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USA U-20 Desevio Payne signs pro contract with Groningen

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Desevio Payne will be staying with Gronigen for the foreseeable future. The United States U-20 national teamer signed a four-year contract with the Eredivisie club, finalizing his ascent from the team's academy to their first team.

Payne came up with Gronigen and had a breakout year this season. He began training with the first team regularly and made his Eredivisie debut in February and followed that up with another start the following week. Now he'll be with the team full-time and push for regular playing time in the top flight.

Gronigen are hardly a Eredisivie power, but they are one of the league's stalwarts. They are a solid mid-table club and for Payne to have played his way into the first team while still a teenager bodes well for his future. Now he has a chance to impress in a league that values young players and has proven to be a good place for youth development.

Normally a right back, Payne's two first team appearances have come at left back. Groningen needed help at the position and Payne filled in, drawing praise from the manager for his adaptability and pose. That versatility will help earn him more playing time next season, but he still sees himself at right back and the club could have an opening there, giving himself the chance to push for a spot in the first XI.

Payne was born in South Carolina, but moved to the Netherlands when he was one-year-old. Still he chose to play for the U.S. and was named to the Americans' U-20 World Cup roster for this summer, where he looks set to start for the team at right back.