Jonathan dos Santos is confident that he and his brother, Giovani, can make Mexico's World Cup 2018 squad after injury concerns put their status in doubt earlier this month.
Jona played 90 minutes in the LA Galaxy's 1-0 win over the rival San Jose Earthquakes, with Gio returning to the field for the first time since May 5 as a second-half substitute.
"We’re very hopeful to get this ticket to Russia. We’ve been dreaming about it for a long time," Jona said after the match. "The most important thing is we’re recovering from our injuries. Giovani was able to get some minutes today, I’m recovering my level and there are still, I think, 20 days until the World Cup. I think we’re going to arrive at 100 percent."
The brothers now will join up with the Mexico national team across town ahead of Monday's match against Wales. While Jona played 90 minutes both Friday and in a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact five days earlier, he said both he and his brother are hoping to get minutes in the friendly at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Jona and Gio both are part of Mexico's initial 28-man preliminary squad but both were mentioned as injury concerns by Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio after Gio suffered an injury in training and Jona came out of a May 12 game against FC Dallas with a leg injury.
They're not the only concerns Osorio has, with center back Nestor Araujo already out of the squad and midfielder Andres Guardado and center backs Diego Reyes and Hector Moreno also in a race to get fit before the tournament. While the early returns are encouraging for all involved, there is a June 2 deadline looming.
"Diego, Hector, Andres and Giovani, the deadline is the game versus Scotland in Mexico in the Azteca. From there, those four and the rest surely have to show us they’re in optimum condition to be at the World Cup. Those who aren’t, won’t be there. It’s a truth that can't be erased," Osorio said in a news conference.
"I think beyond what we could have empathy or not for the unfortunate situations they’re going through, the reality is you have to take the best 23 in the best athletic condition possible to be able to compete in a tournament where athletic condition is fundamental."
After being excluded from the squad in 2010 and missing the tournament in 2014 with an injury, this would be Jona's first World Cup. That also means it would be the first major tournament for him, his brother and LAFC star Carlos Vela to play in together after Vela and Gio got Mexicans dreaming about the future by winning the U-17 World Championship in 2005.
That could once again be in risk with injuries, but Jona insisted he wasn't worried about what he can't control.
"Honestly, I don’t think about it much. I think our hope, our dream is still intact," he said. "We think this can be a great tournament for us as well as the national team. We have great players.
"But it’s true that anything can happen. I could be left off the list or Vela is left off the list. Everything can happen in this life. You never know. But, our mentality, hope and dream is to go, have a great tournament and make our dream come true."