Monday, June 5, 2023

Jonathan Gomez: From playing with Mexico to representing the USA at the U-20 World Cup

ESPN May 23rd, 2023, 12:04 pm Reading: 3 min.

Jonathan played with the Mexico national team in April 2022 after being called up by Martino for a friendly match against Guatemala.

The Mexican national team’s failure to qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina led several players likely to represent the Azteca team to decide to defend the colors of the United States. Jonathan Gomez’s name stands out among these elements.

Gomez is a 19-year-old defenseman, the son of Mexican parents born in Texas, who took his first steps as a football player in Fort Worth when he could barely walk. He went through the FC Dallas Academy before moving to Kentucky with Louisville FC, where as a 16-year-old teenager he was already playing professional second division with adults.

His youth success attracted clubs from around the world, until he made the jump to Europe with Real Sociedad de San Sebastián in Spain. Gómez is a starter with Real Sociedad B and has been called up to the first team three times (one Europa League match and two LaLiga doubles).

Internationally, Jonathan played with the Mexico national team in April 2022 after being called up by Gerardo Martino for a friendly against Guatemala. However, this year he played with the United States first team, starting against Serbia and Colombia.

Jonathan Gomez is part of the USA team at the U-20 World Cup. ESPN

After several months, Jonathan Gomez decided against representing the United States and agreed to join the team seeking the U20 World Cup title.

He said in an interview with ESPN, “Being called to the World Cup is a great source of pride and the truth is that it is the fruit of a lot of sacrifice by the Gómez Mendoza family.”

“The experience of playing with both the teams has taught me that the key is to learn to accelerate the adaptation process. It’s not easy playing for different technicians, but it has helped me learn different working methods, to adapt faster, which has helped me in my training, especially in Spain”, he added.

The United States is one of only three countries to have qualified for the last five Under-20 World Cups, along with New Zealand and Uruguay. It is drawn in Group B alongside Ecuador, Fiji and Slovakia, where it will seek to become the first country to reach at least the quarter-finals in three consecutive editions of the tournament.

“I know this is a unique and highly demanding experience. We have a great desire to make history. We take it step by step and it all starts with the first game. I know that no matter what happens, I will grow a lot as a person and as a player. That is one of my goals, to perform better than I came.”

As such, Jonathan Gomez joined a long list of Mexicans with dual nationality who decided to play with the “Stars and Stripes”.

Information from Carlos Nava was used for this report.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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