You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that follows soccer in America to dub this season a success for the United States Men’s National Team. First, the team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after losing 2-1 to Trinidad & Tobago, arguably the worst team in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Following USMNT’s embarrassing elimination, head coach Bruce Arena chose to resign, leaving 63-year-old assistant Dave Sarachan to fill in as interim head coach. Now, the U.S. National Team might be losing out on an up-and-coming superstar, as Jonathan Gonzalez has asked FIFA for permission to represent archrival Mexico in international play.
Missing World Cup Delivers Huge Blow
By missing the World Cup, USMNT lost its coach and now one of its brightest stars. Gonzalez tweeted on Monday night, “If I’m called [by the Mexico national team], I’m determined to defend the colors of this country. It would be an honor.” His tweet confirms what everyone was worried about. The Mexican Football Federation did not officially comment on the situation; however, a source close to the conversation assured that everything is moving along smoothly, which does not bode well for Team USA.
Gonzalez, 18, was born in California and has played on U.S. national teams all throughout his youth, but he is a dual-national citizen of Mexico and the United States.
What’s Next For United States Soccer
It is unclear what additional backlash may arise from the U.S. Men’s National Team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but one thing is clear, Sarachan isn’t going to wait around to find out whether or not Gonzalez will be a part of the team or not. Sarachan will lead a men’s national team training camp this month. There will be 30 players attending, 21 of which will be age 24 or younger. In fact, 10 players will be making their first appearance at a U.S. senior camp. Many do not believe Sarachan will ever shed the interim tag, but it is also unclear when they will name a new head coach. So until then, he’s got a job to do.