U.S.-born dual-nationals David Ochoa and Jonathan Gomez could both earn their first minutes with Mexico‘s senior national team after being called up for a friendly against Guatemala on April 27.
The young Mexican-Americans are part of an alternate roster selected by manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino for the match that will take place on a non-FIFA date at Florida’s Camping World Stadium.
Ochoa, a 21-year-old goalkeeper for Real Salt Lake, has previously taken part in youth national team camps on both sides of the border, but was more involved in the setup for the United States up through the U23 level. Last summer he committed to Mexico.
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“I will never be fully American. Nor will I ever be fully Mexican,” Ochoa told the Players Tribune. “So it’s about where I feel more comfortable, and something inside me feels more at home with the Mexican players.”
Gomez, an 18-year-old left-back for Real Sociedad B, also took part in youth national team camps for both the U.S. and Mexico. The 2021 USL Championship Young Player of the Year was given his first senior minutes with the USMNT in a 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina last December, but wasn’t cap-tied due to the fact that the match was a friendly. Gomez has yet to commit to Mexico or the U.S.
Both Gomez and Ochoa were involved in the second-tier USL in the start of their professional careers.
Another noteworthy inclusion to El Tri’s squad for the Guatemala friendly is Arsenal academy star Marcelo Flores, who is also eligible to represent Canada and England. Flores watched from the bench during a 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace in the Premier League earlier in April.
Despite the fact that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised the 18-year-old attacking midfielder this week for “developing really, really well,” he has yet to make his debut with the club. Flores is returning to Mexico’s camp after making his senior national team debut in a friendly last December.
¡Aquí tienen la convocatoria del Profesor Gerardo Martino para el duelo de #MEXTOUR 🆚 🇬🇹! 🇲🇽 ⚽️
A dar lo mejor, equipo. 💪🏻💚
👉🏻 https://t.co/MSqezxWkwL#HechoDeLosMexicanos | #FMFporNuestroFútbol pic.twitter.com/TeqOs66KKA
— Selección Nacional (@miseleccionmx) April 21, 2022
Along with Ochoa and Gomez, other players earning their first senior Mexico call-ups are Marcel Ruiz (Club Tijuana), Jeremy Marquez (Atlas), Diego Barbosa (Atlas), Aldo Rocha (Atlas) and Arturo Ortiz (Pumas).
Other names who have previously been called-up by Martino, but have yet to receive senior national team minutes are Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Juan Pablo Vigon (Tigres), Omar Campos (Santos Laguna) and Luis Malagon (Necaxa).
After the match against Guatemala next week, El Tri will continue their preparation for the 2022 World Cup with four additional friendlies in the United States this summer against Nigeria on May 28 in Arlington, Texas; Uruguay on June 2 in Glendale, Arizona; Ecuador on June 5 in Chicago; and Paraguay on Aug. 31 in Atlanta.
Mexico qualified for the World Cup after finishing second in CONACAF’s Octagonal table. Martino’s team landed in Group C for Qatar 2022 along with Argentina, Poland and Saudi Arabia.