Jesse Gonzalez's paperwork for U.S.-Mexico switch not in to FIFA yet
FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez has begun the process of tying his international allegiance to the U.S., but the paperwork needed to switch from Mexico has not been submitted to FIFA, a U.S. Soccer Federation spokesman told ESPN FC.
Gonzalez was born in Edenton, North Carolina, but qualified for Mexico citizenship through his parents. FIFA rules allow dual nationals to make a one-time switch from the nation that they played for at youth level to another nation in which they have citizenship, provided that: "He has not played a match (either in full or in part) in an Official Competition at 'A' international level for his current Association, and at the time of his first full or partial appearance in an international match in an Official Competition for his current Association, he already had the nationality of the representative team for which he wishes to play."
Gonzalez represented Mexico at both U20 and U23 levels, but never at senior level, and was recently named to the preliminary U.S. roster for this summer's Gold Cup. In order to play in the Gold Cup for the U.S., Gonzalez will need to have filed the paperwork for the one-time switch and have it approved by FIFA. Once approved, Gonzalez would be permanently tied to the U.S.
Fox Soccer broadcaster Stuart Holden tweeted out Sunday that Gonzalez has "officially submitted paperwork to FIFA" while SI.com reported that U.S. Soccer had received a signed letter from Gonzalez stating his intention to play for the U.S.
The USSF spokesman confirmed SI.com's report to ESPN FC, but cautioned that while the process of making the one-time switch had begun, the paperwork has not been submitted to FIFA.
"We're still in the document gathering phase," said the spokesman.
Among the documents that need to be obtained are a signed letter indicating the player's wish to make the switch, proof of citizenship, and documentation of Gonzalez's games with Mexico youth teams. The spokesman declined to put a timeline on when FIFA would approve Gonzalez's application.
For now, Gonzalez could still change his mind as to which country to represent at international level. A source with knowledge of the situation told ESPN FC's Tom Marshall that as of last week Gonzalez had not yet made up his mind, and that he was unsure he wanted to leave FC Dallas for the month-long Gold Cup because it might jeopardize his spot as the team's starting goalkeeper.
The source also told Marshall that Gonzalez had spoken with Mexico national team manager Juan Carlos Osorio about the goalkeeper's future with El Tri, and that Osorio hoped to call Gonzalez up in the future.
The tug of war between Mexico and the U.S. over Gonzalez's future has been going on for some time now. Gonzalez was set to participate in the U.S. team's January camp in 2016, but then had a change of heart, and joined Mexico's U23 camp instead.
ESPN FC writer Tom Marshall contributed to this story.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.