nice little get-together and I’m enjoying the time.

How have things changed for you since getting back from Brazil?

It’s a pretty big change. I’m getting noticed a lot more, even on the streets. When I was in New York, I was getting noticed when I went out and it hadn’t happened before. There’s a lot more attention, some more social media followers, things like that. For the most part, it has been good. Obviously, there have been calls from Europe and we’re just weighing those options right now. For the most part, it’s been pretty fun and exciting.

I wasn’t planning on asking about the possibility of going to Europe, but can I ask if playing in Europe was always a goal for you as a soccer player?

Of course. Growing up, that was always been one of my goals. MLS is getting to be such a good league that it might not be the right situation for me at this point. That’s just something me and my agents, my family, and coaches are talking about but when we find out the right situation, we’ll go from there.

Can you talk a little bit about how the competition changed from playing in the knockout stages of the World Cup to coming back to the MLS?

Belgium has world class players, but MLS is getting to that stage. The level dropped a little bit, but not as much as people would think. The MLS is a top-five league, so I don’t think there was as much of a drop.

What’s coming up for you for the near future?

Winning the MLS Cup, that’s the main thing. The US Open Cup, I know we have those kinds of games coming up. I’m excited for those two games. Those are my main goals right now. I think it would be great to bring an MLS Cup back to the city.

What about individually?

Just to push myself to the best that I can be. That’s my goal every time. I just want to push myself to the max.

We’re here because of Golazo, what made you want to partner with them?

One, it’s a local company and I love Seattle, so I wanted to get involved with them. Two, it’s all natural and I’m big on being healthy. You have these energy drinks out there and Gatorade. They taste good but they aren’t really helping you. I believe Golazo helps me and gives me the extra step that I need.

{Photo from Twitter.}

O’Dea 69, Lakeside 51: O’Dea Players and Students in Midseason Form

metroleaguetuesdayWhen you’re singing Biz Markie in unison to throw off a free-throw shooter — like the O’Dea student section did Wednesday night — you are in midseason form.

When you’re driving baseline in two steps and flipping a reverse layin over a big man — like O’Dea wing Jamie Orme did Wednesday night — you are in midseason form.

The O’Dea boys basketball program picked apart Lakeside 69-51 Tuesday in the league opener for both teams. O’Dea’s perimeter defenders, Tyler Kidd and Jamie Orme, held Lakeside’s driving guards in check. O’Dea’s big men, 6’9” Jacob Lampkin and 6’7” Jamar Kemp (yes, he’s Shawn’s son), dominated the paint.

A few words about young Kemp, as I’m sure you’re curious. I don’t think I’m being unfair by saying that Jamar lacks his father’s athleticism and explosiveness — hell, 95% of current NBA players lack Shawn Kemp’s athleticism and explosiveness — but he has other strengths. The younger Kemp has, as the scouts say, an excellent basketball IQ. He always knows where he’s supposed to be on the court, and was calling out switches and directing players on defense. He has quick hands and a soft touch around the basket. He’s an excellent shot blocker. Kemp and Lampkin (who has committed to play DI ball at Pacific next year) are a good post duo; they could anchor O’Dea for a deep state tourney run.

Lakeside, which finished 2nd at state last year, clearly suffered from the loss of PG Tramaine Isabell, a Washington State commit who transferred to Garfield over the summer. O’Dea’s student section had some fun with the news, chanting “Gar-Field Prep School” at the Lakeside players. Isabell was unstoppable off the dribble, giving Lakeside a constant offensive option. His replacement at point guard, sophomore Isiah Brown, is a stellar guard—“easily one of the elite guards out west in his class,”—according to ESPN, but he doesn’t have Isabell’s quickness and struggled to find space against O’Dea’s solid defense.

Now, to the O’Dea student section. Not only did they have the topical Garfield chant, but toward the end of the game they decided to just get crazy, singing “And You Say She’s Just a Friend” to one Lakeside free throw shooter, and “Hey Mickey, You’re So Fine” to another. The Irish students stood the whole game, cheered wildly the whole game, and generally gave the place some energy. From Lakeside’s student section? Not a peep. I’m not sure if they even had one. Lakeside students, I know you have better things to do than travel to First Hill on a Tuesday to watch high school basketball, but…wait, I actually have nothing to say to that, you literally probably are doing more important things than I am and you are in high school. But, hey, when I was at Garfield we won a state basketball championship SO THERE!

This article has taken a dark turn, so I will stop here except to say that O’Dea’s 6’6” senior wing Jamie Orme was an absolute revelation; he showed quickness and fearlessness going to the basket as in the aforementioned drive at the open of this piece, and he dunked. You always like to see a good dunk at a high school basketball game. The scouting services say Orme’s not been offered a scholarship, but I can’t see why not. SU coach Get with it, local college basketball coaches—Lord knows you need all the help you can get.

Seahawks/Cardinals: My Prediction, My Hope, My Fear

Cardinals' Fake Retro Patch
Cardinals’ Fake Retro Patch (They Moved to Arizona in 1988)

What I Think Will Happen: The Seahawks sneak out of town with a 13-10 win.

  • The Hawks, with the NFL’s best passing defense, shuts down the Cardinals’ pass-heavy 3-WR offense.
  • The Cardinals’ frightening defensive front seven limit Marshawn Lynch to short runs and chase Russell Wilson.
  • Wilson once again conjures a win with a few timely scrambles and a TD toss on a broken play.

What I Hope Will Happen: Carson Palmer hands the Hawks a 27-3 win.

