Jonathan Gonzalez is just the latest high-profile player to choose between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Mexico, and an El Tri executive insists that the midfielder’s situation is one that will repeat itself in the future.
Mexican federation (FMF) director of national teams Dennis te Kloese says he doesn’t expect Gonzalez to be the last Mexican-American to opt to represent El Tri on the international level. Te Kloese was reportedly “instrumental” in convincing Gonzalez to opt to represent El Tri after featuring for the U.S. as a youth player.
“Due to the fact there is so much talent of Mexican descent in the United States that can represent both Mexico and the United States, the case of Jonathan will not be the last,” Te Kloese said in an interview with ESPN FC on Wednesday. “It’s not only on the men’s side, it’s also the women’s side.
“It’s just a different situation. There’s probably not a country in the world where so many people from one nationality live in a neighboring country.”
One recent example of matters turning in the opposite direction is the case of Jesse Gonzalez, who chose the U.S. over Mexico last summer after featuring for El Tri in his youth.
Te Kloese says that the FMF has a scouting network set up within the U.S. in an effort to “continue to be on top of things” when it comes to identifying and eventually recruiting Mexican-Americans.
“I understand that there are sometimes disputes for players, but it is both ways,” said Te Kloese. “It’s not like a win-win situation always. Our policy has been to leave it up to the players and their families to choose.
“In the end, it’s their decision and they need to be 100 percent convinced of the opportunity to play for us. Obviously the standard is high to be part of our program.”