Five USMNT Players That Could've Played For Mexico At The Olympics
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The dispute over dual nationality players escalated to a new magnitude before the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship as five players chose the USMNT over Mexico, although the Mexican federation was able to get Efraín Álvarez to play with Tata Martino's senior side.
It looks like Mexico is no longer the first choice for some Mexican-American players, who've chosen to represent the United States rather than the Tricolor. In the current Stars and Stripes U-23 team participating in the Olympic Qualifying Championship, there are five players who made that decision and will now face Jaime Lozano's team in the group finale on Wednesday night.
ALSO, don't forget about Group B's games tomorrow. It's an all-out battle for a spot in the semifinals!
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"There are some who see themselves as more American than Mexican, it is something very respectable, it is a battle that the FMF has with the United States, to keep the players that each one wants, you have to be honest with the player and let them choose," Lozano, coach of Mexico's U-23 team, said prior to the last group stage match.
In the list of 20 players given by the United States, there are five who were on the agenda of the Mexican national team and ultimately rejected the Tricolor. They are: Julian Araujo, David Ochoa, Mauricio Pineda, Sebastián Saucedo and Sebastián Soto.
Mexico has kept him in its sights and attempted to call him up at the U-16 level. Despite that, Ochoa is one of the stars of the U.S. U-23 team and is far from the Tricolor.
The LA Galaxy right back was contacted by Tata Martino to decide to play for Mexico instead of the United States, but the California-born footballer chose to play for Jason Kreis' team, declining, for now, to play for the Tricolor.
Saucedo has been with the USMNT since the U-14 level and once turned down a call-up to the Mexico national team because "he felt he was turning his back on the United States." He is the son of Mexicans but was born in California.
The Chicago Fire midfielder/defender has done all his training with the USMNT. His parents are originally from Durango, although he was born in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
The U-23 striker turned down both Chile and Mexico and is now one of the top prospects for the Stars and Stripes. He currently plays for Norwich City.