For current coach Dave Sarachan, the official list of players called up to the U.S Men’s National Team January camp consists of nothing but younger prospects. Players like Salt Lake defender Danny Acosta and Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer, shifting the focus from the veterans that failed to qualify for the World Cup. But there was one name missing from that list, Rayados de Monterrery midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez.
Reports on Monday seem to indicate that he will commit to Mexico. During the winter break, FMF officials and coaching staff had been in close contact, even visiting him personally. After phone calls with Juan Carlos Osorio (Mexico’s Men’s National Team coach) seem to have spurred him to join Mexico, he may be ready to debut with the Men’s National Team as early as the end of the month against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This isn’t the first time their has been a changing to nations for youth internationals. There is a border war for Mexican-Americans to choose allegiance in one country over another. The most recent example before this being Jesse Gonzalez, who chose the U.S over Mexico after changing his mind twice. This is just one example in a more and more evident conflict of talent distribution.
The U.S under Jurgen Klinsmann, their previous coach, praised dual nationals, encouraging them to play for the Stars and Stripes, players like William Yarbrough. William was born and raised in Mexico, but at the time, the U.S was thin at the goalkeeper position, making his choice easy. It also helped that Miguel Herrera, previous coach for Mexico, stated that Yarbrough “wasn’t anything special” when asked about him back in 2016.
It wasn’t overnight either, Jurgen when he first began his tenure hardly went after dual internationals, but years later, that slowly changed.
The U.S without Klinsmann is currently a mess. They currently don’t even have a permanent head coach. Most importantly, they will miss the 2018 World Cup and that has an effect on the current battle over players between the U.S and Mexico . If there was any more apparent consequence of the U.S missing the World Cup since 1986, it is this one. Other youths see this and if they have an option to choose, which option would any player make? The U.S doesn’t have a meaningful game until next years Gold Cup in 2019.
Obviously, Jonathan Gonzalez isn’t probably going to start with Mexico unless he impresses highly. But to have the chance to train with senior members of the Mexican national team, experience a World Cup and maybe even play, definitely played a part in his decision. Either way one things for sure and that’s that the U.S shot themselves in the foot for not qualifying for the World Cup and Mexico is reaping the benefits, adding another promising midfielder to their arsenal.
What do you think? Will Gonzalez be called up to the game at the end of the month against Bosnia and Herzegovina?