Verdict: 'Brave' Jonathan Gonzalez impresses Osorio in Mexico debut

His international future already permanently tied to Mexico by FIFA's approval of his switch of association, 18-year-old Californian Jonathan Gonzalez got down to work to try to convince El Tri coach Juan Carlos Osorio to take him to the 2018 World Cup.

Gonzalez came on the second half of Mexico's 1-0 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina before 26,867 fans at the Alamodome.

He played 33 minutes in midfield, used by Osorio in a more advanced position than he does at Monterrey, where he operates as a deep-lying midfielder, using his range and slick passing to play a key role for the Rayados.

Considering Gonzalez's age and lack of international experience, Osorio said the former U.S. U-20 had a positive outing.

"He was brave in the decisions he made," the former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls coach said. "It is not easy to play in that space between the lines and to fulfill the specific roles we asked of him."

He added that Gonzalez showed he understands the game and the responsibilities that have been placed on him.

"As everyone knows," Osorio said, "he's been extraordinary and has a very promising future."

The irony of Wednesday's game was that Jesus Molina, the player Gonzalez beat out at Monterrey for a starting job last summer, had a strong game in the Mexico midfield in the role Gonzalez plays at Monterrey.

Molina was a late call-up for injured Pachuca midfielder Victor Guzman, the only other uncapped player besides Gonzalez Osorio called up.

Without Osorio's European-based players, the Bosnia & Herzegovina game was a chance for Liga MX and MLS players to make a case for inclusion in the Mexico 23 for Russia.

Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos and Carlos Vela, who came into camp after one week of preseason with their MLS teams, all played.

1 comment about "Verdict: 'Brave' Jonathan Gonzalez impresses Osorio in Mexico debut".
  1. John Hofmann, February 1, 2018 at 3:15 p.m.

    Well, that's a relief.  The USMNT doesn't need to consider anyone "with range and slick passing" who "understands the game and the responsibilities that have been placed on him".

    From what's been said the last few weeks, I was afraid the U.S. might have missed out on someone that could have provided some help to our top-rated national team.  I can give a sigh of relief now...

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