Jonathan Gonzalez has released a statement thanking U.S. Soccer for its support but declaring his intention to represent Mexico at the international level.
News broke Monday the 18-year-old midfielder would file a one-time switch with FIFA to change his international allegiance from the U.S. to Mexico, permanently tying him to El Tri.
The Monterrey midfielder had represented the U.S. on the under-17 and under-20 levels, but controversially did not receive a senior team call up with the U.S. for a November friendly against Portugal.
While U.S. Soccer has insisted Gonzalez was in their plans for the future, the teenager later confirmed in an interview with Soccer America that he had not been contacted about his status for the friendly at the time.
However, that was absent in Gonzalez’s statement, released via Twitter on Tuesday, which focused on his career and ties to Mexico as the reasons for international switch.
“Four years ago I arrived in Mexico with the dream of playing soccer professionally, something that I have accomplished with a lot of hard work, dedication and above everything else, with the support of my family,” Gonzalez wrote in the statement.
“It is not easy to leave the country in which one is born, however, Mexico is also my home as it is the country where my parents were born and, consequently, where my roots originate.”
After thanking Monterrey, his coach, Antonio Mohamed, and Atletico Santa Rosa for helping him with his development, Gonzalez goes on to confirm what he called “perhaps the most important moment” in his young career, declaring his intent to play for El Tri.
“Today I want to announce my decision to represent Mexico and their national team. I am ready to earn a spot for many years.”
Gonzalez also followed that up by thanking U.S. Soccer, adding: “I want to express my gratitude to the United States Soccer Federation for all their support and trust during my first few years of soccer development.”
If he can get his switch approved in time, Gonzalez is in contention for Mexico’s January 31 friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.