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México Snatches USMNT’s Jonathan Gómez For Its Next Friendly Against Guatemala

Gerardo Martino announced the Mexican squad facing Guatemala in a friendly game this Wednesday, April 27. Since the match is not during a FIFA international break, the roster is heavily reliant on Liga MX but also packs a couple of surprises. The most interesting of all? The inclusion of 18-year-old and Real Sociedad B defender Jonathan Gómez, who last December made his debut in the USMNT

Why is Jonathan Gómez playing for México?

Gómez — who was born in Texas to Mexican parents — is clearly having difficulties deciding which country to represent. The defender has played for both national team youth programs, and now it seems he is also keeping the tabs open for both adult rosters.  

FIFA allows this sort of indecision because of two reasons: Gomez's dual-nationality and the fact he hasn't played more than three competitive senior games before the age of 21 for neither the USMNT nor El Tri. 

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In addition, since the game he played for the USMNT against Bosnia and Herzegovina in December was just an exhibition, he was not tied to U.S. Soccer. And since the game between Mexico and Guatemala is also just an exhibition, he will not be tied to El Tri.

Mexico roster vs. Guatemala

Gómez is not the only Mexican-American on Tata Martino's list. Goalkeeper David Ochoa and midfielder Alejandro Zendejas are the other two cases. However, their situation is completely different because both have already committed to playing for México. 

Zendejas has played for Mexico on several occasions, but this will be Ochoa's first time in the senior squad of El Tri. The goalkeeper was committed to the USMNT program until last summer when he decided to switch allegiance. 

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"I will never be fully American. Nor will I ever be fully Mexican," Ochoa said in 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 complete Mexican squad for the game against Guatemala is:

Goalkeepers: Carlos Acevedo (Santos Laguna), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake)

Defenders: Erick Aguirre (Monterrey), Kevin Álvarez (Pachuca), Jesús Angulo (Tigres), Jonathan Gómez (Real Sociedad), Luis Olivas (Chivas), Arturo Ortiz (Pumas), Israel Reyes (Puebla)

Midfielders: Roberto Alvarado (Chivas), Fernando Beltrán (Chivas), Jordan Carrillo (Santos Laguna), Luis Chávez (Pachuca), Sebastián Córdova (Tigres), Marcelo Flores (Arsenal), Erik Lira (Cruz Azul), Erick Sánchez (Pachuca), Alejandro Zendejas (América)

Forwards: Erick Aguirre (Santos Laguna), Santiago Giménez (Cruz Azul)

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