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Report: Gonzalez set to file one-time switch to play for Mexico

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It appears Jonathan Gonzalez’s future lies with El Tri.

According to a report from Univision, the Monterrey starlet has decided to switch his national-team allegiance from the United States to Mexico, after speaking with Mexico National Team sporting director Dennis te Kloese. As Gonzalez has featured for the U.S. in official FIFA-sanctioned youth competitions, he would have to file a one-time FIFA switch in order to represent Mexico, which would tie him to El Tri for the rest of his playing career.

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Both U.S. Soccer and the FMF have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Gonzalez had captained the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team and even helped lead the U.S. U-20s to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship last year as a 17-year-old but after a breakout season for Monterrey, Gonzalez was shocked to learn he wasn’t called up to a youth-laden USMNT for a friendly in Portugal.

The report states that Gonzalez had always been set on playing for the U.S. – against his Mexican-born parents wishes – but recent events changed his mind.

It looks as if Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio will be calling up Gonzalez for the January 31 friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina and perhaps with another good season in the Clausura, Gonzalez could make his way into Mexico’s World Cup roster. If he stayed with the U.S., he’d have to wait another four years.

If true, it’s a big blow to the U.S. pipeline, though not a death-knell. It’s another sign of how U.S. Soccer struggles from a scouting standpoint, having not discovered Gonzalez until he took part in the famed Alianza de Futbol camp as a 14-year-old and moved from his home in California to Monterrey, where he developed and made his first-team debut three years later.

While former U.S. coach Bruce Arena was in touch with Gonzalez, according to the report, it seems as if interim USMNT coach Dave Sarachan didn’t remain in touch, leading to Gonzalez’s switch.

It’s one of the first times in recent memory that a Mexican-American has switched from the U.S. to Mexico. In the past we’ve seen FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, left back Edgar Castillo and William Yarbrough all suit up for the Red White and Blue after featuring for Mexico at the youth level.

Star US youngster Gonzalez to play for Mexico?

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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.

West Ham’s Hernandez, trio of MLS players called up to El Tri

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Mexico National Team manager Juan Carlos Osorio has called up a strong squad for a pair of friendly matches this month against European opposition.

West Ham’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez along with the Dos Santos brothers Jonathan and Giovani and Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela were all called up in a 26-player squad set to face Poland on November 10 and Belgium on November 13.

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Osorio has called in a mixed group with players both based domestically and abroad, but it’s as close to a potential World Cup squad as he could find.

The friendlies will be a big chance for Hernandez to regain his best form. The 29-year-old poacher has four goals in 10 Premier League games, including one in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last weekend, but they’ll need more from him in order to rise up the Premier League table.

The friendlies are also a great chance for English scouts to have another look at PSV Eindhoven’s Hirving Lozano, one of the bright young Mexican prospects.

WATCH: El Tri honors quake first responders in moving ceremony

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While the United States sweats the details of their potential berth in Russia, Mexico’s had theirs sewn up for some time.

[ USMNT-PANAMA: Match recap | Player ratings | 3 things ]

The tension for El Tri has come off the pitch, where a 20-second, 7.1 earthquake shook Central Mexico in mid-September.

The team, often the focal point for the country’s passion, did it proud again on Friday, celebrating first responders with a prematch ceremony before a World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago.

The fans and players, led by intrepid captain Andres Guardado, stood in unison for the national anthem with fists raised in solidarity.

It was quite moving. See below:

Roma’s Moreno happy as Mexican ambassador to Serie A

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Hector Moreno knows his move to AS Roma is a big deal for him, his club, and his country.

That may seem like a bit too much aggrandization, but Moreno joins the biggest club of his accomplished European career. That club nearly ended the scudetto reign of Juventus last season, coming as close as anyone in recent history.

And he’s the first Mexican to play for Roma, a club a bit higher in the pecking order than the homes for previous El Tri members in Serie A (Carlos Salcedo went on loan to Fiorentina last season, while Miguel Layun spent time at Atalanta and Rafa Marquez played three seasons at Verona).

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“I know what people expect from me, and the people in Italy will look back at Mexico as a place to find good players if I do well,” Moreno told ProSoccerTalk ahead of the club’s second Stateside match of the International Champions Cup, Tuesday versus Tottenham Hotspur at Red Bull Arena.

“Football in Mexico is lived with so much passion. It’s so important.”

What they’ve seen from the 29-year-old center back gives them every reason to be proud. Moreno has won the Eredivisie with two clubs (AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven) and was Espanyol’s Player of the Year during his first of three campaigns in La Liga.

Moreno’s offensive acumen shone through his second stint in Holland, and the center back who also plays some left back scored seven goals last season.

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When Roma came calling, he had little hesitation.

“It’s something I have wanted my entire career, for an opportunity like this,” Moreno said. “It’s an amazing challenge to keep going forward in my career.”

Moreno captained El Tri in a 1-1 draw against the United States in World Cup qualifying on June 12, and the Roma signing was announced on June 13. Five days later, he was pushing Mexico over the line with a stoppage time goal against Portugal at the Confederations Cup.

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Again, this was about a statement for both him and his country, especially with Mexico in pole position to finish first in CONCACAF World Cup qualification and the desire to make it past the Round of 16 for the first time in seven tournaments.

“It was a great moment and the feeling was amazing because we fought so hard and we didn’t expect to lose,” Moreno said. “It looks easy to say but with Ronaldo, Ledesma, Pepe, at the end we got a result that we deserved.

“And this will probably help the team to know where we stand because in CONCACAF qualification for World Cup we are almost there and in all due respect it’s a different quality of play than CONCACAF. You can see where you stand and what you have to improve to be on the level. It is the dream forever that we can go to the fifth game, and we can do that in Russia. We’re going to work hard and I hope we can make it.”

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It may surprise some to hear that Moreno also hopes El Tri’s heated rivals in the U.S. qualify for Russia as well.

“I hope so,” Moreno quickly replies. “It would make a good tournament. They always make it through and they have such a good team. It’s always (the hope) that Mexico and U.S. can meet in the World Cup, because they have such good talent as well.”

Roma faces Spurs in New Jersey on Tuesday before a July 30 battle with Juventus at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.