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Report: Jonathan Gonzalez could receive El Tri invite, but would have to commit to Mexico to accept it

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.


  1. If we lose him it will be because FMF does more scouting and recruiting in Hispanic areas of the US than US Soccer does. I believe it was through the Alianza program that Gonzalez got his initial move to Monterrey. FMF isn’t stealing kids out of MLS Academies they are offering free tryouts in front of professional teams offering kids that can’t afford or whose parents are unable to navigate the US youth club system an opportunity to flourish.

    • This is a good point to be fair. His caps for the Youth sides didn’t really start until he was signed at Monterrey. Mind you he notched most of his youth caps prior to playing his first senior match, but one has to wonder where this kid would be if Monterrey didn’t scout him and sign him…

      • Hugo Perez was already working with him with U14s so he was on the radar, but he’d likely be with Sacramento FC or in the San Jose system since he’s a north Cali kid.

  2. Is it just me or wouldn’t most rational people not choose to play for Mexico because of being snubbed for a friendly by US when you are 18? I mean if your heart is into US Soccer, you are not bailing (to Mexico no less) over a friendly and even over a single World Cup out of about 4 that or 5 that you may feature in.

    • Well- you should also look at financially and playing level… he might have a chance to play in the world cup now, rather than 5 years from now. This could help him make a move to a top club in the world where he will earn more money. He might even be more valuable and earn more as a Mexican National team player, getting consistent minutes in LigaMX then he would if he were a US Nats guy. The marketing value of soccer players in US is just not on par with Mexico, especially for latin players and especially for guys who haven’t made it at a top club (Pulisic) or done something for the NATs at the world cup (i.e. Donovan)

      • people keep saying this. I suspect that Osorio has his squad pretty firmly selected for 2018, I mean it’s a handful of months away. How likely is it he would bring someone up and include him in their squad who has 1 season under his belt and no international games with Mexico?

        IMO FMF is likely looking beyond 2018 with Jonathan. he might get called in for the pre-WC friendlies, but I would be shocked if he broke through and went to Russia (not doubting his talents, merely acknowledging that you tend to not shake things up just before the WC).

    • I hope he plays for whichever country he feels most deserves his loyalty. There are a lot of factors that go into that equation, not least pressure from family or other people he respects.

      Of course, it doesn’t help that the President of the United States insults Gonzalez’s heritage and millions of Americans endorsed those insults when they voted for him.

      • Grunt, this is how I feel. I would prefer to have the kid rep the US, but if he feels more connected to Mexico (between factors like family ties, politics, career, etc..) and selects them then that’s his decision to make. Such is the life of a dual nationalist plying their trade in soccer. Sometimes the US wins (bacon, FB, etc…) and sometimes the US loses (Rossi, Subotic, etc…)

        Here’s hoping that the USSF get their stuff together (new coaching staff, new president, etc…) and press forward. But I’m hoping that even while there is an upheaval in staff, someone understands the necessity of reaching out to at least start the conversation

    • Ha yeah. If we are waiting on this kid to decide whether it is “financially prudent” to be American, I’m gonna go ahead and take a pass right now.

    • Prior to July 2017 (his first senior game) many US fans didn’t know he existed. He’s certainly put himself on the map and I guarantee USSF has him on their radar. If anything FMFs applying of pressure may make USSF act faster. He’s already tied to the US, so the “cap him first” argument is out the window 🙂

      I’m sure as FIFA dates come around USSF will call him up.

  3. So, Mexico is flying top officials to California to meet with him and the National team head coach is personally calling him, and yet we couldn’t even give him a courtesy call to let him know he is in our plans but wasn’t getting called into the friendly against Portugal. Honestly, I couldn’t even be mad at him is he chose Mexico over us with how badly the Boobs at US Soccer have handled this.

  4. Hard to believe he would turn down El Tri if he thought he could get on the plane to Russia. I got a bad feeling about this.

    • What are the actual odds of him getting on a plane to Russia though? Not doubting the kid, but we are talking about 5-6 months. Will he over take other CMs in Mexico’s pool? I’m sure FMF is looking beyond 2018 for Gonzalez.

      I simply don’t see your concern. As with all dual nationals, this is a personal decision. He has repped the US youth teams and is officially tied to the us. If he files the 1 time switch it will be because he feels a stronger tie to Mexico. He has stated he wants to rep the US and I suspect we (fans) are making a mountain our of a mole hill with this article

      • It would be a shame to lose him to Mexico, BUT if this kid is bent out of shape about not receiving a phone call and would file a one time switch over that, I’m not sure I’m interested in someone like that. As one OP already said, it would be like his heart wasn’t ever in it for the US. Does he read? It was well documented in the press that the reason he wasn’t called up was because of his Liga MX commitments. Did he really need someone from USSF calling him to state the obvious?

    • Panda, the sky was falling back in September qualifiers and then it hit bottom in October qualifiers when we failed to qualify. The sky officially fell already.

