Mexican-born winger Zendejas chooses to represent the United States

Mexican-born winger Alex Zendejas has chosen to represent the United States at international level, U.S. Soccer said on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old, who plays for Liga MX side America, was eligible to represent both countries as he was born in Ciudad Juarez but moved to El Paso, Texas as a child.

“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 experience life in two countries,” Zendejas posted on social media.

“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,” he added.

Zendejas, who was battling to choose between the two nations, had played for the U.S. at youth level but featured for Mexico in friendly matches against Ecuador (2-3) in 2021 and Guatemala (0-0) in 2022.

However, since the player did not have a one-time change of affiliation approved, FIFA punished Mexico for using him in the games that were forfeited by a score of 3-0, in addition to a fine of CHF 10,000 ($10,937).

Mexico’s new coach Diego Cocca tried to get the winger back, but Zendejas turned down the offer after committing to the U.S. men’s national team programme.

The U.S. will complete the 2022-23 CONCACAF Nations League group stage with matches against Grenada on March 24 and El Salvador on March 27 in Orlando.

($1 = 0.9143 Swiss francs)


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