I’ve written at length around the challenges for dual nationals aand Michelle Schmidt on the dual national panic, especially in light of David Ochoa and Julian Araujo choosing to play for Mexico instead of the United States as Mexican-American dual nationals. Ricardo Pepi announcing that he would play for the US, scoring enormous goals for his nation in 2022 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying and then being purchased for a record deal of $20 million by Augsburg in the Bundesliga.
Pepi’s success may completely transform the landscape of dual nationals between these two nations. There are a number of young, extremely talented players who might be on the fringe of being a impact player for either the US or Mexico in 2022, but will almost certainly be in the mix for either side in pursuit of World Cup 2026.
Richy Ledezma and Uly Llanez have both had a taste, Uly scoring a penalty for the US in a friendly. Ledezma looking the part before an unfortunate injury he’s not fully returned from, but facing club competition for minutes. Alex Mendez has been just outside the bounds, but with continued success this season is maybe on the edge of getting a look. Jonathan Gómez had a game winning assist in his debut in a December friendly and has time to hang and train with Pepi before crossing the ocean to his new club and adventure in Spain.
Tony Leone has received calls from both YNT teams and recently chose Mexico’s U20 camp. Nico Carrera has shown success in 2 Bundesliga and was on the verge of his side getting promoted in last season’s promotion playoff. Maricio Cuevas was locked up in LA purgatory due to the owners personal bout with Cuevas’ agent. Now having turned 18 secured a move to Brugge to hopefully reset his career. There are many others beyond these names that have a decision ahead. Where do they fit, what does the depth chart looks like, what football culture and style suits their game, who will go farther and who has shown interest. Many questions ahead, but surely Pepi’s decision and the impact has to make them think.