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Richie Williams denies giving Jonathan Gonzalez 10-minute deadline

There are two sides to every story. Richie Williams’ residency recruitment of Jonathan Gonzalez is no different.

Williams went on Sirius XM on Tuesday to refute ESPN’s story that he had given Gonzalez and his family an ultimatum when trying to get the player to join the U.S. Soccer residency program a few years ago. Williams stated that he had reached out to the family in an effort to recruit the then-14-year-old Gonzalez, who recently chose to represent Mexico at the international level, but never offered a take-it-or-leave it deal with a 10-minute deadline.

“Obviously, that’s absolutely not true. We would never pressure a player to join residency,” Williams, the former U.S. Under-17 head coach, told Sirius XM. “There’s plenty of players that turn down residency, and we understand that at the young age of 14- and 15-years old it’s not for everyone.”

Williams added that emails were sent to all players in December 2013, and that he got a response from Gonzalez’s mother within two days stating that the teenager was in Mexico on vacation and would not return until mid-January.

“We need a response in terms of these players coming to residency sooner than that, because schooling is involved with that,” said Williams. “Both sides, parents and us, and even the players themselves, recognize that it is important to make sure they don’t miss school.”

Williams said he later spoke to Gonzalez’s father and that the two had a “very good conversation” with regards to the player’s immediate future. Ultimately, the young Gonzalez chose to join Monterrey’s academy instead of U.S. Soccer’s.

“He let me know that Jonathan was at Monterrey actually, not on vacation, but he was over there playing some matches with them because they were trying to decide whether Jonathan would attend a residency program in Monterrey,” said Williams. “He wanted some extra time [to decide] at first, to which we said no problem. Jonathan was going to play in some games in Monterrey, and then they’d make a decision. I said no problem and we spoke three or four days later. They said he played in those games and they felt comfortable with the situation. Monterrey wanted him to attend residency in Monterrey, and that was their decision.

“We were fully supportive of that decision. We already had players in Monterrey residency and we had a very good relationship with them. We said that that was absolutely no problem, that Jonathan was still in our plans and that we would continue to bring Jonathan in with our group, which we did literally four or five weeks later. Jonathan came in to Bradenton for an eight- or nine-day stay to train with us and play in some games. Over the course of the next two years, I think he came in with our group six or seven times, and I think played in eight or 10 international matches with us.”

Despite making those appearances, Gonzalez was not selected by Williams for the U.S.’s Under-17 World Cup squad in 2015. Still, Williams maintained that U.S. Soccer’s relationship with Gonzalez and his family remained positive throughout.

“Jonathan was included in a handful of events and trips with us, played in international games,” said Williams. “Again, any time that has to happen, an email has to be sent out to the club and to the parents notifying them that they’ve been invited to a camp. We never heard anything from Jonathan’s parents at all in a negative way, nothing from Jonathan in a negative way, and for me it was all positive with Jonathan.

“He was a good kid, a good player, and he had a good attitude. We had a good relationship.”


  1. None of this matters. Once Kathy Carter’s wins, everything will continue exactly as it needs has with a new puppet in office.

    People expecting any change at all are in for a sad 2018. All of these people are going to continue up the ladder. Tab will eventually be USMNT coach.

    • Well, Kathy Carters is the only solution : Business experience, smart, honesty and understand the game. Instead Wynalda : I don’t think he even has a h.s. diploma, He’s a bitter man, resentful, no experience at all in administration or business experience and he’s the mouth of Riccardo Silva or in other words He’s the puppet of this Italian gentleman..

      • Does she know the game though? I don’t think she has any idea at all. Would not want her hiring a coach and technical staff. Kyle Martino is the best option. He is the ony one I would trust to make an intelligent decision to any issue.

  2. Early reports were that Gonzalez’s parents wanted him to play for Mexico from the get-go, so Williams’ story rings true to me. Since we know Rongen was lying, he should have been immediately banished from having any position with USSF. Whatever the case, it’s time to move on.

    • Can we also move on from Richie Williams, I couldn’t care less about the she said he said, but he is a terrible manager. He made Andy Herzog look like a soccer genius.

