Top Stories

Jonathan Gonzalez confirms decision to represent Mexico

Following Monday’s reports, Jonathan Gonzalez confirmed that his next step is with El Tri.

The Monterrey midfielder announced on Tuesday that he intends to represent Mexico on the international level. Gonzalez will be required to file a one-time switch with FIFA before officially joining the Mexico program after previously representing the U.S. on the youth level.

The decision represents a major coup for the Mexican federation, who lock down a commitment from one of the region’s top young midfielders. Gonzalez earned Best XI honors in Liga MX after breaking through as a key part of the Monterrey midfield.

Pending approval of his one-time switch, Gonzalez could represent El Tri as soon as this month as the team takes on Bosnia & Herzegovina in a friendly.


  1. Two things. First, for those who downplay JG’s potential, consider this. He made the best XI for Liga MX. Number of USMNT players who bade the best XI for MLS? 0, as in nada, not one player. Second, as to the role of U Soccer in recruiting players in leagues outside of MLS, hiring Arena to replace Klinsmann was a really bad ;idea, as it turns out. Not only for the obvious reasons, but Arena’s tunnel vision regarding playing the same old MLS players again and again did not help. One thing you can say for Klinsmann is that he would bring in players from anywhere who looked promising, like Alvarado, who didn’t pan out, but looked promising. That approach by Arena combined with not qualifying and not being called in for the U20 probably all played a part. US Soccer obviously had the inside track but didn’t do enough. Nevertheless, since I bleed red, white a blue, how could anyone who grows up in California play for Mexico? Screw the s.o.b., I hope he turns out to be a flash in the pan.

    • I wish he chose the US, but as a Dual National, I get home you can be split between 2 countries. I still cheer for US and France. Like him, I still have relatives that live abroad and strong ties to the other country.

  2. Bizzy:

    I’m a little confused by your post. You spend the first half of your post showing how we have a plethora of talented young players in better leagues/teams, and we don’t need to anguish over JG. But then you spend the other half trashing our national program and praising the Mexican set-up. I get that the current USMNT structure is in need of some updating, but you have to, at least, concede that the young players you listed have benefited to some extent from the same program you trash. Maybe I missed something…

    • Thats all it is TheFrenchOne…our structure needed updating a long time ago….and we left players on the field that blocked young energetic talent. And even tho I would love JG on the USMNT if we didn’t value him enough to pursue him like Mexico then why blame him for going to a better program that really wants him?

  3. wow, we have young prospects and players under 25 playing in leagues level or better than Liga MX……..
    DEANDRE YEDLIN – Newcastle
    BOBBY WOOD – Hamburg SV
    KENNY SAIEF – Anderlecht
    KYLE SCOTT – Chelsea
    MCKINZE GAINES – Darmstadt 98
    JOSHUA SARGENT – Werder Bremen
    TIMOTHY WEAH – Paris Saint-Germain
    KEATON PARKS – Benfica
    HAJI WRIGHT – SV Sandhausen on loan from Schalke 04.
    GEDION ZELALEM – Arsenal
    JULIAN GREEN – Greuther Fur
    LYNDEN GOOCH – Sunderland
    EMERSON HYNDMAN – Bournemouth
    JOHN BROOKS – VfL Wolfsburg
    CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS – Sheffield United, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur
    JEROME KIESEWETTER – Fortuna Düsseldorf
    …….so even tho he is a very good solid player lets face it …. he wasn’t in the future plans for USSoccer. Mexico showed they wanted him and made the effort to get him. If a better program shows interest, values your talents, recognizes your skills and makes an effort to make you represent a country that honors you and values your abilities….why should you say no
    1. Mexico has a better soccer program than us (and excel with players from THEIR league!!!!)
    2. Develops younger players better than us
    3. Mexican National Team is better than USMNT
    4. Liga MX is better than MLS
    …….so what is not to like? Especially when our National team has the tendency to BLACKLIST players even tho they have talent, produce for their teams and/or play at a higher level.
    so the kid did what most people would do and moved away from the pay to play USMNT mentality, who like to find particular midfielders, make them poster boys and block better talent that are younger………a soccer program that likes to do the SAME THING game after game and use the same players (as if new players coming in wouldn’t be able to figure things out) and have the tendency to leave players off the field that have the necessary skills, ball control, speed, strength and/or technical /tactical abilities,,,,,,,for back passers, positional pole-huggers, hold up Hercules and lateral Lucys.

  4. friends, life is not about all of the things you Don’t have and you didn’t win. it’s about what you do have and what you did win.

  5. I am not going to be PC here.

    Screw thus guy! Hope he never plays in a WC. Can’t believe I spent time following him. His parents came to this country for better life. He was born here and learned how to play soccer here. What a slap in the face to everyone in this country who was involved in his development! I am an immigrant myself and can’t imagine my kids even considering this.

    His story about being upset about a non-call to a friendly at 18 is absolute bs!

