The Mexican national team has had its eyes on Jonathan Gonzalez for some time, and are reportedly ready to make him an offer that could force Gonzalez to make a final decision between the United States and El Tri in the very near future.
According to ESPN, there is a “good possibility” Mexico will call up the Monterrey midfielder up for the Mexico’s Jan. 31 friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina. That invite would only be made if Gonzalez were ready to commit to El Tri and file a one-time switch with FIFA. He cannot represent Mexico, even in a friendly, without filing a one-time switch because he has already played for the United States on the youth level.
What the ESPN story doesn’t say is whether Gonzalez is actually considering filing a one-time switch to play for Mexico. As things stand, there is no rush for the 18-year-old California native to switch to Mexico, though El Tri is surely banking on the allure of potentially featuring in the 2018 World Cup as something that could sway Gonzalez, who has previously stated his intention to represent the United States.
That commitment could be on shaky ground though after the USMNT failed to call up Gonzalez for its November friendly against Portugal. Gonzalez, who was named to the Liga MX Best XI following his breakout campaign, has yet to play for the U.S. on the senior level and recently revealed that he was not contacted by U.S. Soccer before the team’s November friendly against Portugal.
“I wasn’t called in, in November,” Gonzalez recently said in an interview with Soccer America. “Personally, nobody came and talked to me and let me know about that friendly. I just wasn’t called in.”
The USMNT reportedly attempted to call in Gonzalez for its January camp, but that was turned down do to the fact it interfered with his preseason with Monterrey. The USMNT is also set to take on Bosnia & Herzegovina on Jan. 28 as part of the annual January camp. However, Monterrey has a match against Chivas on Jan. 27, making Gonzalez’s participation unlikely.