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USMNT Weekly Youth Update: Richie Ledezma brace rescues Jong PSV

The PSV youngster had a huge day after an important international break

France U20 v USA U20 - International Friendly Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

We’re back from the international break with a lot to update, with several players having important moments with their clubs. For any new readers, the rating at the end of each update reflects how much I believe he should be called up to the senior national team at the next opportunity (1-nowhere near ready; 10-absolutely call him up and start him). Here’s what’s going on:


Richard Ledezma - Attacking Midfielder, PSV Eindhoven

Ledezma has had an important couple weeks for PSV. The 19-year-old has started training some with the PSV first team and was recently named to the list of players eligible to play for them in the Europa League Group Stage. On Friday, Ledezma got his third straight start for Jong PSV as they took on Jong AZ (AZ Alkmaar’s U-21s). With Jong PSV trailing 2-0, Ledezma came to the rescue. In the 65th minute, Ledezma got one back when he took an outstanding touch and turn and beat the keeper for his first career goal in the Eerste Divisie.

Then in the 72nd minute, Ledezma created the goal that tied the score with a lovely through ball to Amar Ćatić for his first career assist.

In the 85th minute, Ledezma finished off his heroics with a tremendous chip to beat the keeper and give Jong PSV all three points and their first victory of the season.

Ledezma is a rare player in the US setup. His first touch in traffic is excellent and his ability to drive forward with the ball at his feet and create danger is fantastic. We need players like him sooner than later. Hopefully that full breakthrough is coming soon. Rating: 6

Chris Gloster - Left Back, PSV Eindhoven

Gloster also had a nice moment this week. Overshadowed by Ledezma’s performance, Gloster made his debut for Jong PSV when he came off the bench just before Ledezma went on his ridiculous twenty minute run. The 19-year-old had yet to make the matchday squad for PSV’s reserves following his transfer from Hannover. Hopefully we can see Gloster starting alongside Ledezma soon. Rating: 4


Travian Sousa - Left Back, Hamburger SV

Sousa moved to Germany this summer after leaving the Sacramento Republic and has got off to a good start in Germany. He’s been a consistent starter for Hamburg’s U-19’s and has played well. Also, he took advantage of the international break and got an opportunity to train with the first team this past week. Hamburg’s first team is currently in second place in the 2. Bundesliga and have their sights set on a return to the top flight. We’ll see if Sousa can push himself into that group. Rating: 2


Emmanuel Sabbi - Winger/Striker, Hobro IK

Sabbi has been a consistent starter for Hobro once again this season, and he was once again in the starting lineup on Sunday against FC København. The 21-year-old scored his third goal of the season when he headed home a cross to give them a 2-0 lead in the 13th minute.

The goal eventually counted as the game-winner with Hobro hanging on to win 2-1 over the second best team in the league. Rating: 6

Jonathan Amon - Winger, FC Nordsjælland

Amon is finally healthy again. The 20-year-old was on the bench for the first time this season as Nordsjælland took on Brøndby IF. With Nordsjælland trailing 3-2, Amon came off the bench in the 76th minute to officially make his return. He wasn’t able to provide enough of an attacking spark however, and they wound up losing 4-2. Still, it’s great to see Amon healthy and playing once again. Rating: 5


Patrick Leal - Central Midfielder, Sporting Clube de Portugal

Leal has signed a five-year contract with Sporting. The 16-year-old has been with Sporting for the last year and is currently playing for their U-17s, where he’s scored three goals already this season. Obviously, they see something worth investing in this kid’s future, and Sporting has an excellent academy that has developed some fantastic players throughout the years. Hopefully he can repay the faith. Rating: 1


Jonathan Klinsmann - Goalkeeper, FC St. Gallen

Following his departure from Hertha Berlin, Klinsmann wound up at FC St. Gallen of the Swiss Super League. The 22-year-old has been on the bench for each of St. Gallen’s league matches, but he has been playing their cup matches. On Friday, Klinsmann started in the Second Round of the Swiss Cup, but he was sent off with a straight red card just 31 minutes in in a match they would lose 2-0. The loss knocks them out of the competition and lessens his opportunities for rotation. Rating: 3


Luca Koleosho - Winger, RCD Español

Koleosho has moved on to RCD Español after several years with Reus Deportiu. The 2004-born attacker has been called up by the US to play with the US U-15’s this year and is one to watch for the next U-17 cycle. Koleosho is a player known for his 1v1 dribbling and his crossing. See the highlight below for anyone curious. Rating: 1


Sagir Arce - Winger, Monarcas Morelia

Arce made his senior debut in Copa MX over the International break. In the 76th minute, Arce came off the bench in a 2-0 win over Cimarrones. Hopefully Arce can see a lot more first team opportunities this year following his debut. The 17-year-old continues to push for a breakthrough with the Morelia first team. Arce could get an opportunity at the U-17 World Cup, although he is behind the likes of Gio Reyna and Griffin Yow. We’ll see if he gets a look. Rating: 2

United States

Mark McKenzie - Centerback, Philadelphia Union

McKenzie had a big game this weekend. The 20-year-old got his his third straight start on Saturday against Los Angeles Football Club, and he had his best performance of the season. Facing the best offense in MLS, McKenzie made several good defensive interventions to preserve what wound up being a 1-1 draw. After hardly seeing the field until recent weeks, McKenzie is finally getting an opportunity to show what he can do. Hopefully he keeps it up. Rating: 4

Keaton Parks - Central Midfielder, SL Benfica (On loan at New York City FC)

Parks has continued his run of good form with New York. After a very slow start to the season, the 22-year-old has been a pretty consistent starter since the end of June, and New York has been on a tear for the bulk of that time. On Saturday, Parks started as usual and put in a solid performance in yet another win against the San Jose Earthquakes. In the 40th minute, Parks beat a defender in midfield and raced toward goal. He played a nice pass and should have had an assist, but David Bingham did well to make the save. After the rebound, Parks pounced on a mistake to score his first career goal in MLS and tie the score at a goal apiece.

NYCFC would score a winner just before halftime and hang on to win 2-1. New York is all alone in first place in the Eastern Conference, five points clear of Philadelphia with four games left in the regular season. We’ll see if Parks can keep up this level of play into the playoffs. Rating: 7

Cole Bassett - Central Midfielder, Colorado Rapids

Bassett has had an inconsistent season for Colorado, but his latest involvement was positive. In only his second appearance since July 21st, the 17-year-old got the start against the LA Galaxy on Thursday and rose to the occasion (literally). In the 79th minute, Bassett opened the scoring with a glancing header off a free kick.

This was his second goal of the year and Colorado would go on to win 2-1. On Sunday, Bassett was back on the bench and went as an unused substitute. Hopefully Bassett can keep improving and become a more consistent player next season. Rating: 3

Be on the lookout for some young Americans in European Competition this week as the UEFA Champions League and Europa League Group Stages kick off. Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams (when healthy), Sergiño Dest, Timothy Weah (when healthy), Alex Mendez and Gio Reyna are all 21 and under and eligible to play in the Champions League. As mentioned earlier, Richard Ledezma is eligible to play in the Europa League. As always, hit the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked or if there’s anyone you’d like to hear about. Thank you for reading!