In his first news conference since filing his switch of association and being called up for Mexico's game against Bosnia & Herzegovina, 18-year-old Jonathan Gonzalez
talked about what
influenced his decision. Mexico Roster: Jonathan Gonzalez gets first call-up
He said the decision to
play for Mexico after playing for the USA all the way through its youth system wasn't easy and spent a lot of time speaking with his parents, Alonso
and Mireya Gonzalez
, who live in
Santa Rosa, Calif.
"They were fundamental in this," said Gonzalez. "It's because of them I'm where I am."
He stressed that his Mexican ties played a huge part in his decision.
"Mexico was the country that opened the doors
to me to fulfill my dream," Gonzalez said. "I'm Mexican. My family, all my roots are Mexican. And as they say here, you can tell I am Mexican by looking at me [literally: I have a cactus on my
In late December, Gonzalez and his family met with Dennis te Kloese
, the Dutch director of Mexico's national teams who outlined the program's plans for the young
"[They said] they couldn't promise anything," he said, "and that it'll depend on each player to win a spot in the group."
Gonzalez is one of 24 players called in
for the Bosnia game. The Mexico squad consists only of Liga MX and MLS players because the game is outside of the FIFA window. He will face plenty of competition to make Mexico's World Cup team.
A big factor in Juan Carlos Osorio
's decision will be Gonzalez's form over the Torneo Clausura. El Tri stepped up its interest in the U.S. U-20 midfielder during the Torneo Apertura
after which he was selected to the Liga MX Best XI. Osorio on Gonzalez
): "I think he's a player with very good technical abilities. I'd think that for our structure, he'd be a player who
would play interior midfielder and obviously he'd have to fight for a place against all the players there are there because in the central midfield, above all in international soccer, we're inclined
to go with another type of player with a different profile. But I'd think that in a one-two structure he could be an important player as one of the two interior players."