Jesse Gonzalez - FC Dallas - May 14, 2017

A call from Bruce Arena played a role in convincing Jesse Gonzalez to switch his national team allegiance from Mexico to the US, the FC Dallas goalkeeper told ESPN FC’s Herculez Gomez on Friday.

Born in North Carolina to Mexican parents, Gonzalez played for Mexico at the U-20 and U-23 levels, but never represented the senior team. He had his one-time switch from Mexico to the US approved by FIFA last month, and was added to the USMNT roster for the knockout stage of the ongoing CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Gonzalez was called to USMNT camp by former manager Jurgen Klinsmann in January 2016, but didn’t attend, heading to a Mexico U-23 camp instead.  

“The US had already opened the doors for me in the past, and I think it’s something, as a player, that you want to feel like you’re someone, that you’re someone, that they’re supporting you in everything,” Gonzalez told Gomez.

“And the US did that, and I think Bruce did a great job of convincing me as well. He told me I was playing in MLS and it’s way easier to keep track of you and everything. And I think he also did a great job of telling me of my future, and I think he had a point in that, and I agreed, and everything happened.”

Gonzalez, who has allowed just 14 goals in 15 MLS appearances for FC Dallas this year, was on the bench for the US’ semifinal victory against Costa Rica on Saturday. The US will take on the winner of Sunday’s semifinal between Mexico and Jamaica in the Gold Cup final at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Wednesday night (9:30 pm ET | FS1, Univision, UDN).