Gonzalez: Fellow Mexican-Americans must follow their hearts

first_imgHow you feel about Jonathan Gonzalez depends on which national team you support. Mexico fans are hoping to see the Monterrey midfielder continue through the ranks, bounce back from the injuries he’s struggled with this summer and become a key contributor. United States fans may always see him as one that got away.In early 2018, the California native filed a one-time switch and suited up for the Mexico senior national team, making his debut in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina after years playing in the United States youth system. Gonzalez will hardly be the only player to have to make the decision to suit up for one nation or the other, with a number of young players currently in the United States system eligible to represent Mexico as well. But while there was precedent dating back decades to players like Martin Vasquez, Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona, the 20-year-old Gonzalez is on the leading edge of a new wave of talented players who could play for multiple national teams. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career That has made him a sounding board for up-and-coming players who hope to get to the level where both the U.S. and Mexican federation are inviting them to camps and calling them up to the first team.”I think a lot of players have been coming out with their background being Mexican and playing in the U.S. national team and vice versa,” Gonzalez told Goal. “In my opinion, their decisions aren’t going to be easy at all, but they have to do whatever their heart tells them and their mind mostly and try to go for whatever’s going to help them in the future and help them grow. I think the decision comes down to what’s best for their future.”With that in mind, Gonzalez has blocked out criticism he received from a minority of jilted U.S. fans on social media, preferring to focus on what he believes was the best choice for his career as a player.”In those moments, it was very intense, but I think I made the best decision,” he said. “Personally I don’t try to see everything on Twitter or Instagram. I’m really not up to date with everything that happens. At that time there was a lot of discussion,” Gonzalez continued. “Were there a lot of posts? Yeah, but I tried to stay off social media and really think about what I was going to do. I really don’t think anything journalists or people posted influenced my decision. I think it’s something I did on my own.”Young players also reach out to Gonzalez to seek his advice about breaking through and becoming a professional, with Gonzalez taking a role as an ambassador for the Allstate Sueno Alianza program. That has led Gonzalez to become something of a mentor to a number of younger players, despite his own young age.”It’s something new to me. Before I used to be the one asking questions, the one trying to look for advice and now I get all these young guys asking me for advice,” he said. “It’s something that makes me very proud, and I just try to help them out with their future and find ways to make them be their best and give their all so they can make their dream a reality.”Gonzalez’s dream hasn’t yet come true either. While he’s pleased with the progress he’s making both with Rayados, where he started this weekend against Puebla after a long layoff, and the Mexico national team, he’s still pushing for more. Former Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio didn’t include Gonzalez on the World Cup roster and he’s played with the senior national team just once since his debut.His club form hasn’t helped, with Carlos Rodriguez, a midfielder two years his senior, emerging as a regular starter for both Monterrey and Mexico. Even so, Gonzalez said he’s been working hard to get back to full fitness and is confident minutes are coming.Jonathan Gonzalez Monterrey“I just think that right now my main goal is to be a starter again for Monterrey, hopefully get called up to the senior national team soon,” he said. “That’s a big part of what I have planned for now in the short-term. Ultimately, in the medium and long-term, it’s to go to Europe and so on, but the most important thing right now is to get fit and start playing here in Monterrey again.”After a good showing this weekend, the ball-winning midfielder will also hope to be part of Tata Martino’s squad next month for a non-FIFA date friendly against Trinidad and Tobago and capitalize on that opportunity to be part of the squad for Mexico’s debut matches in the Concacaf Nations League. And while he hasn’t heard anything specific from Martino, he’s been part of the manager’s mini-camps in the last few months and said he has been encouraged by his time with the coaching staff.”I think little by little going to these camps with Tata and getting more experience and getting that rhythm back, I think that’s going to be something really good for me in the future,” he said. “Tata, I don’t think he’s really come up to talk to any of us in specific, at least not me. I don’t know. I’m just hoping I’m doing things well and hoping I get the call back soon.”No matter how you view Gonzalez, there’s no doubt he’s determined to keep growing, to reach his dreams and helping others achieve their goals as well.last_img read more

Sri Lanka denies claims India influenced players on Pakistan tour

A day after 10 Sri Lankan players refused to travel to Pakistan citing security reasons, Pakistan minister Fawad Hussain alleged India had influenced their decision. He said that “informed sports commentators” had informed him the Sri Lankan players were confronted by Indian authorities and were told they would be excluded from the IPL if they went to play in Pakistan.International cricket hasn’t been played in Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009. (Colombo Gazette) Sri Lanka has denies claims India influenced Sri Lankan cricketers not to play in Pakistan.Sports Minister Harin Fernando said that some players decided not to play in Pakistan purely based on the 2009 incident. “No truth to reports that India influenced Sri Lankan players not to play in Pakistan.Some decided not to play purely based on 2009 incident. Respecting their decision we picked players who were willing to travel. We have a full strength team & we hope to beat Pakistan in Pakistan,” Fernando tweeted. read more

Football No 2 instate recruit Darrion Henry commits to Ohio State

Ohio State received a commitment from the No. 2 recruit in Ohio on Saturday when defensive tackle Darrion Henry announced his intention to sign with the Buckeyes.Henry plays alongside five-star offensive tackle and Ohio State commit Paris Johnson at Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, which means the Buckeyes have secured the top two in-state players of the 2020 class.Committed #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/K81KJA8oZo— D Hen (@darrion_henry) June 29, 2019After holding commitments from two defensive prospects prior to June 21, the Buckeyes have secured verbal pledges from three four-star defenders in the eight days since. Four-star corner Clark Phillips and four-star linebacker Cody Simon join Henry in this regard.Standing at 6-foot-4, 279 pounds, Henry is a four-star prospect recruited by associate head coach and defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who has coached five All-Americans on the defensive line in his tenure with the Buckeyes.Henry is the No. 11 defensive tackle in the country per 247Sports, and the No. 121 overall prospect in his class.Henry previously visited LSU in May and Tennessee just a week before his official Ohio State visit on June 21. read more