Jonathan González's name may not mean that much to you, but it certainly sounded like he was meant to be a USMNT star in the near future. Yesterday, the 18-year old footballer decided to snub the Stars and Stripes, and chose to represent the Mexican National Team instead.
González, born in Santa Rosa, California, represented the USMNT's youth categories since 2014, playing 21 games altogether for the U-17 ,U-18 and U-20 teams. Nevertheless, his exclusion from the U-17 and U-20 World Cups made him think twice about how much the Stars and Stripes' coaches really needed him.
Former USMNT coach Bruce Arena had the chance to call him up during the World Cup Qualifiers, but he chose to use more experienced players despite González's performances in the Liga MX. Eventually, this decision backfired, as the USMNT was eliminated from the World Cup.
The player, who was one of Monterrey's best footballers in the recently concluded Apertura 2017 tournament, was convinced by Mexican Football Federation execs to play for El Tri once the USMNT decided to snub him again during November's International Break, when a young USMNT side faced Portugal.
González was seen by many experts as one of the most talented players for the USMNT's future alongside Christian Pulisic and Weston McKinnie.
Failing to call Jonathan Gonzalez up for the most meaningless friendly in history made that game meaningful in the long-term for the player pool. Absolute disaster from the U.S.— Paul Tenorio (@PaulTenorio) January 8, 2018
The USMNT never even reached out to Jonathan Gonzalez before the Portugal friendly and now he's choosing to play for Mexico, who have been courting him the way U.S. Soccer should have been.— Jon Heath (@JonHeathNFL) January 8, 2018
I feel sick
The midfielder played 22 games last semester with Monterrey in what became his breakthrough season with Los Rayados. He was key to reach the final, which they eventually lost to Tigres, and had a stellar role in the team's successful Copa MX title-winning campaign.
Now, González seems set to play for Mexico in a friendly match scheduled for January 31, and his chances of playing the World Cup with El Tri seem to be increasing by the minute. The player replied to Rayados' Twitter account yesterday about a possible call up with the Mexican National Team.
"If I'm called up, I'm determined to defend this country's colors. It would be an honor"
Si me consideran, estoy decidido a defender los colores de este país. Sería un honor— Jona (@jgonzalezz25) January 8, 2018