For the last few months, the question as to which country Jesse Gonzalez would represent on the national team level has been a pretty hot topic of discussion. The FC Dallas Homegrown keeper reportedly stated in April that he was leaning towards Mexico but his recent call to the US preliminary Gold Cup squad could change things for good.
So which way does our staff want him to lean? We discuss it below.
Jason Poon - Whatever His Heart Says
As a dual-citizen, I feel for Jesse Gonzalez. Technically because of my parents, I’m actually eligible to play for three different countries (United States, Hong Kong and England). That is of course, assuming I was remotely even close to that caliber level of soccer awesomeness to even play at that level and have options to choose from.
Then I ask myself, “If I were Gonzalez, which nation would I choose?” My answer continuously points me back to “whatever my heart says”.
Who knows what Gonzalez’ heart is saying, but if I had to wager a six pack of beer on this, I’d bet Mexico.
Mohammad Bushnaq - Selfishly Mexico
I wholeheartedly agree with Jason as a dual citizen that Jesse Gonzalez should go play with whoever he deems he is loyal to.
Now, if I had Jesse Gonzalez on Football Manager and could decide where he could play as a head coach, I would be inclined to the two countries in different ways. This situation is kind of unique because I can be selfish for my homeland ( ) or I can be selfish for my club (DTID).
If Jesse decides to play for Mexico, FC Dallas may finally have the Mexican National Team star that we have been hoping for years. Will he be able to help move the needle for attendance? Who knows? If Jesse decides to play for the USA, however, I would be ecstatic that my home nation has gained a quality goalkeeper who can potentially push for the starting job. For those reasons, I would not be upset if Jesse chose Mexico as his final decision.
Either way, I'd be happy because Dallas has a growing star. I just want Jesse to also be happy when deciding for himself.
Jeff Loftin - Depends
If Jesse wants to represent Mexico, that is fantastic. If his choice is to represent Mexico that will likely result in FC Dallas getting a fat transfer fee for him going to Liga MX because if we are all honest with ourselves he won’t be getting many looks with El Tri if he is still playing in MLS. I would certainly be disappointed if that were to happen, but I would not be shocked either. His heart and likely a few outside influences will help determine where he actually chooses to set his allegiance and I am not sure there is any way for me to determine which nation that would be. As a personal preference I would like to see him play for the US, but that is as much selfish as anything - mostly because I like seeing a player choose the US over Mexico.
Now that I’ve said all of that, I think it would be best for him to go with whatever he sees as the brightest future. Both nations have talented youth coming up and he has already seen much of the talent Mexico has in the goalkeeping area, so he can better gauge where he should play based on that. I am a bit concerned with the US depth at GK and I think Jesse probably sees that as well. Likely, in my humble opinion at least, he will be included in the Gold Cup roster and considered a coup for the US. He will get minutes in a game (Martinique I’m looking at you) if he makes the roster and then be cap tied for good. The time is quickly approaching and I see him lining up for the US personally, but I won’t be offended if he chooses the country of his family’s heritage instead. At least as an FCD fan I can see us getting something in return for his choice to play for El Tri, though that also means he will leave the club and probably sooner rather than later.
Jack Rouse- USA
Retirement is looming for Timmy Howard and Brad Guzan has not instilled confidence in anyone that he is the answer for USA between the posts. Now is the perfect time for Jesse to install himself as the long term US keeper.
I understand in his heart he is more Mexican than American. But from a purely professional standpoint it makes more sense for his career to represent USA. There's also some job security in being American and playing in MLS. No future US manager will hold that against him, while the same cannot be said for Mexican managers and fans.
Etan Cohn - Up to Jesse
I want to say because that is the country I love and reside in, but I'm not Jesse Gonzalez. If he has a bigger connection with , that is where he should play.
Jesse Gonzalez needs to make the decision, and if he is unsure which country touches his heart the most, he should be looking at playing time. I don't know about the goalkeeper situation in Mexico, but I have a pretty good grasp of what's going on with the US. The three main keepers, Howard, Guzan, and Rimando will be passing on the torch at some point in the coming years, although I'm not convinced Guzan will stop in the near future, as he is several years younger then the others at thirty-three. If Jesse Gonzalez thinks he can beat out guys like Bill Hamid, Ethan Horvath, and Cody Cropper, I would love to see Jesse pick the United States.
El Chico Carmona - Whatever makes him happy, the sooner the better.
When it's all said and done, as long as Jessie is happy, FCD will be better for it. Here's a young man trying to establish himself as an every game starter, and the last thing he needs is distractions. So I hope a decision is made soon.
I believe Jessie wishes to represent Mexico, but what is he to do if Mexico simply isn't returning the love? The US is doing everything in it's power to persuade Jessie, and I don't see the same effort from Mexico. That doesn't mean the effort isn't there, only Jessie really knows.
I'm all for whatever Jessie choses, although my personal preference as a fan of the USMNT should be obvious.