Jonathan Gonzalez admitted that leaving the United States was a difficult decision for him, but he feels at “home” playing for Mexico
The 19-year-old made the controversial decision in January to make a one-time switch to represent Mexico at international level after having risen through the youth ranks at the US national team.
“It’s not easy knowing that I always saw myself as playing in the U.S.,” Gonzalez told JUGOtv, via ESPN.
“But now that I’m in Mexico, I feel like I’m pretty much home.”
The midfielder plays for Mexican football club CF Monterrey, but had been part of the US national set-up from under-14 level to under-20.
Despite having made it clear in the past of his desire to represent the US senior side in the future, Gonzalez was convinced by the Mexican federation to switch allegiances.
Gonzalez was born in California, but qualified for Mexico due to the fact that his father being Mexican himself.
“Your father going to the U.S. in search of a better life. And you’re just pretty much turning your back and coming back over here to Mexico,” he said.
He is still adjusting to the change: “It’s a little bit weird wearing the jersey over there in the U.S. because when I was younger I would be in the U.S. national team,”
“And now that I’m with the Mexican national team in the United States, it’s a little bit different.”
Despite the switch, Gonzalez was not included in Mexico’s final 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia.