U.S. Men's National Team

Chivas coach says Zendejas won't play for USMNT


After recently joining Liga MX side Chivas Guadalajara, midfielder Alex Zendejas’ time with the U.S. could be over at the international level.

Chivas head coach Matias Almeyda has stated that the 18-year-old will not play for the U.S. Men’s National Team while he is at the Mexican side. Zendejas is eligible to play for both Mexico and the United States, although the former FC Dallas product has previously represented the U.S. at the under-17 and under-20 levels.

“I believe he’s already resigned,” Almeyda said. “If he came here he had to resign.”

“The chance came to bring him [to Chivas] knowing that he’d have to resign from [the U.S. national team], in which he’d already played,” added Almeyda. “But it is sorted so that he can some day play for the Mexican national team, if God wills.”

Chivas has long held a policy of only accepting Mexican players, and since Zendejas was born in Ciudad Juarez, the midfielder has been openly welcomed by Almeyda and the rest of the club.

    • mike

      Why are you mad at the club? The kid knew the policy before signing. Blame him and not the club, if he truly wanted to play for the USMNT he would not have went.


      • Louis Z

        Did the kid make the rules? No, it was the club. The only club that has such policy (I think). If the kid wants to change, then be it, but if the club is forcing his hand, then I would be pissed as well.


  • Helium-3

    With Chivas’ long standing tradition of playing only with Mexican talent, why do they hire foreigners as coaches like this Argentine and Dutch guys? Mexican coaches are not good enough for them? Hypocrite much?


  • antonnynoronha

    idiot, you will regret this decision and how
    much could be developed in USMNT
    program, we have better players than him to
    the midfield, as pulisic, keegan kelly, Luca de
    la torre, calvillo among others


  • BrianK

    Years ago, I was over a friends house to watch a football game. My friends brother was in the kitchen making a sandwich when he shouted out to his father who was sitting on the couch,…”Dad,…I think I’m going to move to California to become an actor.” Without a moments hesitation,….my friends father, slouched in the couch with his right arm set behind his head shouted back — “Bye!”


  • BraveCajun

    Can you imagine the outcry of Latin America if a MLB or MLS club announced that they would only sign Americans? Another reason why NAFTA is a bad deal. No sports franchise or company would be allowed to have those hiring restraints.


  • esco2016

    That kid’s agent is an idiot. He’s now limited to possibly being called up by Mexico (how likely is that?) and now he can’t showcase his talents to more scouts at national friendlies and tournaments with the youth teams.


  • Carlos

    He is beginning his career as a professional soccer player. At this stage he should be focused on developing and pt, not his national team career. Chivas will put him in a situation to play more senior games than FC Dallas would’ve.

    Mexico has a specific rule that ensure youth players get pt during the season.

    Also, chivas was scouting zendejas for awhile. Good team with a coach who likes you and will allow you to play and grow…Smart move in my opinion.


    • J. Thomas

      Plus, he can just bail on Chivas in a while and try to get back in with the US set up.

      Nobody wants to lose 7-0 in a tournament quarterfinal.


  • Aquaman

    I thought they backpedal led on this rule a few years ago by changing it to they only employ players who COULD play for Mexico (or were eligible to play for Mexico at the youth level)…something like that


    • Aquaman

      I think it was a case with Luis Martir a US U-20 player who is on Chivas’ segunda team


  • Dennis

    He is a good young player. He will get better or not. I would not be concerned so much. The chances he stays at Chivas for more than a few years are small, whether he improves or not. Plenty of time to see how he develops before the US gets upset about this.


  • MLSsnob

    Meh. There was a time that I would’ve been up in arms over this. But honestly there’s so much talent out there right now for USMNT youth internationals and I’ve seen so many of these guys flame out in Mexico that I can really care less. Benji Joya comes to mind…


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