    Can’t believe people wishing him luck! His family probably gathers around the TV on match days to root against USMNT. Just looked at soccer-related comments from Mexican-Americans on social media. Most of them (not all) have no mixed feelings, it’s a full on disrespect and hatred of USMNT and US Soccer

    • Yevgeniy:

      I may not be quite as apoplectic as you, but I do share the feeling that JG (and his family) appears to have been very opportunistic. Did he always intend to join El Tri when the choice arose, or did we make his decision far easier by failing to qualify? We’ll never know.

      But clearly JG has been lying to the media about never been contacted. I hope USMNT and Rongen lay out the facts and the efforts made to recruit him, if only to show other duals that USMNT does, in fact, monitor young players and does make efforts to establish communication. We don’t have to trash him or call him a liar, just outline the efforts that were made. It appears that our efforts were never going to sway JG, and that ok.

      But yeah, quite opportunistic, in a very unpleased kinda of way…

  6. Hopefully his career develops on a better trajectory than Subotic and Rossi. It’s almost to the curse level. Deny the USMNT and you will be doomed … DOOMED!! Bwa ha ha ha.

    • LOL! And the US actually BEAT Trinidad and Tobago in the REAL final game. That game they showed on BeinSports was just a bunch of actors playing a “staged” game!

      Look in the mirror and practice saying “my name is Trey and I have a problem with denial!”

      • I totally realize you were being sarcastic – sorry that didn’t come out with the “LOL” part of my reply – i was laughing with you (not at you) and then trying to one-up you. I thought your sarcastic response was funny because there were some posts after the initial UNIVISION announcement that really did say things like “he still has time to reconsider”. They were the kind of things that people say after a girlfirend/boyfriend breaks up with you all of the sudden.

        The posts for this story have been great – it kind of like an instant soap opera.

  7. Enjoy cutting orange wedges for Marquez in Russia, cuz that’s the closest you’ll get to the field next summer.

    Listen, we lost a promising player, and that sucks. People also mention Rossi and Subotic. If that’s the worst of it, losing quality, but not world class played every 5-10 years (some of whom have been struggling with bad injuries for a long time), I can live with that.

    USMNT is a lame duck until WC 2018 is over. We just need to take it like a man, and minimize the damage.

  8. He was not on the U-20 US WC squad while Tyler Adams, who is the same age, was. Also Gedion Zelalem was on the original squad and even his injury did not result in Gonzalez being called into the squad. So it is really had to argue that he is better than what is already on the squad.

    Perhaps he recognized that the US simply did not value him. The potential of teenagers is routinely hard to predict. It will be another 4 or 5 years before whether or not this is much of an issue wrt the USMNT will be known.

    It is presently hard to argue, for example, that Julian Green,or even Aron Johhannson, has lived up to the hype going on before WC 2014.

    • To be fair once the tournament had started JGone could not be called in the roster was set. Williamsen is said to be possibly moving to Schalke, Adams showing well against Portugal and certainly a European talent, Zelalem, and EPB capable of playing centrally the only one you could debate would be Jones. Jones was 19 weighs about 175 lbs and was available to either Ghana or the US, and JGone is 135 soaking wet and 18 who do you want playing DM. Gonzalez I believe played some wing for the U20s so was there anything to indicate he was better than Liverpool product Lennon or Fulham product De La Torre?

      • What is STUPID American obsession with size instead of skill and speed??? He is the same size as Makelele and N’Golo Kanté. The first is in the conversation for the best destroyer/cdm of all time and the second is in the conversation for conversation for the best playing right now

      • US youth teams are almost always less physical than their opponents. Jones was the right choice eight months ago, no one was calling for JGone because he hadn’t shown elite talent. If Gonzalez had shown this level of talent when he had been with the U20s in qualifying it wouldn’t have been a question.

  9. While it was his choice, I’m very disappointed that we’ve lost such a talented prospect/player. If it were to any other national team I’d have wished him well, and left it at that. However, since he’s chosen to represent Mexico….I hope he has a career similar to Rossi, and somehow never makes a WC squad.

  10. We just lost a 18 year old California kid who is at this moment a superior player to captain Michael Bradley. Another sad blow to the US program. The humiliation keeps getting worse and worse. What’s next? Hope Solo elected president?

      • What are you talking about? This past Liga MX season, he has been a starter on arguably the best team in Concacaf. He was chosen as a best 11 LigaMX player and he relegated a Mexican National team starter to the bench for Monterrey. This isn’t same prospect that is showing well for some Top Club’s youth team. Its a someone who at 18 has shown to be a top midfielder amongst the best players in the best league in North America. I was skeptical of him until I watched him play recently. Educate yourself.

      • I would guess even if he is as good as you claim, that the US coaching staff did not see him that way and hence his absence from the U-20s and his assessment that he has not so much value in the eyes of the US coaching staffs.

      • Dennis, that is actually an indictment of the US soccer system. The kid (at 18) was named the best 11 in arguably the 1st (worst 3rd) best league in the Americas. I know my fellow Americans may not like to hear it, but Liga MX is. MLS is not as good a league. The kid may not pan out, but imagine if he does? Imagine, we could have a central midfield trio of McKennie/Gonzalez/Pulisic with 2 upfront, 3 solid CBs, and dynamic, speedy wingbacks.

