It had been rumored for weeks, and now it looks to be official: Monterrey midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez is expected to file a one-time switch with FIFA to move from representing the United States to playing for Mexico. The news was initially reported by Univision earlier today, with the Washington Post’s Steven Goff confirming the report.
The news is a huge blow for the USMNT, as fans hoped Gonzalez would help form the core of the future midfield. The 18-year-old has recently emerged as one of the top players in Liga MX, as he was named to the 2017 Apertura Liga MX Best XI. Last week, Gonzalez stated that the USMNT did not contact him about being named to the roster for their friendly against Portugal in November. Add that to not being named to the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster and being sparingly used in the U-20 CONCACAF Championship and the wheels apparently were set in motion for Gonzalez to consider the switch.
On the other side, Mexico offers Gonzalez a chance to compete for the chance to make the 23-man roster that will go to Russia this summer for the World Cup. The United States will not have a competitive match to compete in until the CONCACAF Nations League begins in September. It seems the chance to compete in a World Cup this summer, among other reasons, has caused Gonzalez to opt for the one-time switch. It’s possible that the one-time switch will be approved by FIFA in time for Gonzalez to step on the field for El Tri for the first time in their friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 31st. Gonzalez was not named to the USMNT 30-man roster for their friendly against Bosnia that will take place on January 28th, three days prior to Mexico’s match.
What are your thoughts on Jonathan Gonzalez deciding to compete for Mexico?