Jonathan Gonzalez: 'Mexico opened the doors to me to fulfill my dream'

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 forehead]."

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 Californian.

"[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 (ESPN Deportes): "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."

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3 comments about "Jonathan Gonzalez: 'Mexico opened the doors to me to fulfill my dream'".
  1. Mario Cesarone, January 27, 2018 at 12:06 p.m.

    Going to the World Cup is what its all about.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, January 27, 2018 at 1:35 p.m.

    And, playing for a side that really wants you and appreciates your technical abilities.

  3. Ric Fonseca, January 27, 2018 at 2:04 p.m.

    TO JONATHAN GONZALEZ:  First, MUCHSIMAS GRACIAS por tu honestidad, sinceridad, y consideracion de jugar.  Second, I suppose that Rongen's earlier comments about his heritage are ill conceived;  Third, as he said aboveas an 18 year old, it is honrable that he consulted with his poarents, and finally, fourth, the Mexican MNT most certainly knows talent when they see it, all be it if it is in "El Norte" (this side of border) and even though they were identified through B. Rothenberg's "Alianza Sueno."  BUENISIMA SUERTE JONATHAN, QUE TE VAYA BIEN!!!  (Oh and BTW, I also have a cactus on my forehead!!!)

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