While Sergiño Dest is taking some time to think over his international future, two dual-nationals currently in the U.S. Soccer system are sticking with the Red, White, and Blue for now.
Richard Ledezma of PSV and Alex Mendez of Ajax both accepted call-ups from U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team Coach Jason Kreis for a training camp this month featuring many Olympic-eligible players. The U.S. squad will train in Miami and play a friendly match against El Salvador.
El Salvador of course knocked the U.S. out of the 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament, handing Jurgen Klinsmann – and Caleb Porter at the time a huge blow both in terms of player development and having a chance to represent the USMNT at a major tournament.
Other members of the squad include Minnesota United talents Mason Toye and Hassan Dotsani, Hannover forward Sebastian Soto, Atlanta United centerback Miles Robinson and Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards.
The news that Ledezma and Mendez, who are both eligible to play for the USMNT and Mexico in the future, are in the squad for this training camp is a great sign for US Soccer fans. Soto as well is eligible to play for Chile and Mexico due to his family history.
It’s unclear whether Tata Martino would have a place for any of these players in his team, but as they grow in Europe, there’s no doubt that they will receive more interest from the Mexican FA (FMF).
That said, US Soccer can show that they’ve invested countless hours in Ledezma, Mendez, Soto, and of course in Dest as well in the youth system, all preparing them for a great pro career and success with the national team. The longer Mendez and Ledezma stay in the US system as well, the more likely they’ll stay after developing great relationships with their teammates and other coaches.