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U.S. Men's National Team

Still eligible for both nations, Jesse Gonzalez feels 'more Mexican' than American

Photo by Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports

Jesse Gonzalez’s international future has yet to officially be decided, but the FC Dallas goalkeeper’s decision appears to be all but made.

Speaking to AS, Gonzalez said he views himself as Mexican and hopes to someday represent El Tri on the senior level. Gonzalez was born in North Carolina and raised in Texas but has played for Mexico as a youth international.

“I feel more Mexican [than American]. My whole family is Mexican and I am proud to be Mexican,” he told AS. “Of course I would play with the Mexican team and hopefully I get the chance.”

Gonzalez has previously played for Mexico’s U-20s and U-23s, starting two of three matches for the former at the 2015 U-20 World Cup. The goalkeeper initially accepted a call-up to U.S. Men’s National Team camp in Jan. 2016, but a change of heart saw Gonzalez instead join the Mexico U-23 team for camp.

Until he represents either on the senior level, Gonzalez remains officially eligible for either nation.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper has made 21 career MLS regular season appearances, including four in 2017, three of which were clean sheets.

47 comments
    • J.Thomas

      You have to wonder if he even really knows what being Mexican is…he has been an American his entire life. There is a lot of Latin American culture in the US. He’s probably more Tex-Mex than anything.

      This is something that he will likely regret saying at some point.

      Like

  • TheFrenchOne

    That’s cool. Good for him. I’m sure he’s also seen the US pipeline of goalkeepers and realized he’s like 14th at best. Don’t know the depth chart for El Tri, but I assume it’s a little shallower.

    Like

    • Old School

      Maybe I’m out of the loop, but I haven’t seen anyone worthy of taking the mantle once Howard and Guzan are done.

      Any list I’ve seen are filled will hyperbolic hype rather than substance, but I wish I had your optimism.

      Like

      • Chase

        I’m with you. If a dude is getting solid minutes at only 21, I would assume he’s pretty good. Moreover, he has plenty of time to improve considering our recent GKs haven’t played until they were like 30.

        To write off a promising prospect is pretty foolish.

        Like

      • NE Revs

        Can anybody say with a straight face they know who is a true contender to make the 2022 WC team as a GK? I don’t remotely trust anybody not named Howard or Guzan.

        Like

      • TheFrenchOne

        Old School:

        I didn’t take the time to count, and I’d agree that after Howard and Guzan, there’s no obvious successor. That just won’t happen until the coach’s hand is forced and his 2 go-to guys are no longer available. But we got plenty of young guys (young for keepers, I mean) that can slide in when the time is right. Horvath, Yarbrough, Bingham, Hamid, Johnson, Frei, Robles, Hamid, even a certain Jonathan Klinsmann. I’m not saying any of them are world-beaters, just that this is not a position of need for us. And Jesse Gonzalez has a better chance starting for the USMNT if he switches to left back…

        Like

      • az18

        @Chase Cropper and Steffen are also getting minutes and Horvath was getting minutes at Molde, we will see with Brugge, but they are a higher level than MLS currently. Not to write him off, but it’s not exactly like we are desperate either. Those are the younger options not including Hamid and the other mid to upper 20 year olds who still have many years left.

        Like

    • bigprof72

      a year ago, this guy probably wouldve chosen US of A. This may be the first of many to come, of mex-americans deciding to go with mejico on account of the political situation in the u.s. of a. (without naming names that are responsible for that changed political situation).

      Like

      • CeezRBNY

        A year ago? Nah, this kid has been talking like this for a while now. This is not the first article on him.

        Like

      • TheFrenchOne

        BIG: that escalated quickly… “Political situation”…? It’s probably best if you don’t project your political feelings on a young soccer player who is just trying to figure out his way. The kid plays/lives in Dallas. It would appear he is comfortable being in America.

        Soccer players will go where the best opportunity is to play and earn a spot on their national squad, as it should be. That’s why Gignac is playing in Mexico, which has a few more kidnappings and murders than Dallas, by my last count…

        Like

      • David M

        Really, BIG?? Can you read… “The goalkeeper initially accepted a call-up to U.S. Men’s National Team camp in Jan. 2016, but a change of heart saw Gonzalez instead join the Mexico U-23 team for camp.” So, tell me, what was the political situation in Jan. 2016? Who did he choose a year ago??

        Like

      • Rory, etc etc

        This kid has said he felt more Mexican over a year ago, so your theory is incorrect.

        I feel like we as a fan base have moved forward since the oft-injured “Italian” from New Jersey spurned us. Do we have to always take it personal when a kid wants to impress his daddy by playing for his nation instead of the nation he was born in?

        Like

    • whammmm

      Pro trump? I’m pro USA. Anti ignorant people(care to comment?)
      Kid has a bright future and has the right to make the decision. Good for him.

      Like

      • Dennis

        He has not really had to make a decision yet. So far only the US has invited him to the full MNT squad, but he did choose the Mex U-23s at the time. Probably wants to keep his options open and at 21, he can defer for a while before making a choice. When he has only the senior teams to choose between and if/when both call him he would have a choice. For now I would take him at his word that he “feels” Mexican and that would be his choice. We’ll see what the future brings.

        Like

      • whammmm

        Dennis, learn how to read. I said he has a bright future and the right to chose whichever way he wants, good for him on having the option.

        Like

  • Anthony

    Good luck to the kid! Play where your heart is no matter where you were born/raised. However, on to kids who are willing to give 100% for the USMNT.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Shaun

    Well bye… I don’t know how you can be born in NC and live in Texas but feel Mexican. As an American of Mexican descent that kind of stuff blows my mind.

    Like

      • Rory, etc etc

        I get where you are coming from.

