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Rising USMNT youth prospect Ledezma confirms contact from Mexican federation

Richie Ledezma is hitting his stride at PSV, earning consecutive starts for the Dutch powerhouse’s second-division side, Jong PSV.

It is a run of form that comes just as fresh questions begin to surface about which national team he could wind up representing.

A member of the recent U.S. Under-20 World Cup team that reached the Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals, Ledezma is also eligible to play for Mexico. He confirmed to SBI on Sunday that he recently spoke to Mexican Federation sporting director Gerardo Torrado, who inquired about Ledezma potentially representing Mexico.

“He contacted me and he just asked me how I was doing,” Ledezma told SBI. “Obviously I’m not going to be rude. I’m not going to close doors, you know? So I answered back, said I was good. He was asking me how was PSV, and stuff like that. It’s good hearing from a legend, obviously.”

A skillful central midfielder who signed with PSV in 2018 after passing up a homegrown player contract from Real Salt Lake, Ledezma overcame a broken foot that sidelined him for several months prior to the Under-20 World Cup, and limited his role at the World Cup.

He still showed flashes of the brilliance that made him such a highly-regarded prospect, including a standout effort in the U.S. team’s shocking knockout round upset of tournament favorite France.

Ledezma’s exploits at the World Cup surely put him on Mexico’s radar as the latest American-born prospect with Mexican roots to be targeted by El Tri.

Ledezma is not ruling out the possibility of potentially playing for Mexico, which is where his family is from, but the Phoenix native and long-time U.S. youth national team standout made it clear he isn’t ready to make a decision just yet, even though he is still very much a top prospect in the U.S. youth setup.

“Anything can happen. Obviously my door is always open to any team, but when I have to make the decision I’ll make my own decision,” Ledezma said. “It’s whatever I’m happy with. We’ll see what happens.”

Ledezma’s discussion with Torrado came before he was left off the recent U.S. Under-23 national team camp roster, a roster that included his current club teammate Chris Gloster, and former U.S. Under-20 World Cup teammate Alex Mendez.

“I was kind of upset, but it happens,” Ledezma said of being left out of the U.S. U-23 camp. “I was really excited. Chris (Gloster) went and I was really happy for him of course. Maybe we have a camp next month, so we’ll see if I go to that.

“I was a little disappointed, but it happens. You’re not always going to get what you want,” said Ledezma, who admitted the snub had fired him up heading into his recent performances with Jong PSV. “I tried to put myself out there on Friday, so now I’m trying to put myself out there the next game, and keep going. this month is a really big month. We have five games in two weeks.”

Ledezma registered two goals and an assist in Jong PSV’s 3-1 win against Jong AZ last Friday, then played the full 90 minutes on Monday in a 2-0 loss to Jong Ajax, which included Mendez and fellow American Joshua Pynadath. Gloster also started for Jong PSV, and played the full 90 minutes.

Ledezma is eligible to play for Mexico, but would have to file a one-time change of association in order to play for El Tri. The 19-year-old Real Salt Lake academy product is one of the top central midfield prospects in the USMNT player pool, and is expected to challenge for a place in the U.S. Olympic qualifying team, as well as potentially a place on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team if the Americans qualify.

Ledezma and Jong PSV will take part in the Premier League International Cup, facing Swansea on Thursday. Jong PSV returns to Dutch Second Division play on Sept. 23 against Cambuur.


  1. to me it says something worrisome about GB and the Fed that players who have been USA up to U20 or U23 are putting themselves back in play at the senior level. it may be an agent game but we should also be wary that players are voting with their feet. i realize it will be hard for one berhalter to fire another but our results are mediocre and one could argue we are starting to lose or be stuck in fights for several dual national jousts.

  2. what i don’t like is what is now driving the bus is not performance or passion for the US but instead how ambivalent you can sound. i am for dual nationals but we should chase our favorite first tier choices and/or the ones eager to commit, not jump down to the second tier choices because they throw around leverage. priorities.

      • you’re missing the point that there is a distinction between the ones who want the special treatment – Boyd, AJ, Green — and the ones who want to play games. until a player is finally committed i am fine with making efforts to get them in, even the ones who aren’t so sure. i just think the special treatment of being fast tracked into the team should be saved for the eager participant. the ones who aren’t sure should be left for later just like the ones who might be marginal as players. go for the high quality and eager first. there is a desperation and perversity to rewarding the most openly disloyal first.

      • i want to see us focus on the best U20s and experiments who give us no doubt where their loyalty rides. i think we should compete for players who are on the fence. i don’t think we should be committing a bunch of time and resources to players who openly say to the press i am not sure how i would decide and am getting phone calls from other teams. nor do i think that a second rate dest or ledezma should catapult past weah, soto, richards, mendez, pomykal, for integration into the team, just because they suddenly trigger a contest for their services. and some of them could go elsewhere too but we should chase the ones who are more ready.