  3. The true was that a lot of money was involved. The Mexican federation sent Mr Denni Te Close to talk to the family of Gonzalez with a lpt of money to jump ship and of course $$$ money talks and He did it. That was the news back in November from Mauricio Pedroza in ESPN’s raza deportiva. in ESPN deportes.

  4. If we are to believe Ritchie, Jona’s mom lied from the get go about him being on vacation in Mexico when he was actually trialing with Monterrey! I don’t know, seems like the Gonzalez family had a plan early and they got what they wanted so good for him! Can we please just move and talk about players that want to represent the US, because this is just silly now!!!!

    • Of course, had MLS actually cared to look at him perhaps he wouldn’t have been in Mexico at all. A midfield of Tommy Thompson and JGone would have been pretty good, for San Jose.

  5. Richie Williams, Thomas Rongen, and to a lesser extent, Tab Ramos- all part of the “Good Ol’ Boy Club” under the DC United/Bruce Arena umbrella. This monopoly on the game in this country needs to stop. Bob Bradley should be the last of this generation to coach. Time to give the reigns to former MLS players and Euro successes to lead our coaching.Theres nothing wrong with hiring farther afield, jeez.

  6. Richie Williams, Thomas Rongen, and to a lesser extent, Tab Ramos- all part of the “Good Ol’ Boy Club” under the DC United/Bruce Arena umbrella. This monopoly on the game in this country needs to stop. Bob Bradley should be the last of this generation to coach. Time to give the reigns to former MLS players and Euro successes to lead our coaching.Theres nothing wrong with hiring farther afield, jeez.

  7. He can stay there in mejico forever,y he does not want to come, is his choicewhit every day terrible violence,whit a mexicano futbol player cuahutemoc Blanco runnig for the Morelos
    goberment whit morena o AMLO

  8. It seems pretty clear that the Gonzalez family and the USSF did not have a “good” relationship, so I find it difficult to believe what Williams is claiming. I am certain there are exaggerations coming from the other side, but let’s not pretend like everything was cool between them before the switch. Whatever I guess, if the kid wants to play for Mexico, good luck to him. It’s his career. If you were in his shoes, would you want to play for USSF right now?

    • The one who gets dumped in a relationship tends to believe everything is good until it happens.

      I’m not taking a side, but it is very possible that Williams did in fact thing everything was good between them and not reading between the lines or picking up on verbal/nonverbal cues.

      It is possible that one side felt slighted when none was intended, held it in, and then when a better option came knocking took it.

      It’s possible USSF managers are lying or underplaying what happened.

      In the end, it’s a he said she said arguement and it was Jonathan’s decision to make. He made it, life goes on for both sides.

  9. There’s enough blame to go around on both sides. It seems like Gonzalez and/or his family was using the US as leverage and to gaine experience and were waiting for Mexico to come calling. And it seems that Rongen was his typical useless douche, and that Williams/Ramos either didn’t quite see the same potential early on or didn’t show him the kind of attention Gonzalez hoped for.

    We will continue to win some and lose some. I can live with that. But I can’t be ok with Rongen continuing to be involved, especially when he flat out lied about his efforts.

    • I agree with having Rongen banished from any US national team contact. I’d like to put Williams on the list as well. Let the kid play for mexico and see where it takes him because I think obscurity is the final destination.

  10. At the end of the day, this kid was Super-fast to jump ship to Mexico.

    All the other kids around his age in the US pool are super-charged to put the USA back into the World Cup for 2022. this kid bolted the moment Mexico called. We are constantly blaming everyone else but the player himself who made the decision to bolt.

    And I’m saying this, as someone who wanted to vomit that Williams was promoted to the full USMNT after being a failure at the U-17 level and that USSF allowed Sir Jogsalot-Traffic-Cone Bradley to be the captain while jogging around.

    • Straight up. Any player who would even think of suiting up in the tricolore can go be Mexican as far as I’m concerned. I won’t miss him at all. Mercenaries are for the club game.


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