Mexico makes new push for U.S.-born teen Jonathan Gonzalez of Monterrey
Mexico will continue to pursue Monterrey's 18-year-old midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez, especially now that the United States has failed to qualify for the World Cup, the Mexican federation's director of national teams says.
Gonzalez, one of the breakthrough players of the 2017 Apertura in Liga MX and a dual Mexico and United States national, played for the U.S. Under-18 team last April and was in contact with Bruce Arena before the coach's departure following the Americans' qualifying failure last month.
But El Tri director Dennis te Kloese told ESPN's Raza Deportiva that Mexico remains hopeful Gonzalez may change his mind after the U.S.'s circumstances changed.
"Our duty is to keep trying," Te Kloese said. "He's a player with a bright future. In the end it is a personal and family decision in which he has the ultimate say."
Sources have told ESPN FC that Gonzalez, who was born in Santa Rosa, California, has no plans to change allegiances. But Te Kloese said Mexico will not give up on a player they like.
"We know Jonathan and we've honestly tried to invite and involve him," said Te Kloese, who took over as national teams director from Santiago Banos in August. "His desire has always been to play for the United States."
Gonzalez has started 13 games for Liga MX leader Monterrey this season, keeping 29-year-old Mexico international midfielder Jesus Molina out of a side that is the favorite to lift the title.
Mexico's squad for upcoming friendlies in Europe against Belgium (Nov. 10) and Poland (Nov. 13) is scheduled to be released on Thursday, with the United States also due to name a squad for its friendly against Portugal on Nov. 14.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.