California boy courted by 14 Mexican clubs

[7UP SUENO ALIANZA] Jonathan Gonzalez received invitations from 14 Mexican Liga MX clubs, and the Mexican Federation, to go on trial after his performances in three games at the 7Up Sueno Alianza National Finals. The 14-year-old Santa Rosa, Calif., product, who has been a member of the U.S. U-14 national team, was among 27 of the 46 Alianza finalists who received invites from Mexican clubs.

Illinois’ Luis Angel Arreola (age 14) received 11 invites while Ramon Mitchell Ceja (15) of Nevada was the third most coveted player with nine invites.

“I’ll have to take some time to think it all over and decide what the best path is,” said Gonzalez, who has been playing club ball at Atletico Santa Rosa.

Gonzalez’s father Alonso, who emigrated from Guanajuato, Mexico, at age 18, says Jonathan’s dream is to play for the U.S. national team.

“I’ll support him 100 percent in whatever direction he wants to go,” said Alonso. “He loves America and wants to play for the USA.”

The trials offered by the Mexican clubs usually consist of 10-day to two-week stints in their youth Academies.

“They stay in our residency, expenses are taken care of, and after 10, 11 days, if they're good, we ask them to stay,” said Gabriel Montoya of Atlas, which has Arizona’s Mark Sanchez in its youth academy since last February after discovering him at the Alianza open tryouts.

Alonso, who works as a landscaper on Sonoma State’s sports fields, said Jonathan has been playing soccer since he could walk.

“I set up a little goal in the living room,” he said. “And Jonathan would dribble around and shoot into it. We live in a cul de sac, so he was always playing there, juggling. I coached him until until he was 8, but at that time I realized he would benefit more from having coaches besides his father.”

Clubs courting Gonzalez include Mexico’s last four defending champions: Club America, Tijuana Xolos, Santos Laguna and Tigres, as well as both Chivas USA and Chivas Guadalajara. His Atletico Santa Rosa teammate, Kristoc Camacho, received six invites.

The National Finals in Carson, Calif., capped the Alianza series of tryouts in 11 cities attended by 7,000 players. Alianza’s U-15 and U-19 teams each played three games at the StubHub center, including final day matches against Tijuana Xolos’ Academy teams. The Alianza’s U-15s won, 2-1, with both goals by Aaron Esai Alvarez of Laredo, Texas. Alianza’s U-19s fell, 1-0, to the Tijuana counterparts.
9 comments about "California boy courted by 14 Mexican clubs ".
  1. Emiliano Zapata, September 23, 2013 at 5:26 p.m.

    Luis Arreola plays for Fc Athletico in Chicago. Kevin Garcia was also at this event as a left back and also a Fc Athletico player. Both were the only 2 chosen from Chicago tryouts.

  2. Carey Schumacher, September 23, 2013 at 6:25 p.m.

    I have a friend who's a mom of a San Diego player who was invited by Pumas Unam over the summer for a similar trial. The boy & two other teammates were invited, but Pumas took back the offer for my friend's son when they realized he has no Mexican heritage.

  3. Emiliano Zapata, September 23, 2013 at 6:54 p.m.

    This was a great event unlike anything else I have witnessed in USA. This is a very "real" opportunity for top talent with nothing else aasked in return. These players received the opportunity to get scouted by 12 of Mexico's best pro clubs plus a USSF & FMF National coach for possible inclusion to National Camps. All expenses were covered including airfare. They were given 3 uniforms, polo shirts, quality bags, balls, etc. Is there any other long time or new organization that offers anything even close to this??

  4. Emiliano Zapata, September 23, 2013 at 7 p.m.

    Odp takes uniforms back from players after their Interregional events even though it's very expensive to do. In all these years as a top "Olympic Development Program" they still cant even find a sponsor for uniforms?? Here is Alianza, who is fairly new compared to ODP giving their Natuionally chosen 48 players all expenses covered. They even gave them DVD's of each game they pklayed!! Alianza also hands out uniforms at each city tryouts & as 1st & 2nd place prizes for full teams throughout the year. Thiose tryouts are also free. ODP? Nothing. Carey, this should be our main concern.

  5. Emiliano Zapata, September 25, 2013 at 6:37 p.m.

    Chivas USA was the only MLS club present. HMMMM

  6. James Froehlich, September 26, 2013 at 10:01 a.m.

    Emiliano, MLS participation -- nada!! My thoughts exactly. The Chicago Fire, my team, has two young men in its back yard and it doesn't even make an appearance. Brilliant!!! Is it stupidity or just plain laziness??

  7. Emiliano Zapata, September 26, 2013 at 10:48 a.m.

    James, And to make things easier those 2 players play for the same club, FC Athletico. Maybe it would be in their best interest to work something out with this Chicago based club that seems to develop quite a bit of talent. Just ask the Chicago Magic who have had several FC AThletico 3-4 year players on their top PreAcademy teams.

  8. Aresenal Fan, September 26, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.

    This event has grown quickly by the year. First time a youth national team coach participates and that many professional scouts show up. I'm sure next year some more MLS teams will be on board. I can see alot more kids showing up next year for this tryouts. Academy players are not allowed to participate in these events.

  9. Emiliano Zapata, September 27, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.

    Why not??

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