U.S. U-20 National Team head coach Tab Ramos has spoken out about Jonathan Gonzalez’s choice to represent Mexico at the senior level.
“I do tell the kids here, you play for the U.S., it’s not a club,” Ramos told Goal.com. “You have to feel the colors of the country, that’s really important.”
He says that if a player wants to represent a country at the national team level, he needs to be clear that he wants to do so above anything else.
“For me, playing for a national team is more a feeling than anything else,” he continued. “If we have players in this country who feel Mexican and want to play for Mexico, I think they should play for Mexico. If we have players here who feel American, who want to fight for the U.S. and represent America, they should play for us. I think it’s as simple as that.”
Ramos has been in regular contact with Gonzalez since before the U-20 World Cup in May, when he was being considered for a place on the squad. After his strong season in Liga MX, where he made the Best XI for the 2017 Apertura season, he was tipped for a place on the U.S. Men’s National Team for a November friendly against Portugal, but was ultimately passed up.
Despite a strong relationship with the 18-year-old, Ramos couldn’t guarantee him a place on the senior team.
“I can only control what happens with the U-20 and down. That’s what I do,” he said. “I kept in touch with Jona, I have a good relationship with him. I’ve stayed in touch with him over the last six months. You can ask him about the relationship that we have.
“If at this moment he felt like Mexico is the right place for him for the rest of his career, then at that point there’s only so much you can do. “