With the new year comes a resumption of our translations of Mundo Deportivo‘s Promesas series, which profiles some of the diverse talent to be found in La Masia. The latest talent to be featured by writer Oriol Domènech is American Ben Lederman, who was discovered by coaches from the club two years ago at a campus in California. After passing a week long trial at FC Barcelona, the midfielder moved to Spain with his parents, and he now plays with Infantil B. Despite being born in the year 2000, he has already been called up to the United States’ U-14 national team. Read more about the youngster after the jump, or you can read the original article here.
Ben Lederman (Los Angeles, May 8, 2000) has already made history. Last year, as an 11-year-old, he became the first American to wear the shirt of FC Barcelona. The blaugrana coaches discovered Ben at a football campus in California, the Total Futbol Academy (Barcelona-USA), and proposed that he travel to Sant Joan Despí to train for a week with his possible future teammates. The Californian validated all the initial positive impressions, even exceeding them by working with older age groups and those responsible for the youth football program, Guillermo Amor and Albert Puig, approved his signing.
Lederman arrived with his parents, Danny and Tammy, who also settled in Barcelona, which eased his adaptation. Last season he joined Alevín A led by Marcel Sans and acted as the left midfielder in the 3-2-1 formation played by the 7 member football teams of Barça. The blaugrana team lost the league against Espanyol but were able to remove the sting in the final of the Campeonato de Catalunya (Championship of Catalunya), winning it 3-1, and also triumphing in the MIC, after narrowly beating the reigning champions at the time, Atlético de Madrid.
Ben has already made the jump to 11 player football with Marcel Sans’ Infantil B, currently second in group I of the Preferente, behind the A side of Escola de Valls, which has won everything. On December 16th, there were plenty of goals as Barça beat Escuela San Pedro y San Pablo (7-0) and Lederman scored the fourth goal of the match, his first of the season.
The reason for his scoring drought is, in large part, due to his absence from nearly half the matches, though his absence has been for a good cause. Despite being born in the year 2000, being 12 years old, he has been called up to the United States U-14 national team, with whom he has been training and playing friendlies during the month of November. And all indications point to continued call ups in the future.
Although it is too early to predict how far he will go in the world of football, it can be said of Ben that he has all the technical fundamentals required for a Barça midfielder. He possesses a polished technique, has a good vision of the game and rarely loses the ball. And when he approaches the area, he assists the forwards with high-quality inside passes. Only time will tell if he can also make history with the first team to become the first American to wear the blaugrana on the Camp Nou pitch.