Report: USA lures Jesse Gonzalez away from Mexico

Jesse Gonzalez, one of the most talented young keepers ever to debut in MLS, will accept an invitation to the U.S. national team camp in January and file the paperwork necessary to switch his allegiance from Mexico to the USA, sources told The move comes after he won the starting job in goal for FC Dallas and helped it finish first in the Western Conference after returning from the Under-20 World Cup, where he represented Mexico.

Gonzalez's move will require a one-time switch with FIFA before he can play for the USA, which will face Iceland and Canada at the end of the camp. His move will put him in competition with Ethan Horvath of Molde, Zack Steffen of Freiburg II and Cody Cropper of MK Dons for the starting job on the U.S. under-23 national team that must face Colombia in an Olympic qualifying playoff series in March.

Gonzalez started the second and third games for Mexico at the 2015 Under-20 World Cup but was not selected for the U-23 team that has qualified for the Olympics. Mexico's U-23s took Tijuana's Gibran Lajud and Porto teenager Raul Gudino, who started the Mexico opener at the Under-20 World Cup, a 2-0 loss to Mali.

The 6-foot-4 Gonzalez posted a 7-1-3 record with a goals-against average of 0.91 and five shutouts after being inserted in the FC Dallas lineup ahead of Dan Kennedy (since traded to the LA Galaxy) and Chris Seitz. His size earned him the nickname "The Wing" but he also has quick feet and remarkable poise for a player so young.

He was born in Edenton, on the Inner Banks of North Carolina, to Mexican parents but was raised in Dallas. He debuted for the FC Dallas academy at the age of 15 in 2010. He was 17 when he signed a pro contract in 2013. Gonzalez's predecessor in the FC Dallas academy system, Richard Sanchez, was also his predecessor in goal on Mexico's U-20 national team. Sanchez was transferred to Tigres in 2014 but now languishes on its Segunda División (third level) team.

10 comments about "Report: USA lures Jesse Gonzalez away from Mexico".
  1. Walt Pericciuoli, December 28, 2015 at 10:01 a.m.

    Good move. We just don't seem to be able to develop enough quality goalkeepers.

  2. Ric Fonseca, December 28, 2015 at 2:10 p.m.

    Well, Walter, I don't agree with you given that even the EPL has had some of our very owned developed GK's e.g. Keller, Friedel, Guzan, Howard, etc. but what I see as the problem is that we can't and don't keep them at home. So, when I read the head line about Jesse Gonzalez, I said, to myself: "self, hell it is about effing time this happened!!!" and I hope it continues to happen! Get our guys back home, whether from Liga MX, EPL, but get them the heck back home and TRAIN/DEVELOP THEM WELL!!!
    Happy New Year!!!

  3. VIC Aguilera, December 28, 2015 at 8:57 p.m.

    Let's just hope JK doesn't give this kid false hope and he gets discouraged.

  4. Wooden Ships replied, December 29, 2015 at 2:38 p.m.

    Vic, I'm not sure what to say with regard to your concern over him getting discouraged. Firstly though, I do respect your contribution and opinion, however, if coaches are, at the professional level, are having to worry about their players confidence and esteem then its fruitless. I'm tired of professionals who lack mental toughness and the grit to overcome. We have many on the USMNT now with this condition. Thank you parents and society for handicapping our young adults. Do your job, be all in, regardless of your boss or coach.

  5. John DiFiore, December 28, 2015 at 11:04 p.m.

    He was raised here, shouldn't even be a question... There should be a test to determine if someone is American or not - if they have "it" (true american spirit)... read Abby, LD, etc.

  6. Wooden Ships replied, December 29, 2015 at 2:52 p.m.

    A scale-test to determine real patriotism? Knowledge based (which the majority of your subjects would fail compared to foreigners applying for citizenship); emotion-heartfelt-spirit is so subjective its not realistic. On the pitch I guess is what were talking about here. I'll grant you AW and LD star status, but they were notorious for a lack of effort in training and sometimes games. They do and did possess big time finishes but teams are inspired by daily commitment. Judging ones patriotism can get real personal.

  7. Ric Fonseca replied, December 29, 2015 at 5:33 p.m.

    Mr. John DiFiore, to suggest a test to determine "true american spirit (sic)..." is mindless and utterly xenophobic and not in keeping with our United States of America values.!

  8. Ric Fonseca, December 29, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

    To Wooden Ships, I couldn't agree with you more!!! To conduct some sort of "test to determine if someone is American or not...(sic)" reminds me of another period during the last century by some lunatic. and I also whole heartedly agree with your assessment about AW and LD, but the only difference here is that while AW (I think) knew or lemitations, LD assumed that he because he was/is LD, his ticket would've been punched automatically. Lastly, IMHO, patriotism is very personal, and what happens if one is patriotic for two countries, such as myself, born and raised in Mexico and a Mexican citizen, while I am a US veteran and naturalized citizen? I know someone out there will question me for whom do I cheer when the US and Mexico face each other on the pitch (which I've been questioned many times) my answer is that excellent sportsmanship, and excellent skills as well as our jogo bonito of football soccer wins out.

  9. Wooden Ships replied, December 29, 2015 at 5:56 p.m.

    Well said Ric, all of it. That would be tough when the two countries meet and you answered it the way I would have.

  10. Ric Fonseca, December 30, 2015 at 9:50 p.m.

    All American, this reminds me of the LA Aztecs before they were bought by Televisa/Club america to run the program. The coach they hired was UCLA coach Terry Fisher who knew the American scene then (1973-74) given his bona-fides and he immediately drafter a couple of UCLA players, two Mexican Americans and later an Ethiopian. The rest were from Mexico or Central America and I know for a fact that Fisher felt that by signing local talent he'd appeal to the Latino/Mexican American soccer playing community. Sadly it didn't work out as the Aztec owner didn't jack diddly about the sport or how to market it. Eventually Televisa/Club America bought the team, they played in the Rose Bowl then the Coliseum, but they were just as bad as the early Aztec owner, and floundered horribly (late '70s early '80s) until the league folded. As most everyone knows, there was a dearth of local talent drafted or signed to local teams, and the local playing youth didn't even identify with either team, even when Hugo Sanchez played in San Diego. So without any sort of local pro team in the area, the local kids had no one to look up to, even when MLS comes in with AEG/Galaxy except for the signing of "over-the-hill" Mexican and Central American players, and even then, they couldn't attract the large numbers to the Rose Bowl or StubHub Center. So does Gio attract many Mexican kids? IMO, no. Would Chicahrito? Perhaps but I'll say no. Would a local player say from East LA groomed and signed by the LAG attract kids? Possibly.... and only if they're marketed properly. Did Omar Gonzalez and Zuninho attract local kids, it remains to be seen, and for that matter would Kenae and Steve attract local US kids had they been developed here? Just how much of an attraction was LD? Point is that we need and MUST develop our own players, make them marqee players, show them off to the local communities, whether in Miami, Florida, Texas, Utah, Washington, etc. There's lots of chatter about local talent coming through the MLS academy teams, but just where is the marketing and PR for these guys? And so yes, All American you're right, What kind of message is MLS and the teams putting out there???

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