        But honestly if I had to move to Mexico or England or Canada to take a job I’d raise my kid to love America and I’d keep the “Americanism” alive in my family so I can’t be mad.

        Like

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US

      I tend to agree with you with a fairly recent family, but everyone is in a different situation.

      Maybe he or his parents don’t feel welcome for whatever reason, that can polarize someone into feeling an allegiance even if there really isn’t one.

      I agree with Anthony above, his choice, onto the players who want to, really want to, play for the US.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Old School

      There’s nothing wrong with your experience or his. They’re different, and that usually produces different results.

      Good for him, and good for you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • JayFc

      John Brooks, Jermane Jones, Tim Chandler, Bobby Wood, Joe Gyu, Fabian Johnson I don’t know how they could play for the USA I mean it’s like they decided a different path. But how, they were born in Germany. Blows my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

    • NE Revs

      Great point. Seems kind of ungrateful IMO. First black people are upset about slavery even though we rescued them Africa and gave them the entire month of February (which is of course very racist. White people deserve a history month too). This nationality confusion is just more liberal BS that comes from letting people think for themselves. Everyone knows if you have two nationalities to choose from, then you don’t actually have one.

      Like

      • NE Revs

        Wow, apologies for the above comment. PFT Commentor hacked my account.

        Like

      • Old School

        I rarely agree with anything you say, generally find your posts annoying, but the above post isn’t indicative of your posting style or behavior. I have no idea what transpired to cause it but I’m giving you the benefit of doubt – it’s not your nature.

        Like

      • AzTeXan

        Not trying to be a fanboy, but PFT is the greatest satirical character since Colbert. Pardon My Take and the MMBM are must listen/read if you follow traditional American sports

        Like

      • mike

        You are a idiot for posting this then lying about being hacked. As a African American and Afro Latino you all will talk so much crap about Blacks and Latinos on the internet, but you all know if you said it in real life you would get knocked the fuck out.

        Like

    • Gary Page

      Remember Rossi? Born and raised in New Jersey, but his grandfather, as I recall, instilled a love and desire in him for the Italian national team until that was his dream. So, it is probably a close relative who influenced him. When it comes to sports, a lot of people identify early with a team and keep that identity wherever they are. In baseball, it’s the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red sox, for example. A lot of good Americans closely identify with Mexican soccer, especially since it has been a very recent sport, relatively, in this country.

      Like

      • Anthony

        Both of Rossi’s parents were born in Italy and immigrated to the USA. He moved back with his dad to attend academies. He promised his dad to play for Italy before he died.

        Like

  • bmlyon

    Context: He was about to join the US after getting called up, but he was worried about family pressure to play with el Tri. Capulet and Montesquieu level.

    Like

  • Joe Dirt

    Hypothetically speaking…

    A lot of American soldiers during WWII had parents born in either Germany, Italy or Japan. If we replace the word “play” and replace it with the word “fight”. How does that change the way we feel about this decision. He’s born here and grew up here but says he “feels” more Mexican.

    We did fight a war with Mexico once and in the lead up to that war the US used a playbook where by we had US immigrants cross, live, and own property in the Mexican territory of Tejas, eventually those US immigrants wanted to be part of the US because well they “feel” more American.

    I guess we can all say to each his own and all that, but does that really apply in situations of national loyalty. This is just soccer so what, but what if it was something bigger later down the road.

    Like

      • Joe Dirt

        Right if he took my call of course, but he’d probably tell me not to think and just attack the messenger since that seems to work so well anyway.

        Like

    • jus sayin'

      “This is just soccer so what, but what if it was something bigger later down the road.” LoL Puuulease with that. Something bigger like what…. a choice between Carls Jr or El Pollo Loco for lunch?

      Beauty of the ideals in this country is freedom of expression. Perhaps he feels he can express his soccer talent better within that teams culture. G-luck to him- he’s a heckuva young keeper.

      Like

  • alndres ventura

    In mejico (mexico) do not want him for nothing,there are realli mexicans who born there,they
    don care about jessi,better to stay in USA,because, he shoud love usa because he born
    here,and for the disaster i the general desater,a am mexican but 1 love USA

    Like

  • Grunt

    Being born and raised in the USA to view oneself as Mexican is fairly common. Not saying it applies to all or even most Mexican-Americans, but it is not unusual, and it doesn’t just reflect their soccer loyalty. Unfortunately it is probably more accurate to say such individuals are Mexicans in America, than Mexican-Americans.

    Like

  • alndres ventura

    Know,you jesse Gonzalez,the usa hater,wy don´t you go and leave to mexico whit the mexican crock president peña nieto,nobody want him in this country,and say proud Usa my country give me all,fuch the mexican,you are mexican AMERICAN and you wash born in USA

    Like

  • alndres ventura

    The political situación in Mexico IS WORST whit pena nieto,this president has millions of mexican poors
    diying oh hunger,there much blood in the strets,whit the carteles and the corrupt police,
    and worst peña gay is afraid of president Trump,i live here,drugs dealers,do wat they want..
    and there are like five goolkeepers in the Tri,and the coach Osorio never said nothing about
    you……You are ignorante y pendejo pero EU te da de comer ,te enseño fut en acedemia,
    ropa,no seas pendejo jesse glez,you are more american than mexico,you never live in this
    country,excuse my english,but 1 am learnet,little by litlle,there are godd mexican american that
    love USA,like Paul Arriola,armando moreno,Pete Requejo,castillo,josé Torrés Omar González and more,and there is racism ,whit the players of Panama,Colombia,they treated like monkeis
    in the stadiums,
    l

    Like

  • alndres ventura

    The mexican american in boxing are all whit the USA,like the policeman Mike Garcia a world
    champion,oscar de la hoya the golden boy help the team houston dinamo,and stay in the ring
    whit both flags,but never said “1 am going or doit for méxico”

    Like

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