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U.S. U-23 star Ledezma sees contract with PSV extended after club triggers option

22:09 WAT 16/03/2020
Ledezma PSV 2019
The up-and-coming midfielder has shined for the club's reserve team in the Dutch second division

Up-and-coming U.S. men's national team prospect Richie Ledezma has seen an option in his contract triggered by Dutch side PSV.

The club has extended the midfielder's contract through 2022, as Ledezma was approaching the end of his current deal.

His contract was set to expire this June, but had a two-year option clause, which PSV activated on Monday.

Ledezma has primarily featured for Jong PSV, the club's second team, having made his professional debut for the club this past August.

The 19-year-old has scored four goals in 25 appearances this season for Jong PSV, which plays in the Dutch second division, while also earning training stints with the club's senior group.

"It's a good feeling," Ledezma said. "It's obviously a good sign because they trust me, they believe in me. I just have to keep working to make things happen over there. I've been playing with Jong consistently, starting, so it's been good getting pro games in.

"I went to Qatar with the first team and it was a good experience. It got my confidence up so much higher. When I take chances in the game, it's a different feeling now."

He added: I've been saying this since day one in 2018: the first team. I want my [first team] debut and to play consistently for them. If I can't do that, I'll play for Jong, help them out and give everything. I feel like I'm really close, training with them, I'm okay with that, but I'm just waiting for my chance and to take it. I'm ready for anything."

Ledezma, who is the only teenager in the Dutch second division to create at least 35 chances, was recently named to the U.S. squad for Concacaf's version of Olympic qualifying.

The 19-year-old was expected to be a key figure for that side as the U.S. pushed to qualify for the country's first Olympic tournament since 2008, but the qualifiers were postponed as a result of the coronavirus.

Prior to his U-23 callup, Ledezma was a mainstay for the U.S. U-20s, having featured at the 2019 U-20 World Cup as the U.S. team made the quarterfinal round.

Ledezma was originally a member of the Real Salt Lake system before signing with PSV in December 2018.

"I feel like my chances are coming and I'm taking those chances," he said. "I just have to keep working and I feel really good about myself right now. As a person, so much is coming. I'm talking to people now, even outside of the field, and on the field especially. Everyone is so nice around me and I feel like I've gotten out of my shell already. It's fun so far."