Amid all of the encouraging news regarding U.S. men's national team talents playing abroad in Europe comes one significant setback.
Richy Ledezma, the 20-year-old U.S. midfielder at PSV Eindhoven, tore the ACL in his right knee in the Dutch club's Europa League group finale vs. Omonia Nicosia on Thursday. PSV confirmed the extent of the injury on Friday, ruling Ledezma out for the rest of the season.
Ledezma, making his first start in a European competition, lasted just 17 minutes, forced to exit after attempting a challenge on the sideline, only to fall to the ground in a heap.
Manager Roger Schmidt knew prior to the scans that confirmed the ACL tear that the outlook wasn't good.
"We have to think that this is a big injury, it's not a small one," he said after the 4-0 win. "He had a lot of pain in that moment, and after the match still a lot of pain.
"The win tonight was for Richy, because he's a really good person, really good player, and we all will help him to come back very soon."
Ledezma was fresh off his debut for the U.S. last month, when he registered two assists off the bench (both to his former Real Salt Lake academy teammate, Sebastian Soto) against Panama as part of a 6-2 win to close Gregg Berhalter's November training camp.
The injury will prevent him from taking part in Olympic qualifying (and most likely the Olympics themselves provided the U.S. reaches Tokyo) and threatens his availability for the start of next season and World Cup qualifying in the fall as well.
Ledezma had just recently broken through with PSV's first team, making six appearances (two starts) across the Eredivisie and Europa League. He registered an assist in his debut vs. ADO Den Haag.