NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mexico midfielder Jonathan Gonzalez has no regrets over his switch from the U.S. national team to El Tri as he prepares to face the Stars and Stripes on Tuesday (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET) for the first time since his decision.
The 19-year-old Santa Rosa, Calif., native was aiming for a call-up from the full U.S. national team a year ago, but is happy he accepted the call for Mexico when it came last January.
"I made the perfect decision," said former U.S. youth international Gonzalez in an interview with Univision. "Everything went perfectly. I'm very content, very happy to be here and that Mexico has opened its doors to me."
The Monterrey midfielder, who is part of a young generation of players called up by interim coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti, admits the decision wasn't easy.
"I remember finishing the [2017 Apertura] tournament and both Mexico and the United States called me, they both called on the same day," he said, in Spanish. "Honestly, it wasn't an easy decision, I called my parents straight away. Their opinion is vital.
"Now I'm happy knowing that I'm here. I decided because of the structure; everything Mexico brings from the youth teams to the first team. I think it is exceptional, the history there is and above all because I am Mexican."
Gonzalez said Tuesday's game at Nissan Stadium naturally has a "special meaning" for him.
"It is something new for me, I'm experiencing it from this side," he stated. "It is a clasico, they are different, now I'll give everything for this shirt."