It looks like U.S. teenage star Jonathan Gonzalez is set to be involved in a tug-of-war battle between the USMNT and Mexico.
Gonzalez, 18, has burst onto the scene this season in Liga MX for Monterrey, being named in the league’s Best XI for the 2017 Apertura as Rayados won the Copa MX in the first half of the season.
A report from ESPN says that Mexico is chasing Gonzalez hard and wants to call him up for their friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina on Jan. 31 to try and entice the USMNT youngster to make a one-time switch to El Tri.
Gonzalez, a dual national, moved to Mexico from Santa Rose, Calif. at the age of 14 to play for Monterrey and has made his way up their academy system before becoming an important member of the first team squad this year.
He has played for the U.S. national youth teams since U-14 level, where he played alongside Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie a few times at youth level, and appeared for Tab Ramos’ side at the U-20 CONCACAF Championships.
In a recent interview with Soccer America he spoke about not being called up by the USMNT in recent months, including the friendly game against Portugal in November.
“I wasn’t called in, in November. Personally, nobody came and talked to me and let me know about that friendly. I just wasn’t called in,” Gonzalez said.
With Mexico able to dangle the carrot of going to the 2018 World Cup in front of Gonzalez’s face, this certainly seems like a tricky decision for the youngster.
Through parentage his is able to play for Mexico and with the USMNT not qualifying for the World Cup in Russia and not looking any closer to hiring a new head coach, perhaps Mexico will pounce at a moment of weakness for the U.S. national team.
This storyline will certainly be an intriguing one to watch play out and it’s one that is becoming increasingly prevalent with FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez making the switch from Mexico to the USMNT earlier this year.