Alejandro Zendejas has made an official decision. Despite attempts from the Mexico national team to lure him to their program, the Club América winger announced on social media Tuesday that his future belongs to the USMNT.
And the USMNT welcomed his commitment.
OFFICIAL: Alex Zendejas has committed to the USMNT pic.twitter.com/C4KTGoFTqi— U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (@USMNT) March 14, 2023
Alejandro Zendejas chooses the USMNT
Born in Mexico but raised in the U.S., Zendejas began his career in the USYNT program, playing for the U-15 and U-17 teams alongside Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic, who's a close friend.
But knowing about Zendejas' Mexican roots, El Tri didn't give up on him and tried to convince Zendejas to switch allegiances. That's why Zendejas featured in some U-21 and U-23 games for Mexico and even wore senior shirt in two friendlies.
Last year, there were discussions about including him in Mexico's roster for the 2022 World Cup. However, a fallout between him and coach Gerardo Martino closed the door and paved the way for a return to the USMNT.
According to Mexican media, Zendejas was going to be called up for an El Tri friendly vs. Paraguay last August, but FIFA requirements said he needed to sign a document — the One Switch Allegiance — to forget about the USMNT and commit to Mexico for the rest of his career.
Zendejas didn't do it.
Gerardo Martino said on TV that Zendejas wanted a spot in Qatar as a condition for signing the document, which was a complete no-no for the coach.
"I don't want a player thinking that way. It feels like extortion," Martino said.
El Tata Martino sobre la situación de Alejandro Zendejas pic.twitter.com/M0URhuzTqW— Alex de la Rosa (@adelarosa) September 1, 2022
Zendejas denies this version of events and said he only wanted time to consider.
And while he was thinking about it, the USMNT called him up for January camp and Zendejas played a friendly against Serbia.
Days after, the decision was made.
"I believe in following your heart. Mine tells me that my future lies representing the USA," he wrote in a post on social media.
With the news made official, there's a big chance Zendejas will be part of the USMNT roster for Nations League games against Grenada and El Salvador at the end of March, and also for a friendly game on Apr. 19 vs... (drumroll) ... México!
Zendejas' full statement
Here is Alejandro Zendejas' full statement:
"I am very proud of being Mexican American. Values from both cultures have made me the person I am today. I've had the privilege of experiencing life in two countries.
"I'm very grateful for all the opportunities the United States and Mexico have provided to me and my family. Making a decision on your international career is very difficult, and I believe in following your heart. Mine tells me that my future lies representing the USA.
"I'm excited for this next chapter and earning my place with the USMNT. Thank you to everyone for the incredible support."
Via @azensaa_ on Instagram: pic.twitter.com/7vSFtMqFg5— U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (@USMNT) March 14, 2023