Jonathan Gonzalez confirms decision to shun U.S. for Mexico

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 23: Jonathan Gonzalez of Monterrey fights for the ball with Rafael Marquez of Atlas during the quarter finals first leg match between Atlas and Monterrey as part of the Torneo Apertura 2017 Liga MX at Jalisco Stadium on November 23, 2017 in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Refugio Ruiz / LatinContent WO / Getty

Teenage talent and dual national Jonathan Gonzalez has picked Mexico over the United States.

The 18-year-old California-born midfielder who plies his trade in Liga MX with Monterrey confirmed reports of a switch of allegiance with a statement.

"Today I want to announce my decision to represent Mexico and their National Team. I am ready to earn a spot for many years," Gonzalez's statement reads.

"It is not easy to leave behind the country in which one is born; however, Mexico is also my home as it is the country where my parents were born and, consequently, where my roots originate."

Gonzalez's decision is the latest blow for an USMNT setup that is reeling after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The midfielder had previously lined up for the U.S. as a youth international that included 16 appearances for the Under-18 side.

A one-time switch of allegiances means Gonzalez - who has not played at any level for Mexico - does not have to be capped by El Tri in order to rule him out of future contention for the USMNT.