  5. Went back read the full interview at Soccer America and what stood out the most to me was this question and his answer:

    SoccerAmerica: It’s been widely reported that you’re being courted by the Mexican national team. Obviously, U.S. fans are curious how that will play out …

    JG: At the moment, I really haven’t thought of it much. I focused on my club because of the finals and all of that.

    Guys, he could have squashed the rumors right there by saying he wants to play for the US. He didn’t he left it vague and noncommittal, NOT GOOD!!. FIrst Rongen and Subotic and now this. We can’t miss of this type of level of talent that has been wearing our shirt in U16, U17, and even in residency at Bradenton in Subotic’s case. Tab didn’t call him up for the U20 WC this past year either. If these coaches can’t identify top talent that’s a few months away for starting for a club like Monterrey then what are we paying for. I realize identifying talent and fitting into your system is subjective but at the same time you should be able to tell high level talent from mid level talent. If he switches this will be a bigger blemish on Tab Ramos than other IMO given his no call for a U20 WC. Then we don’t even call him on the phone ahead of a youth movement friendly. Whats the kid supposed to think?

    • A little revisionist, you had Tyler Adams and Gedion Zelalem in CM and EPB played there in qualifying, Gonzalez hadn’t even played a professional match at that point in his career and he didn’t shine in limited minutes in CONCACAF U20s. Gonzalez found a spot for his club in which he was surrounded by veterans many who had international experience that allowed him to find his nitch on an already great squad. There were several regular contributors on here who after watching the U17s last cycle through qualifying and the WC said that Perez was much better than Pulisic, so 17s can progress quickly when put in the right environment.

      • Youre just making things up now. It was Chandler for Rb instead of Zusi that i was most upset with given Yedlib injury at the time. And, some combination of Klesjtan, Williams, Mckennie in later games that I favored in CM but never really posted about Adams or Zelalem who was hurt since the U20s. –

        But keep trying to discredit me all you want. You still know your wrong.

      • @joe dirt I’m trying to figure out what you are talking about in your reply to JohnnyRazor. Razor responds to your point about Tab not calling him up by mentioning who played in the CM position instead of Gonzalez. But your reply focused on the Senior side.

        @johnnyrazor to your point about Perez and Pulisic in even connecting to your point on Gonzalez. A lot depends on how players progress from Youth nats. The style of play by the player/club, the drive of the player, the type of coach, etc… Sometimes better players fizzle out because of the situation they got themselves in when signing for a club. Sometimes a player exceeds expectations because the team he’s with makes him a better and more confident player. What we can agree on is that predicting how a player will turn out by looking at their U17 play is a crap shoot. You can make an educated guess, but a lot of it boils down to the player’s drive

      • Ummm I was responding to your comment that it was Tab’s fault for not calling him into the U20 WC.

        I agree with you someone should have been in touch, to Gomer’s point I don’t know who that is, but someone. I just don’t think you can put all the blame on Tab if he goes with Mexico. No one on here or four or five other sites I visit regularly when the rosters came out was complaining that JGon wasn’t on the roster if the US misses on him it wasn’t just Ramos, that was all I was saying.

  6. Right now this kid is better than Captain Bradley. I’ve watched him play and his recent accomplishments (in a better league) speak for themselves. He is only 18 and plays holding mid. If we lose him, it should be considered a massive blow. Not quite as bad if Pulisic went to Croatia, but not that far off. He plays the same position as Bradley and is already better in almost every way, except Jogging.

  7. Fine if Monterrey did not release him, but at issue is the fact that JG was never contacted personally by USMNT staff. You have to coddle your brightest prospects a bit and let them know they’re wanted. That Sarachan didn’t do this is beyond me.

    • Also Monterrey had to play the last game of their season on 11/18, with the regular season title at stake. They needed to win to claim 1st place (34 points) against Tigres (32).

      Why would USSF put pressure on a youngster, by distracting him from something more important than a meaningless friendly? Why would you care if a temporary guy (Sarachan) is calling you up or not. He’s not going to be around or influencing you when you play for the team in the long term.

      • JG cared enough to mention to the press that he was never contacted by the US. The way I read the articles, it clearly did not sit well with him.

      • @tomM or it could have been that he was asked about the Portugal friendly and that he wasn’t on the roster. Sounds to me like he was plainly stating no one reached out to him about that friendly. Perhaps he said it to apply pressure on USSF to give him a call, but i read it as if he was merely answering the question.

        Q-you werent on the roster…?
        A- no one called me

        Ultimately he’s making a clear cut stance in his play and what he has actually been quoted in the past (about wanting to rep the US) to justify a call up shortly. He has worked up through the US Youth nats and was called in for the January camp (though denied since it isn’t a FIFA date). Could Arena have called him in?? Sure, though he’s got 1 season under his belt and it just so happened to occur when the USMN should have been fighting tooth and nail to qualify (though we know how that went down).

    • He was asked point blank about the Portugal friendly. So I guess he answered fully which he didn’t have to, but he didn’t bring it up.

  8. Portugal-USA was on 11/14.

    Liga MX Playoffs (La Liguilla) started a week later, 11/22.

