Zendejas commits to USMNT over Mexico

Dual international Alejandro Zendejas says he will sign for the United States national team against Mexico.

The 25-year-old forward made his US debut on January 25 in a clash against Serbia but was still able to appeal to FIFA for a one-off move to Mexico.

“I’m looking forward to this next chapter and to earning my place in the USMNT,” said Zendejas. “Thank you everyone for the incredible support.”

The announcement concludes a bizarre tug-of-war between the United States and Mexico, which saw Zendejas initially play for the United States at youth level, including at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he was team-mate with Christian Pulisic’s Tyler Adams.

When Zendejas joined Chivas from Liga MX in 2016, he said he would turn down future US call-ups and play for Mexico.

Zendejas, 25, continued to play for El Tri at youth level and later with the entire Mexico national team in two friendlies against Ecuador in 2021 and Guatemala in 2022.

But Zendejas never submitted the required one-off transfer to FIFA to become eligible to play for Mexico, which was necessary because he had played for the USA in official competitions.

Mexico was ordered by FIFA to lose five games (three at youth level) and fined 10,000 Swiss francs (US$10,900) for using Zendejas while belonging to the United States.

This development led to Zendejas returning to the USA and he played in the friendly against Serbia in January this year.

He will now be able to play for USA in CONCACAF Nations League games later this month.

“I am very proud to be Mexican. The values ​​of both cultures made me the person I am today,” Zendejas said in a statement on Tuesday. “It is very difficult to make a decision about your international career and I believe in following your heart. Mine tells me that my future lies in representing the United States.”

Zendejas was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico but grew up in El Paso, Texas. He is a product of FC Dallas Academy and made his team debut with the club in 2015.

He made his MLS debut against Houston on May 1, 2015 and joined Chivas in June 2016, then was loaned to Zacatepec in June 2017. Zendejas joined Necaxa in June 2020 and Club America in January 2022.

His aforementioned move to Chivas saw him struggle for playing time, but a loan deal to Zacatepec saw Zendejas gain a foothold in the professional game and he eventually joined Necaxa on a free transfer.

After scoring 11 goals in 50 league games, Zendejas joined Club America in January 2022. He was a consistent and at times spectacular player for the Aguilas, scoring 13 goals in 43 league games.

In terms of the USMNT, Zendejas will offer additional depth on the wing positions but he faces stiff competition from Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna, Leeds United’s Brenden Aaronson and Lille’s Timothy Weah.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/united-states-usa/story/4900651/alejandro-zendejas-commits-to-usmnt-over-mexico Zendejas commits to USMNT over Mexico


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