Sorry, Mexico. Alejandro Zendejas will be wearing the Stars and Stripes on a permanent basis.
The US men's national team and Zendejas announced Tuesday that the Mexican-born dual citizen has formally committed to the USMNT, after representing both countries at the senior level in recent years.
With Zendejas 100 percent on board, the Club América winger appears all but assured of a call-up for this month's international window that will see the US face Grenada (March 24) and El Salvador (March 27) in the Concacaf Nations League.
Interim head coach Anthony Hudson previously included Zendejas in the USMNT's January camp squad, with the one-time FC Dallas homegrown player featuring in a 2-1 friendly loss to Serbia. That appearance marked a turning point in the 25-year-old's national team allegiance.
A US youth international, Zendejas played a prominent role with the U-15 and U-17 sides, starting three matches at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup alongside the likes of Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams. However, the following year he left Dallas for Liga MX titans Chivas de Guadalajara – a club with a well-known policy of signing only Mexican players.
This led to Zendejas representing Mexico's youth national squads, followed by a senior team call-up by then-El Tri head coach Tata Martino for 2021 and 2022 friendlies against Ecuador and Guatemala, respectively. A subsequent FIFA investigation found Zendejas had violated FIFA rules by not consulting or filing a one-time national team switch, resulting in Mexico being forced to forfeit said friendlies and pay a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs.
During the USMNT's January camp, Zendejas refused to make a definitive decision on his international future.
"I'm enjoying the moment, enjoying the present," he said at the time. "I'd rather live day by day. And then once the moment comes to choose the future, I’ll decide on that later."
Ultimately, it didn't take too long for that moment to arrive.
"Making a decision on your international career is very difficult, and I believe in following your heart," Zendejas wrote on Instagram. "Mine tells me that my future lies representing the USA. I'm excited for this next chapter and earning my place with the USMNT."
Zendejas adds to a deep USMNT winger corps that includes Pulisic, Tim Weah (Lille), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United) and more.
Long-term, the USMNT are building toward the FIFA 2026 World Cup they'll auto-qualify for as co-hosts alongside Canada and Mexico. They're also hoping to qualify for the 2024 Copa América, which will be hosted in the US that summer.