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B. Vázquez

After USMNT snub, Brandon Vazquez is 'open' to playing for Mexico

12:24 AM GMT+4 17/09/2022
Brandon Vazquez MLS All-Star 2022
Just days after being left off the latest U.S. men’s national team’s roster, Brandon Vazquez said he'd be willing to play for Mexico.
  • FC Cincinnati striker yet to earn a USMNT senior cap
  • Son of Mexican parents still eligible to play for El Tri
  • 23-year-old says it would be an "honor" to represent either country

WHAT HAPPENED? A breakout star in MLS this season, Vazquez was rumored to be in contention for a call-up from USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter ahead of this month’s friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia. However, he didn’t make the cut and is all but ruled out of playing the World Cup in November with Team USA.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: In a first-person essay published on the MLS official website on Friday, Vazquez showed interest in a possible call-up from Mexico, saying: “I’m still open to both El Tri and the USMNT, and it would be an honor to represent either country."

AND WHAT'S MORE: The California native is no stranger to Mexico, having come up the ranks of the Club Tijuana youth academy. He was also recently linked to another Liga MX side, Chivas de Guadalajara - the hometown of his parents.

WHAT THEY SAID: In the same essay, Vazquez showed pride in his roots, saying: "I feel my Mexican heritage and culture very strongly," adding that "even though I grew up in the United States and have love for this nation, I also feel a lot of love for Mexico."

IN THREE PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT: GOAL United States editor Jaime Uribarri writes...

Enjoying his best season as a pro with 16 goals and five assists, Vazquez is a rising star in MLS who's scored 19 times in all competitions since October 7, 2021 - the last date that fellow forward Ricardo Pepi, who was included in Berhalter's roster, found the back of the net.

WHAT NEXT FOR VAZQUEZ? Despite interest from foreign clubs, the 23-year-old recently signed a contract extension with FC Cincinnati and is looking to guide his team to its first-ever MLS Cup Playoff berth this season.