FC Groningen defeated Heracles, 4-1, at Almelo’s Polman Stadion in Dutch Eredivisie action. American fullback Desevio Payne started for the first time in over a year and scored his first senior team goal in the 34th minute:
Groningen is currently in ninth place in the Eredivisie with 23 points from 18 matches. The Green-White Army returns to action on Saturday, January 21st with a match against 8th place Vitesse Arnhem.
Payne has represented the United States at the U-20 and U-23 level. The 21-year old has dealt with injury struggles this season and spent most of his time with the reserve squad (Jong) in the Derde Divisie (fourth division).
While Payne hasn’t seen a lot of first team minutes this season, he is in line for a promotion. According to Groningen manager Ernest Faber, the American youth international is a player for the future.
"It is important that we accelerate the development of Desevio and give him confidence therein,” Faber said in advance of Saturday’s match. “He is optimistic and wants to go for it. And he's doing just fine. Good, talented back."
Current starting right back and Dutch youth international Hans Hateboer is leaving the club in the near future (there’s rumored interest Premier League interest from Hull), so there is a potential opening for Payne. The USMNT is seemingly always in need of talented fullbacks, and a regular contributor in the Eredivisie would be a welcome addition to the player pool.