The battle of dual nationals between the United States and Mexico continues to heat up, and one of the top big names to watch is that of Richy Ledezma. Mexico have made a push to get him to switch to El Tri, and while it is only natural for United States men's national team fans to worry, the U.S. are still positioned well, sources tell CBS Sports.
"All is good," as a source close to Ledezma put it, saying that they they wouldn't characterize Ledezma as leaning towards Mexico at this time. CBS Sports understands that USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter and Ledezma even spoke on Monday. I'm told he is fully committed to working and trying to get into Berhalter's team, and the fact that they spoke is a good sign for the red, white and a blue.
The aim is now to get back on track with his club, play well enough and see if he gets his crack with the USMNT while Mexico continue to try and land him. While making it for Nations League this summer may seem early, having him on that squad and playing him would cap-tie him to the United States. So there are some big weeks are ahead.
The PSV man just scored his first Eredivisie goal for the Dutch club on Sunday and has recovered well from an ACL injury that kept him out for a year.
A promising career at a club known for cultivating young talent, Ledezma's early times at PSV showed plenty of promise. But in December of 2020, as he was breaking into the first team and looking like the next young star for the USMNT, he ruptured his ACL in a home match against AC Omonia on Dec. 10. It was his second start and sixth appearance, and he went down in the 16th minute when he slid and landed on top of his knee. From there, it was a long road to recovery, with trying, emotional times.
This came the month after he made his USMNT debut and looked fantastic in the process, coming off the bench in a friendly against Panama to record two assists to Sebasatian Soto. But the moment that the injury hit, his entire future with the national team was up in the air. It wasn't only because of the inability to play due to the injury but also because of Mexico's continued push to land him.
Of course, that is a tricky thing to do with the best talent pool the national team has seen. But Ledezma has shown flashes at PSV and Jong PSV, the club's youth side, and there is no doubt the is one of the top talents available to Berhalter in the group ages 21 and under. This year could prove pivotal, and his ability to potentially get back into the team ahead of the World Cup might make the difference between whether he sticks it out with the USMNT or jumps to Mexico.
Ledezma, now 21 years old, started his career in the Real Salt Lake youth system before moving to PSV. He's appeared for the U.S. at the youth level eight times, and never appeared for Mexico. It's an interesting choice for him as a prospect. At the current moment, the United States has a deep attacking corps that he could immediately contribute to while Mexico continue to show interest because they lack striker depth and have spent the current World Cup qualifying cycle, each offer different potential paths for Ledezma.
Regardless it seems certain that he'll have to make a decision before too long, and this summer is setting up to be a critical time for his international career.