Football

USA calls dual nationals Vazquez, Zendejas for January camp

USA calls dual nationals Vazquez, Zendejas for January camp
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Dual nationals Alejandro Zendejas, a midfielder with Club America, and striker Brandon Vazquez of FC Cincinnati will be called up for the first time by the senior United States national team, sources told Futbol Americas hosts Herculez Gomez and Sebastian Salazar.

The sources said that the 24-year-old Mexican-Americans are on the list for this month’s camp in Los Angeles ahead of friends with Serbia at Banc of California Stadium on Jan. 25, and Columbia at Carson’s Dignity Health Sports Park on Jan. 28.

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The full US squad is expected to be released on Wednesday, with World Cup assistant Anthony Hudson set to oversee the side for the camp and friends.

Vazquez, who scored 19 goals in 36 appearances and was named an MLS All-Star said last year that he’s open to Mexico or the United States, but hinted at this MLS Media Day earlier this month that a decision had already been made.

« It’s a big milestone for me, » Vazquez told MLSsoccer.com about earning a chance with the USMNT’s January camp.

« I mean, growing up with the [U.S.] national team, and then seeing other teammates get the opportunity and thriving with the men’s national team, and not being there, sometimes I compare, you know? So I always wish I’m there, too. I’ve been wanting to get there for a long time. »

Vazquez, who was a part of the US youth national team setup, also noted that there’s « still no conversation » with the Mexican federation and that « nobody’s called. »

Zendejas has represented both Mexico and the United States at youth level and made two senior appearances for El Tri in late 2021 and early 2022. Last August, ESPN Mexico reported that FIFA were investigating the eligibility of the player who had allegedly yet to file a one-time switch with Mexico.

In September, a representative from US Soccer confirmed to ESPN that they were following Zendejas’ development, after his involvement in the youth setup.

While Vazquez is in MLS’ preseason, a possible hurdle for Zendejas is two upcoming home games for America in Mexico City against Puebla on Jan. 21 and Mazatlan on Jan. 28. Due to the USMNT camp and friendlies landing on non-FIFA dates, Club America does not have to release Zendejas.

Earlier on the episode of Futbol Americas, Houston Dynamo FC designated player and Mexico international Hector Herrera lamented the fact that El Tri has only a limited group of high-quality players to from which to select.

« Nowadays, the truth is that there are few options that the national team has to choose from, » Herrera said. « The development and opportunities for Mexican players is something that we have stopped doing. We used to do it very well. »

Herrera said the difficulty for some domestic players to make moves abroad was part of the problem, while highlighting the need to keep transfer prices reasonable and utilize more sell-on clauses, as Pachuca did in his deal to Porto in 2013, to help send Mexican players to Europe and improve the national team.

« Today we have players, who for me, should be playing in Europe, not in Liga MX, » Herrera added.

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