KENYA BROWN - Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Ben Lederman has made enough of an impression in Poland that he has agreed to a long-term deal with Ekstraklasa team Rakow Czestochowa.
The 20-year-old, who joined the team in February, has agreed to a four-year contract that is set to expire in June 2024.
"I am very happy that I will stay in Rakow for longer. I feel good in the team, and above all, I feel that I'm developing. I hope that from week to week I will become an even better player. I hope that with my skills I will help the team and together we will climb to the top," said Lederman in a statement on Rakow's website.
Lederman's story is familiar with most in U.S. Soccer circles. He made headlines when it was discovered that he had joined the famed La Masia academy of Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona in 2011. However, in 2014, he was forced to leave the team after FIFA declared it had violated regulations on bringing in youth players from outside their home countries. He obtained a Polish passport later on which allowed him to return to Spain to continue his development.
However, the California native would leave Barcelona once again and headed to Belgium where he signed with KAA Gent. After a brief period playing for the Under-21 team, he was on the move once again, landing in Poland with Rakow.
Thus far, Lederman has appeared in two games for the team, both coming off the bench. Rakow had seen enough to extend the offer a fresh contract.
"We are pleased with the progress that Ben has made since he came to our club," said Rakow's scouting manager Pawel Tomczyk. "His attitude both as an athlete and a man is adapted to the work ethos guiding the people employed in Rakow. Due to the above, we decided to use the provisions contained in the contract, which enabled us to extend the contract for another four years. We believe that we are still able to develop Ben so that he reaches the highest sports level and releases his dormant reserves, which will be beneficial for both sides."
Rakow has already assured their status for next season's Ekstraklasa. With four games left, there is a strong possibility that Lederman can see increased minutes on the field.