The United States men’s national soccer team revealed its January camp roster as they attempt to move forward from a disastrous campaign that saw them miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Considering the team won’t be playing in the world’s largest tournament this summer, the camp features a cast of young, inexperienced players that could very well be the future of the program.
There’s just one problem, though: Jonathan Gonzalez is not one of those players.
Even worse? It doesn’t look like he’s going to stick around and wait for his chance with the United States.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post confirmed Univision’s reports on Monday that the 18-year-old midfielder who plays for Monterrey in Liga MX last season, has asked FIFA for a one-time switch to join Mexico, the United States’ biggest rivals. Gonzalez hails from California but is a dual citizen of both the United States and Mexico.
Last season saw Gonzalez develop into a steady presence within Monterrey’s midfield as he helped the team finish second in Mexico’s top flight. He was later voted to Liga MX’s Best XI.
Regardless of his play, the hapless United States did not invite Gonzalez to play in a November friendly against Portugal, shortly after the team failed to qualify for Russia and fielded a youthful side. He did not record a single cap for the US.
Developing through the US national team ranks, this is a huge loss for the program, who could have featured Gonzalez alongside Christian Pulisic, Weston McKinney and Keaton Parks as future cornerstones of the squad.
The latest development shows just how lost the US men’s program is as they continue to spiral out of control after their CONCACAF qualifying catastrophe. Without a permanent coach or any kind of long-term direction, they could be entering the dark ages once more.