Jonathan Gonzalez says U.S. Soccer did not approach him about potentially making his senior national team debut in November’s friendly against Portugal.
Gonzalez, 18, is a U.S. youth international but has yet to play for the senior team despite enjoying a breakout year playing in Mexico, where he helped Monterrey win the Copa MX and was named to the Liga MX Apertura Best XI.
For the November camp, U.S. Soccer made a decision to allow Gonzalez to stay with his club ahead of the Liga MX playoffs, but the midfielder told Soccer America that no one contacted him about why he was left out for the U.S.’s first game since failing to qualify for the World Cup.
“I wasn’t called in, in November,” Gonzalez said. “Personally, nobody came and talked to me and let me know about that friendly. I just wasn’t called in.”
Gonzalez had been in contact with Bruce Arena in August, but the U.S. coach resigned in October after the U.S. missed the World Cup and was replaced on an interim basis for the Portugal game by Dave Sarachan, who gave first senior call-ups to teenagers Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Josh Sargent.
A dual U.S.-Mexico national, Gonzalez moved to Monterrey from the California Bay Area at 14. He has played for U.S. teams at the under-14, -17, -18 and -20 levels, and he said his experiences with those squads were “honestly one of the greatest experiences I ever had — being with the national team — and I’m really thankful for that.”
As the Portugal game was a friendly, Gonzalez would not have been cap-tied to the U.S. by playing, but after the U.S. missed the World Cup, it will not play a competitive game until the Gold Cup in the summer of 2019.
That could allow Mexico the opportunity to secure Gonzalez’s services permanently by offering him a spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. At Monterrey this season, he was already starting in place of experienced Mexico international midfielder Jesus Molina.
The Mexican federation’s director of national teams said before the U.S.’s November squad announcement that Mexico would continue to pursue the rising star, and Goal — citing a source close to the player — reported in December that Gonzalez was unhappy at being left out of the U.S. squad.
But Gonzlez said last week that he was not making any decisions on his international future while Monterrey was still preparing to play in the Liga MX and Copa MX finals.
“At the moment, I really haven’t thought of it much,” he told Soccer America. “I focused on my club because of the finals and all of that.”
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