    If Monterrey did not release him for January camp due to their preseason, why they heck would they do so a week before the quarterfinals?

    Why is this info not being reported so readers can judge for themselves what the real issue is?

    • that isn’t the point here. he didn’t even get an email or phone call or text. not being called up for Portugal makes sense, not being communicated to is a colossal failure. even if he is unavailable for the January camp, which I have read, he should be in contact with USSF. that all said, if he is unavailable for our January camp, not sure why he would be for this Mexico friendly.

  9. You can’t really blame the kid if he chooses the bad guys since he has a chance to make their WC squad this summer. That’s a huge opportunity.

    However, all signs indicate that the US could have kept him firmly committed to us if our past staff had done even a minimal amount of communication. I don’t see how anyone could look at Arenas’s and his staff’s tenure as anything but a colossal failure in every aspect of the word.

  10. Tweet CP10 and ask him to personally call Jonathan to ask him to stay. It’s clear the USMNT organization has its head in the sand.

    • ^This. Pulisic just needs to go into full on Lebron GM mode like Lebron does with Cavs. The FO within USSF is rank amateur hour and our best prospects know it. Its time for them to band together like the guys did in the 90s and do it themselves for the sake of the shirt. IN PULISIC WE TRUST!!

      • I suppose we supporters could also self-organize and try and woo Jonathan using social media. If the USMNT management won’t do it, a grass roots approach might convince him he’s wanted.

    • Actually this is one of the better ideas on the site. People keep b*tching about how the USSF is “dropping the ball” but honestly what exactly do they expect to happen? A lame duck administrator like Gulati or an obvious temp like Sarachan picks up the phone and calls the guy? Talk about all-time terrible pitches! I think the idea of having a current player call is better than anything else I’ve heard!

    • If he accepts Mexico’s call I would add this to another one of Arena’s failures as a manager. Don’t want the excuses of no time to introduce youth during must win games when half the people he called in didn’t play and huge mistake not to call him in or attempt contact him for November friendly

      • this is revisionist history and hindsight talk, we are better than this folks. If Jonathan is thrown off because he wasn’t called in for 1 friendly, and is ready to move on to the mexican set up because he felt slighted then i would argue his heart was never fully with the US! Again, there is plenty of time to get him in, what’s the rush, there is nothing important happening for another year! See my comment below for why he possibly wasn’t called in for the Portugal friendly, and it actually makes a lot of sense, so much so that it mirrors why he won’t be in for the January camp and that is because of club obligations!

    • don’t assume anything…but i have to say, if he really feels american i would think no call up from mexico would persuade him to accept it! I have read several articles where it was said USSoccer wanted to call him in for the Portugal friendly but with Monterrey having matches scheduled during the international window, and also with the Liga MX playoffs looming, it made more sense to leave him with his club! If that was the case i totally agree with how USSoccer handled it. You want your young players continuing to grow with their club team, keep him in that environment as much as possible especially considering his success with the club so early on, and it makes no sense to pull him away for 1 friendly that means absolutely nothing.

      Now, i know some will say that he should have been brought in to get familiar with his new teammates for the future but all the same, it’s a long 5 years until the next WC, and another year until competitive games are played! We also don’t know if Monterrey turned away the US’ efforts in trying to bring him in, it’s a lot of speculation going on right now! Lastly, there will also be 2-3 send off friendlies for teams going to Russia that will want to play the US to get ready for the WC, plenty of time to get him integrated into the set up!

      • It’s not that he wasn’t called in that people are riled up over. It’s the fact that he wasn’t even contacted.

        It’s a less than 5 minute phone call, “Hey Jonathan, we are really impressed with what you are doing at Monterrey. Keep up the good work. Looking forward, we definitely see you in the USMNT picture. In fact, we would love to have you in camp for the Portugal friendly, but after consulting with your club coaches everyone agrees that it would be best for all parties involved for you to stay with your club this week so you are fresh and rested for your upcoming quarterfinal. Best of luck, and we hope to see you in camp in January.”


      • I love how everyone here is avoiding the question of who actually makes this supposedly “easy phone call”. US Soccer fans already got what they wanted when JK and Arena were fired, and Sunil was neutered. Everyone agreed that no coach should be hired until after elections……Lo and behold, now everyone is mad because nobody is minding the ship. Look what the “Fire Everybody!” mentality gets us.

        I mean really, who is supposed to make this call? Dave Sarachan? “Oh hi Jonathan…. my name is Dave Sarachan. Never heard of me? Ha you’re not alone!. Well don’t bother writing the name down, because I am on a week-to-week contract and you’ll almost certainly never hear from me again! Anyway, we’d love to have you come in, because “we” (whoever that is at this point) really believe in you! Sound credible? Thought so! We’ll fax over the paperwork once we have a staff! Don’t look so impressed!”


        Frankly, I’m happy we didn’t call him. A bad pitch is worse than no pitch at all. And besides, who wants a mercenary? If he feels American, he’ll wait. If not, good luck to the kid.

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