'It was chaos over there!' - USMNT newcomer Alejandro Zendejas denies Tata Martino's Mexico World Cup 'extortion' claims

Zendejas Club America 2022Getty
  • Zendejas reflects on decision
  • Calls process 'chaos'
  • USMNT set for Nations League

WHAT HAPPENED? Zendejas committed to the USMNT ahead of the team's Nations League matches against Grenada and El Salvador, having previously joined the USMNT for January camp. Zendejas earned two caps for Mexico in 2021-22, but a FIFA ruling determined that he was ineligible to play for Mexico at that time due to his failure to file a one-time switch to join El Tri.

Reports out of Mexico said Zendejas would only file the document if promised a World Cup spot, with former Mexico manager Tata Martino accusing Zendejas of "extortion", but the winger denied that claim while explaining his decision to play for the USMNT.

🏆 BIG GAME: Barcelona ratings: De Jong masterclass all-but seals title

📣 HAVE YOUR SAY: PSG and Lionel Messi MUST part ways this summer

🚨 MUST READ: Where are the NXGN wonderkids of 2022 now?

WHAT THEY SAID: "Obviously I spoke to my family about it almost every day or every week because I was getting calls from everywhere," Zendejas said in a press conference. "But in terms of that thing about securing a spot, I don't think anyone can be in a position for someone to secure something for you. We have to work on that daily and prove to people that we deserve the opportunity.

"I don't know. It was a bunch of chaos that happened over there. People saying stuff that wasn't true, people saying that stuff that was true, but at the end of the day, I just try not to focus on that. I try to focus on my club team and playing well. Then at the end of the day, I spoke to my family and we decided to represent the USA."

This page contains affiliate links. When you subscribe through the links provided, we may earn a commission.

Sign up here for MLS Season Pass through Apple TV and watch every MLS match, including the playoffs!

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Zendejas offers the USMNT another talented wing option to compete with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson, with the Club America star offering something a bit different than the four already named. Zendejas is also able to play centrally, should the USMNT desire, and Anthony Hudson has already said that he believes the 25-year-old newcomer can make a legitimate difference with the full team.


Zendejas USMNT Serbia friendly 2023Getty ImagesZendejas Club America 2022Getty

Alejandro Zendejas MexicoGetty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR THE USMNT? Zendejas and Co. are in Orlando for training camp ahead of Friday's trip to Grenada. After that, the U.S. will return to Florida to host El Salvador next Monday.