Jonathan Gonzalez

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Osorio: Jonathan Gonzalez has a “promising future” with El Tri

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The Jonathan Gonzalez situation still stings for many U.S. Men’s National Team supporters, and the encouragement from Mexico’s camp regarding the midfielder’s bright future isn’t making things better for Americans.

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El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio reaffirmed his belief that Gonzalez is one of the many promising prospects within the Mexican national team ahead of the country’s friendly against Iceland on Friday.

Gonzalez, who switched his national team allegiance to Mexico from the U.S. earlier this year, has been called up for the match after the 18-year-old made his Mexico senior team debut against Bosnia back in January.

“Jonathan, to start with, is part of a group of Mexican players that I’ve referred as having a good present and a promising future and that excites me to continue, along with Edson Alvarez, Omar Govea and others that aren’t here like Orbelin [Pineda] and Erick [Gutierrez],” Osorio said at a news conference on Thursday.

“Gonzalez is a good midfielder and can fight for a place with anyone. Like everyone, he has to improve a lot of things to win a place.

“After deciding to play for Mexico, it is our responsibility to give him a platform to develop and consolidate himself as a player.

“That’s why he’s in this call-up, and hopefully he can establish himself and show the qualities I mentioned.”

The former USMNT youth prospect has quickly become a regular for club side Monterrey, who currently sits sixth in the Liga MX table.

Gonzalez has appeared in 38 matches across all competitions for the four-time league champions and earned honors in the Liga MX Best XI following the 2017 Apertura season.

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.