  3. While I hope we don’t lose this kid, I also believe that he’s not yet ready for the Sr. USMNT.
    If USSF were smart they’d be reaching out to him by calling him up to the U-23 sides next camp. Its the natural progression for a top prospect who played well in the most recent U-20 world cup, and is now seeing consistent time with a powerhouse’s reserve team.
    If he shows well with the U-23’s than we can talk about giving him a call for the Sr. Side.
    If I were to guess, I’d bet that the Mex federation is expressing interest in him joining their Olympic team and aren’t targeting him for their Sr. Side right now either.

  4. bravo, we have let dest open the door of kids using other NT phone calls (that they probably don’t care about or they wouldn’t have a row of USYNT on their resumes) as leverage

    • Weren’t you the guy frantically advocating to “fast track” Efren Alvarez a few months ago when he started making noises that he was likely to select Mexico? Glad you are seeing the light.

      • it’s not that confusing. i am for fast tracking people eager to be fast tracked. i am not for speeding along people using competing interest as leverage.

      • no, you can be pro acquiring dual nationals but be against playing into the hands of agent games. you can be pro dual national and think the focus should be on quality as opposed to whether they can theoretically put themselves “in play” on their nationality choice despite years of suiting up for the USA. and if efrain wanted to swap i would be fine. my issue is specific to players who have a string of USA YNT commitments on their resume suddenly getting interested in switching out. we shouldn’t be encouraging it and we should be concerned what it may say about the coach and Fed.

  5. I hope that there is some communication with Ledezma about where he stands with US Soccer, especially since he has come up with our youth system and played a big part in the recent u20 WC. But I guess I’m old school in the sense I am not comfortable with this idea of heavy recruitment of dual national prospects like we are a big time college football program. I think some kind of cordial and honest communication is enough. I want the guys that put on our jersey to really want to rep the US, and feel pride doing so. Not choose us because it gives them the best chance to play internationally or further their club careers. And I’m sure it could be tough for certain guys to choose, so they should choose where their heart is, and we can all respect that and move on.

  6. People are missing the point we just showe’d in two games that we have no midfield defensively and offensively these guys showed at an international tournament that they have the skill to create chances. So Mckinney last three games has not showed champions league experience not even concacaf champions league level he has been all hype. Another level of play? He has not shown that level. Soto Ledesma Dest Mendez Richards Servania and many more have shown they are the future and we need them now MLS is a comfort league with no pressure no competition.

    • Bro, that was youth tournament, and is not hardly comparable to playing with the senior team. So while i think that many of the players you named can make the jump to the senior team sooner rather than later, you don’t just fast track youth players who aren’t even playing with their clubs just to for the sake are warding off another potential suitor internationally. these kida are already in our program, have represented the youth sides in WC’s, so they should know they are looked at as some of the best and brightest this country has to offer. This idea that USSF should be pounding on their doors reassuring them where they stand is just ridiculous, but hey i guess it’s a new era of athlete these days!

    • For all people that agree with MLS is a comfort league. Realize guys that agree with you think that McKinney isn’t good, much less great.

  7. I’m sure that berhalter will notice ledesmas talent and call him up no I don’t think so. These are the problems that arise when you choose mediocre mls players over better talented us youth players playing abroad. Soto Ledesma Servania Dest mendez all need to be cap tied already they are the future of the usmnt you could call them against a weaker team during nations cup. Some players like Mckinney are playing plenty of minutes but have not looked good with the usmnt. We cannot have the Mexican federation take our prospects.

    • McKennie has established himself as a starter for a champions league team, Ledezma is just now getting time with a second division squad. Different stages of development.

    • You think Servania is going to switch to Puerto Rico over USA even though us Puerto Ricans are American and have a separate national team like US Virgin Islands and Guam cause we only a terrioty and not a state smh. LOL!

    • Soto can’t even sniff the field at Hannover, and although i’m sure that’s down to a riff over his inability to get a transfer done with a new club before the window closed, he still has no place on the senior team RIGHT NOW…..we are not going to persuade every dual national, it’s life, but all the same we shouldn’t rush someone into the senior team who is not ready because we fear we’ll lose them to a different country. It’s a case by case thing, and should be treated as such! Ledesma is seemingly an immense talent, and with him already entrenched in the US set up it will have to take some buffoonery on the part of ussoccer for him to file a one time switch imho

      • I’m wondering if Jona Gonzalez is rethinking his decision to switch allegiances, as he has not played a single minute for the senior team since filing his one time switch. El Tri put the press to him and his parents, with the idea that they’d get him in the pool and let him earn his way into the senior team it seems.

      • I agree with your 1st post! …. As for Jona Gonzalez…. he hasn’t been playing a lot for Monterrey, this season as much as he was in ‘17-‘18. I try to watch as much Liga MX, as I can. Meanwhile, his peers in both countries are progressing in development. Remember when, Jona Gonzalez, & Timothy Tillman were exciting prospects in ‘17! How quickly futbol cycles change!!

      • Ronniet, I agreed with everything you said and had me feeling in my happy place til you said it would take some absolutely bafoonery on the part of Us Soccer… that’s our specialty

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