BY ENRIQUE LÓPEZ
Read this article in Spanish HERE
Jonathan González, the Mexican-American midfielder who became a standout during the past 2017 Liga MX Torneo Apertura with Rayados de Monterrey, has decided to represent Mexico instead of the United States.
Sources have confirmed UnivisionDeportes.com that the player will request FIFA a one-time change of association to represent the Mexican National Team. González developed his career with the U.S. youth national teams, as he was born in Santa Rosa, California.
The decision comes after Dennis te Kloese, the Director of National Teams for the Mexican FA, visited González’s home this past December and had a few talks with Juan Carlos Osorio, the MNT head coach.
González had always expressed his desire to represent the USMNT, but the last few months helped shaped his recent decision.
In November, the midfielder was expected to be called up for the USMNT friendly against Portugal due to his several conversations with former head coach Bruce Arena. After the USMNT failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Arena resigned to his head coaching position and González wasn’t called up by interim coach Dave Sarachan.
Jonathan González, la joya juvenil que el Tri 'arrebató' al Team USA
González was an important asset for Monterrey last semester in reaching the Liga MX finals which they lost to their hometown rival Tigres, 3-2 in aggregate goals.
The possibility to play with Mexico in the 2018 FIFA World Cup has also been part of his decision. UnivisionDeportes.com understands González will be called up for the Mexican National Team for the first time for the Jan. 31st friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina to be played in San Antonio.
González, 18, arrived in Mexico when he was 14 years old to suit up with Monterrey after being scouted at the Alianza de Fútbol tryouts. Since then he has been part of the US youth national teams, where he even captained the U-17s and played in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
This is the first time in history that a player desires to switch associations from the U.S. to Mexico. In contrast, there have been several occasions when players like Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and most recently FC Dallas’ goalkeeper Jesse González have switch from Mexico to the U.S.
González’s parents wish had always been for him to play for Mexico, although five years ago he even rejected a transfer to Chivas Guadalajara –that only fields Mexican players- in order to keep representing the USMNT.