  • Palmer, who’s already thrown 11 interceptions this year (that’s 2nd-worst in the NFL), throws 4 more against the Hawks, including a pick-six by Earl Thomas.
  • Russell Wilson picks apart the Cardinals’ overly-aggressive defense.
  • Golden Tate finally gets his first career punt return for a TD.

What I Fear Will Happen: Cards’ D Overwhelms, Hawks Lose 24-6

  • The Cards’ defensive trio of Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, and Karlos Dansby stuffs Lynch and repeatedly sacks Wilson, keeping the Hawks out of the end zone.
  • Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald hook up on a TD pass and shifty rookie running back Andre Ellington breaks off several long runs.
  • Recent special teams screwups prove to be a trend, not an anomaly—another blocked kick or long return leads to an Arizona score.

What You Need to Know: Sports Edition, October 14

Sidney Rice Catch
Sidney Rice’s Remarkable Sideline Catch

Headline:
Oregon trounced the Huskies (again), the Seahawks won an unexpectedly close game, and the Sounders’ fall continued.

Executive Summary:
Despite a raucous crowd, the excitement of ESPN GameDay on campus, and a new Oregon-like offense, the Huskies still must bow down to Oregon after a 45-24 loss, their 10th straight loss to the Ducks.

The Seahawks fumbled four times — one of which was returned for a touchdown — but survived for a 20-13 win against Tennessee. The Hawks’ D gets the game ball: they picked off two passes, and they didn’t allow the Titans’ offense to reach the end zone.

The Sounders probably deserved better than a 1-0 loss to Portland — they hit the crossbar twice with shots — but a loss it is. The Sounders are now winless in their last 5 games, but remain just 1 win (or a San Jose or Colorado loss) from clinching a playoff berth, with two games remaining.

And, if you want to sound smart around the water cooler:

Say: Has Sigi lost control of the Sounders?

The Portland loss was marred by an Osvaldo Alonso red card; Alonso was sent off for an off-the-ball elbow to Will Johnson’s face. Alonso’s undisciplined play adds more fuel to the “Fire Sigi” movement, which is now reaching bonfire status among some in the fan base.

Say: Did Pete Carroll cost the Seahawks 7 points on Sunday?

The scenario: The Seahawks had the ball on the Tennessee 2. Kicker Steven Hauschka was in the locker room getting checked for a concussion after a hard tackle on a kickoff, which meant that punter Jon Ryan would try the field goal and, since Ryan is normally the holder, backup holder Chris Maragos would spot the ball. Maragos dropped the snap, then inexplicably attempted to wind up for a pass; the Titans swatted the ball away and returned it for a touchdown. Should Carroll have just gone for a TD instead? After the game, he said he should’ve, though some of his players thought he made the right call.

Say: Who’ll be the Huskies’ Phil Knight?

Oregon’s 10th-straight win over Washington proves that Nike boss Phil Knight’s many millions in athletic donations have been well spent. The Huskies have many well-heeled donors, but no one as rabid and wealthy as Knight. C’mon Jeff Bezos; who needs the Washington Post when you could have a National Championship football team?

It’s all good dawgs. Lick your wounds with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more stories like this. And to, you know, be friends.

Seahawks Sunday Supper: Tennessee Titans

titans onesieThe Seahawks are favored by two touchdowns on Sunday when they host the Tennessee Titans, so I fully expect them to win. But. I do have some reservations. Here they are.

1) Huge, Disruptive DT Jurrell Casey
One of the better young defensive linemen in the game, Casey is a beast of a man at 6-foot-1, 305 pounds. 305 pounds! For a reference point, Barack Obama is 6-foot-2, 184 lbs. Casey is having a breakout season, with 12 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 passes batted down on the year. Here’s Grantland’s Robert Mays raving about him. Casey is smart, strong, and terrific against the run. The Seahawks’ line, especially right guard J.R. Sweezy, will have their hands full…if Casey proves too much to handle, he could single-handedly stymie the Hawks’ offense.

2) Quick, Elusive WR Kendall Wright
The Titans’ leading receiver is similar to the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton, who scorched the Hawks for 140 yards and 2 TDs last week. The Seahawks start two big cornerbacks in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner; they are meant to match up against bigger receivers. A smaller guy like Hilton or Wright has an advantage. If you’re a hardcore Seattle sports fan, you may remember Wright from the batshit insane 2011 Alamo Bowl: Wright was Baylor’s leading receiver in that game.

3) Unpredictable, Risk-Taking QB Ryan Fitzpatrick
The Titans’ backup QB, starting because of an injury to former Washington star Jake Locker, is the personification of the David vs. Goliath strategy. A Harvard grad without the physical gifts needed for NFL QB stardom, Fitzpatrick stays in games with risky passes — he frequently tries to sneak passes into tight windows or attempting Brett Favre-like improvised flips — and wild scrambles. Fitzpatrick threw 54 interceptions in the past three seasons as a starter for Buffalo, third-most in the NFL. He also had 23 fumbles in that timespan, 8th-most in the NFL. Fitzpatrick tries shit, and usually fails. But against a clearly superior team like Seattle, Fitzpatrick’s style has the best chance to lead the Titans to an upset win.

The Seahawks play Tennessee at 1:05 on Sunday. The game will be televised on CBS, with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf announcing. Tickets are going from $119-$991 on StubHub.

PRO TIP: Titans’ corner Alterraun Verner likes to jump routes and get interceptions, he leads the NFL in interceptions with 4. In my view, Russell Wilson is too smart to fall into Verner’s trap. Look for the Hawks to exploit Verner’s aggressiveness and get a long bomb against him.

And you can buy that used Titans onesie for $3.99 on eBay.

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