Mexican national team head coach Gerardo Martino has called up a new generation of dual citizenship players for the upcoming friendly against Guatemala on Wednesday at Florida’s Camping World Stadium.
Among those on the roster stands highly sought after USMNT & El Tri prospect Jonathan Gomez.
Born in the United States to Mexican parents, Gomez has the ability to choose between national teams. He currently features for Real Sociedad B, led by Xabi Alonso, after working himself up through the FC Dallas academy and a USL Louisville City stint.
The left-back has not yet committed to one side, taking part in youth national team camps for both the United States and Mexico.
The 18-year-old debuted with the USMNT during a 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina last December, but remains free of the cap-tied clause due to the game’s friendly status. He’s just one of the players that represents the new generation of dual-citizenship figures with a tough choice ahead.
Gomez joins Marcelo Flores and Club America’s Alejandro Zendejas on the squad, another Mexican-American who has yet to officially declare himself a part of either side. Born in Mexico but raised in the United States, Zendejas kicked off his career at the FC Dallas academy.
He returns to Martino’s camp after debuting with the senior squad in 2021.
Marcelo Flores is another one yet to commit. The Mexican-Canadian prospect has been getting a lot of attention recently after making the bench for Arsenal. The player even earned praise from head coach Mikel Arteta after significant development in training.
“It was great to have him around. We had the opportunity to bring him into the team, he has been training with us regularly throughout the season. I think he's developing very, very well, he's doing well with the under-23s and it's great to see them up close and start to have some good experiences on the day with the first team, because that's how they start to understand what what it takes to be a professional player, the pressure around them and they begin to live those moments, is key.” said Mikel Arteta at a press conference.
The undecided players have David Ochoa on the roster to look up to, after the Mexican-American committed to El Tri in 2021. The Major League Soccer goalkeeper explained the feeling of belonging to two nations as being never enough of either, but advised instead to choose the camp where one feels most comfortable.
"I will never be fully American. Nor will I ever be fully Mexican," Ochoa told The Players' Tribune.
"So it's about where I feel more comfortable, and something inside me feels more at home with the Mexican players."
The upcoming match against Guatemala is one of Mexico’s many friendlies ahead of the 2022 World Cup, giving head coach Tata Martino several opportunities to keep calling up the young players with the hopes of convincing them to sport the green, red and white.