A casual sports fan would see Ben Lederman on the field and wonder what the big deal is about the 12-year-old.
He is not a highlight-reel on legs. He is not going to show up on YouTube after beating six players on the dribble with fancy footwork. Instead, Lederman is an average looking player whose best attributes are not visible until the ball is in motion and he can create and dictate for those around him.
With simple passes and smart movements, Lederman has endeared himself to the coaches at FC Barcelona’s Academy and now the U.S. youth national team coaching staff.
Last week, the FC Barcelona Infantil B midfielder took part in his second U.S. U14 Boys National Team camp at the Home Depot Center. Lederman, along with the six other players born in 2000 and playing up an age group, featured with the second team during the camp.
Lederman, who now makes his home in Barcelona, started in both scrimmages as the attacking midfielder. Both matches can be found online for those who wish to watch. Lederman is wearing the #7 jersey.
With a pedigree that includes the most successful youth academy in the world, it is no surprise to see Lederman on the youth national team radar already.
But it may be a surprise that to learn the 12-year-old believes U.S. U14 BNT and his club team are trying to accomplish the same goal.
“Yeah, they are trying to do the same system,” Lederman told TopDrawerSoccer.com last Wednesday when asked to compare his experiences. “It is almost the same thing.”
Under the direction of Hugo Perez, the U.S. U14 BNT has taken on a new vision as the introductory phase for players to the U.S. national team style.
Perez said after the scrimmages on Wednesday that he was really pleased with how the players born in 2000 had integrated into the framework of the team and bought into the system.
The midfielder capped off the week at the Home Depot Center with a goal on Saturday in the last scrimmages against a local team before he returned to FC Barcelona, where he is entering his second season with the club.
The developing talent highlighted the time he has spent around Barcelona greats like Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta as his best memory since joining the club.
Pending any club commitments, Lederman is expected to feature with the U.S. U14 BNT at the next camp in February.
Joshua Perez training with PSV Eindhoven
Joshua Perez, the U.S. U15 Boys National Team star and TopDrawerSoccer.com #1 player for the Class of 2016, is currently training with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, according to his uncle Hugo Perez.
Over the last year, the talented winger, who currently plays with Chivas USA, has spent a considerable amount of time training with ACF Fiorentina in Italy, which remains a possibility for his impending move to Europe.
Indications from Hugo Perez suggest his nephew’s move to Europe is a matter of when and not if at this point.
The stint with PSV is expected to last two weeks with the obvious possibility of him staying on for longer at the club’s discretion. There are also other top clubs in the picture for the younger Perez while he is in Europe for this trip.