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Americans Abroad Ticker: Richie Ledezma, James Sands, and more


Richie Ledezma’s first competitive start for Dutch Eredivisie side PSV began with hope and excitement, but ended with worry as the American midfielder is now sidelined for the time being.

Ledezma got the nod in Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s squad Saturday and played 38 minutes before an ankle injury forced the 21-year-old off before halftime of an eventual 5-2 victory over Go Ahead Eagles. Ledezma suffered the injury in the first half after Eagles right back Mats Deijl slid into the midfielder from behind, forcing him off the field in frustration.

He will not travel to Glasgow for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League qualifying first leg tie vs. Rangers, the club announced Monday. There is no timetable for Ledezma’s return to action as he will be on the sidelines going forward to rehab his ankle.

Ledezma missed majority of the 2021-22 campaign due to a knee injury before returning to action in May to score his first Eredivisie goal in PSV’s season finale. He has made 15 appearances for PSV since his first team debut in 2019.

Here is a closer look at all of the recent Americans Abroad News:

Haji Wright plays hero in Antalyaspor victory

Haji Wright wasted little time in opening his goalscoring account for Antalayspor in the new Turkish Super Lig season.

Wright scored the winning goal in Sunday’s 1-0 road win over Umraniyespor, his first goal for the club since his permanent transfer from Sonderjyske earlier this summer. The 24-year-old striker headed home Bunyamin Balci’s cross in the 59th minute, which was the only goal Antalyaspor needed to claim three points.

Wright totaled 14 goals in 32 league matches for Antalyaspor last season, helping the club finish just outside of the European qualification places. His stellar loan spell also earned Wright his senior debut with the USMNT in June and keeps him as an option for Gregg Berhalter this September in the final friendlies before the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“First of all, it was a very important three points for us,” Wright said post match. “It was a three-point we won by suffering. Although we fought better against Galatasaray last week, we left the field without points. But I’m very happy that we got three points today. My first goal this season is to push my own record further. Building on the performance I showed last year and helping my team in the best way possible.”

Antalyaspor next hosts defending champions Trabzonspor on August 20.

James Sands expected to return for Rangers vs. PSV

James Sands surprisingly was not in Giovanni Van Bronckhorst’s squad for Saturday’s 4-0 league win over St. Johnstone, but is expected to be available for Tuesday’s UCL showdown with PSV.

Sands missed Saturday’s match due to illness, along with fellow midfielder Ryan Kent, who only recently returned to action following a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The USMNT midfielder/defender Sands has started in three of his four appearances this season, logging a combined 169 minutes in last round’s 3-2 aggregate victory over Union St. Gilloise.

Sands will be pushing to start against PSV at Ibrox Stadium on Tuesday and Van Bronckhorst expects him to be ready for action.

“James wasn’t able to train yesterday because he felt a bit ill,” Van Bronckhorst said postmatch Saturday. “He was much better today so he will be fine for Tuesday.”

Rangers will face off with PSV for the first time since the 2010-11 Europa League knockout stage.

Cole Bassett loaned to Fortuna Sittard

Cole Bassett is on the move for the Eredivisie season with hopes of earning consistent playing time elsewhere.

Bassett was loaned to Fortuna Sittard on Saturday for the entirety of the 2022-23 league season, the club announced. The Colorado Rapids re-called Bassett from Feyenoord before sending him to Fortuna Sittard. Feyenoord still holds an option to buy Bassett outright from the Rapids, should the Dutch club remain interested in him.

“I am happy to play in the Eredivisie next season,” said Bassett in a club interview. “It is a wonderful opportunity to make minutes in the yellow-green of Fortuna Sittard next season. I look forward to being able to contribute to the sporting achievements of this club with goals.”

Bassett made eight first team appearances for Feyenoord since his arrival there last season, registering one assist.

The Colorado Rapids homegrown midfielder scored 13 goals and added nine assists in 75 combined appearances in MLS before earning a first loan spell in Europe. Bassett has earned one senior cap with the USMNT to date.

Matthew Hoppe makes short cameo for Middlesbrough debut

Matthew Hoppe didn’t have to wait long to get on the field for EFL Championship side Middlesbrough, helping Chris Wilder’s side close out a 2-2 league draw vs. Sheffield United on Sunday.

Hoppe made a short cameo in stoppage time at the Riverside Stadium, replacing Chuba Akpom in the final minutes of the match. The 21-year-old Hoppe joined Middlesbrough on a permanent transfer last week from Spanish club Mallorca, in a deal worth a reported $3.6 million.

Hoppe was introduced to the Middlesbrough fans in Wednesday’s 1-0 extra time loss to Barnsley in EFL Cup action and jumped right into Wilder’s squad this weekend. After failing to have much of a role with Mallorca, Hoppe will hope for a better campaign in England as he fights for USMNT involvement in September and beyond.

 “We’ve been pleasantly surprised with Matt in terms of his conditioning,” Wilder said following Hoppe’s transfer to Middlesbrough. “We’ve had positive messages from the U.S. National side, and the data we’ve got back from Mallorca. He’s a really good athlete.”

Middlesbrough next travels to Stoke City on Wednesday in league play.

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