Los Angeles (AFP) – Jonathan Gonzalez, a teen midfielder for Mexican side Monterrey, has opted to play international football for Mexico over the United States, according to reports Monday.
Univision and ESPN, citing unnamed sources, reported that Gonzalez will represent El Tri after playing for the United States at youth level.
That decision must receive final approval from authorities but the 18-year-old, born to Mexican parents in suburban San Francisco, has made his choice.
Gonzalez’s performances for Monterrey led to him being named in the Mexican League’s Best 11.
FIFA rules allow a player to make a one-time nationality change if they have not played for a senior national team in a competitive match.
If paperwork is completed in time, Gonzalez could make his debut for Mexico on January 31 when they play Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio spoke to Gonzalez by telephone and a Mexican official visited Gonzalez during the off-season while the player was reportedly unhappy at not receiving an explanation after being left out of the US squad for a November friendly in Portugal.
The Mexicans are preparing for the World Cup in Russia in June, while the Americans failed to qualify.