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Jonathan Gonzalez Reportedly Decides to Play for Mexico over USA

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2018

Mario Osuna (L) of Morelia vies for the ball with Jonathan Gonzalez (R) of Monterrey during their Mexican Apertura tournament first leg semifinal football match at the Morelos stadium on November 30, 2017, in Morelia, Mexico. / AFP PHOTO / VICTOR CRUZ        (Photo credit should read VICTOR CRUZ/AFP/Getty Images)
VICTOR CRUZ/Getty Images

Monterrey midfielder and United States under-20 international Jonathan Gonzalez has reportedly decided to represent Mexico and could make his debut for the national team later this month. 

Gonzalez was born in the United States to Mexican parents and was on course to graduate from youth-level representation to the senior team, but ESPN's Taylor Twellman cited a Univision report that said he's opted to play for El Tri.

The 18-year-old grew up in Santa Rosa, California, and represented Atletico Santa Rosa before switching to Mexican giants Monterrey in 2014 and earning his senior club debut in July 2017.

According to Univision, Gonzalez must file for a representation switch with FIFA, and Twellman said he "will be called up" for the friendly fixture against Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 31.

Steven Goff of the Washington Post detailed how Gonzalez has shifted his allegiances after representing the United States in every youth team since under-14s.

The teenager holds dual citizenship in the United States and in Mexico, where he has received his first taste of senior playing time and made 20 starts for Monterrey as they finished first in the Liga MX Apertura standings last term.

Former Major League Soccer midfielder and United States Soccer Federation presidential candidate Kyle Martino bemoaned the player's loss:

Kyle Martino @kylemartino

Laying the blame of a Duel-National choosing to play for the other country at that player’s feet because they don’t see ‘we are the better option’ is the very reason they don’t choose us. That arrogance continues to harm us.

Goff recollected that Gonzalez was omitted from the United States team that faced Portugal in a friendly in November when Monterrey were alleged to have made a request to the USSF to not call him up.

BeIN Sports producer Kevin Brown also illustrated the magnitude of an upcoming star such as Gonzalez turning his back on the United States men's national team, whose links were undoubtedly weakened when the player left for Liga MX:

It was in his ancestral home that Gonzalez was afforded his first chances to play first-team football, and its national team have gained the loyalties of a budding star seemingly as a result.

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