  11. How nice of him to issue his statement in both languages. Out of respect, I will issue my response bilingually as well:
    English: “Thanks for considering the US. We respect your hard work.”
    Spanish translation: “Chingate puta! Buena suerte con las chicas de El Tri!”

    • LOL!!! Was that translated by the same people who worked the English subtitles for Netflix’s El Chapo series? They don’t translate the chinga this ching that, but anyone who knows Mexican Spanish knows its meanings.

  12. Last week we heard JG side of the story from the SoccerAmerica Interview and this week we are starting to hear more from USSF explaining he was at least contacted several times by Bruce/Tab in September and earlier, USSoccer reached out to Monterrey to inquire about calling in for Nov but Monterrey even though they would have had to anyway but asked USSoccer not to call him in given upcoming MX playoffs, and now Rongen says on CBSSports he’s visited his family home 3 times this year. (Granted its “Messi has low soccer IQ” Rongen but we sent our head scout to his home. Aside – how is a guy who says that about Messi our head scout?)

    Tab Ramos not calling him up for the U20 WC was probably what opened the door in his heart to making this switch IMO. Similar motivator to why Subotic switched too (Rongen again). Tab valued other U20 MFs over JG and called in who he thought was better. Possibly, or it comes back to my old conspiracy theory that seems to have gone all around the other blogs by now that MLS/SUM prefers to call in their guys to the NT to make them more marketable for their league. JG did bypass MLS for LigaMX, but thats happend before too, Joe Corona, Jose Torres. Or maybe, Tab Ramos can’t identify talent that’s only a couple months away from breaking thru on the first or second best club in North America with players who will be MLS lifers at best. I do think Tab has done a B- job overall in his position though as YouthTD and U20 coach so don’t want to rag on him too much but this is a big miss.

    Who knows, we missed when we left him off the U20 WC roster. MX comes calling and he’s open to listening and eventually six months later makes the switch. I personally think that his club meddled on this one too with shooing us away in Nov even though we could have forced their hand given it was a FIFA window and they’ve been in his ear to switch along with his dad and family for some time according to other report, but he wasn’t hearing it until the U20 snub.

    What this tells me is we need to do a better job of talent evaluation. Just because a kid is playing and starting in MLS does not mean he’s better than a kid putting in work at a top club overseas and only making bench or u23 team minutes. Challenging yourself in Europe, or MX or SA should be rewarded, they are more competitive clubs and leagues.FIFA rules don’t allow every kid to do that early but we should be able to tell elite level talent from journeyman talent.

    We have a history of favoring to more physically developed faster bigger stronger kids at the youth level who then fizzle out as their peers bodies catch up with theirs in size and strength. This at the expense of the more technically gifted shifty one two touch passing wizard type kid. Lot of that is changing but it would be good for the new USSF regime to evaluate who evaluates their youth talent and prospects. Maybe we can spend some of that surplus on funding a bigger scout network or system with more analytics at the youth level. Hard to do but could pay off big too.

    As much as I don’t like the idea of Concacaf Nations League one potential benefit will be getting young talent international minutes in more or less meaningless games and cap tieing them possibly depending on how FIFA counts these Nations Leagues games.

    Maybe we just missed on this kid too. But, if he turns out to be who MX thinks he is we are going to be ruing this day for the next ten years as he bosses our midfield.

    Really bummed about this one too. Subotic and Rossi weren’t fun either but this one feels worse IMO.

    • Subotic is still the worst I’d argue. Picking Mexico or Italy is one thing, and picking Serbia is another, after being in the US youth system too. Perhaps Gonzalez becomes great but Subotic started in a Champions league final.

      • Yeah Subotic was a bad deal too. He was actually in residency in Bradenton with the other U17s for a year too. I guess part of why I think this one is worse is JG’s potential upside which may or may not pan out for a youth player, but I don’t like giving up that potential upside and what it could do for our NT.

    • May pan out? he started for Monterrey all of last season.where he benched a started for the Mexican national team. His teammates play for Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Mexico’s National teams. He was named the best in his position in a league vastly superior to mls. I think we are a little past “may”

  13. It’s definitely a loss for US Soccer. It would have been awesome to see him line up with McKennie, Pulisic, and a handful of others who are on the horizon for the USMNT.

  14. The true is: He wants to play for US , but the Mexican Federation offered a lot of money to his family in Santa Rosa to convince him to switch and ….Was an offer ” He could NOT refuse.”

  15. He was clearly using the US as leverage to get a Mexico spot. It’s happened before and will happen again. Least there’s some other promising central midfield coming up with McKennie, Parks, and hopefully Hyndman and Adams too.

    • Plus you’re leaving out like 5 incredible prospects. James Sands might be the best of the bunch, there’s also Kyle Scott at Chelsea who’s been on the bench for Chelsea this season. He’s likened to Luka Modric. Chris Durkin at DC United and Giovanni Reyna both have fantastic potential. There are others as well.


Leave a Comment