Ponce called up to Mexico’s preliminary Copa America squad

  MiguelPonce (Getty)

BY ADAM SERRANO

It appears that Miguel Ponce has chosen to join the Mexican national team, spurning the country of his birth in the process.

The left back for Chivas de Guadalajara was chosen for Mexico's preliminary squad for the Copa America.

Ponce has been a fixture for Chivas de Guadalajara backline since last season. Ponce's decision to join Mexico's squad is in line with Guadalajara's strict policy that states members of their team could only represent El Tri. Ponce was born in Sacramento, California, but stated last year in an interview with MLSsoccer.com that he identified more with the Mexican national team.

“I was born in America, but in my case my family is Mexican so I’m more Mexican than American,” said Ponce. “I’m proud to play for a team that I love, but if Mexico or the US call me and I need to play for a [national] team, then I will have to see what I can do. I just need to wait and see.”

The Mexico squad for the Copa America will be trimmed on June 27th. The South American tournament runs from July 1st to July 24th. 

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80 Responses to Ponce called up to Mexico’s preliminary Copa America squad

  1. Vlad Bouchouev says:

    I think the real story here is that he knows his Chivas contract will be ripped to shreds if he picks the United States.

  2. Alex says:

    As much as we NEED a left back, and I HATE losing players to Mexico, I respect a guy for playing for the team that he identifies with. We’ve been screwed over by a few of them but hey. That’s football. If he feels Mexican then I don’t want him wearing red, white and blue anyway.

  3. GL says:

    Here’s to hoping he has a horrible international career!

  4. adub says:

    reppin SACRAMENTO real nice Ponce!!!!!!!!! have fun playing with Mexico amigo

  5. patrick says:

    its unfortunate since I’m sure his experience on the higher level would get him a bigger contract than Chivas, but I do get it. If he feels that way, and wants to be a Chivas lifer, its a no brainer. Bueno suerte mi amigo

  6. John says:

    How is he spurning the US? The US has shown no interest and he wants to start his international career. What’s the problem?

  7. RB says:

    Good luck: I said the same thing a short while ago and my post was deleted.

  8. StevenG says:

    lol I think he is repping Mexico man.

  9. jonk says:

    We don’t know that the US has spurned him. For all we know, both the US and Mexico have been courting him and he made his decision based on what he thought was best for him and his career.

  10. Brian says:

    If he appears in a match he is cap tied to Mexico forever isn’t he? Copa America matches are official?

  11. RB says:

    The question was whether he spurned the US, though…

  12. Rich says:

    As a Mexican-American born in the US It always makes me sick to hear people born and raised here call themselves Mexican and wave the Mexican flag. If Mexico is so great and this place is so bad why aren’t they moving there?

    I met a girl at a party after I came back from the USA/Mexico WCQ in Mexico and when I told her the score she said “oh that is good” and I said why and she said that she is Mexican. I said you don’t sound like your are Mexican and she said that one of her grandmothers is Mexican. For that reason she was glad the US lost. How stupid can you get?

    I think the schools are over pushing that everybody is anything but American. To me being proud of your race/roots is non incompatible with being proud to be an American.

  13. SP says:

    palin 2012!

  14. jonk says:

    Soooo, Ponce was born to Mexican parents in Sac but moved with his family to Mexico as a toddler and has lived there ever since. But you’re right, if only the preschools had taught him better he’d have that American pride.

  15. jonk says:

    Yes but he implied that Ponce was not contacted by the US. My use of “spurned” was perhaps a poor choice though. Anyway, I agree that he’s not spurning the US.

  16. ericJ says:

    +1 …ha…

  17. Tim M. says:

    Is that positively correct?

    1. It’s a competition in another region

    2. Isn’t it still technically a youth squad, since it’s the u-23’s?

  18. Daniel says:

    If you feel so American you should stop calling yourself Mexican-American. You can be both Mexican and American but not Mexican-American. I doubt you have both nationalities so you are only American.

  19. Frank says:

    Everyone has an opinion. Xenophobic nativist opinions do not belong on soccer blogs. So Timmy Chandler should be ashamed to call himself an American? We cannot control where our parents will be at when we are born and we have the right to identify with the country our hearts steers us to.

  20. chg says:

    Rich, you are right that some school systems adopt curriculums that encourage Balkanization. It is worse in some areas than others. I recently moved to a new area of the country, and people are constantly asking me my nationality.

    “I’m American.”

    No, before that.

    “Oh, you mean like my grandparents and greatgrandparents?”

    Yeah.

    “American.”

    They keep wanting to hear Irish, or Italian, or German or some nonsense like that.

  21. StevePDX says:

    Since Scotland let us keep Holden, Germany allowed us to hang onto Jones, and Columbia was kind enough to not fly up here and kidnap Agudelo, I think the least we can do is let Mexico keep Ponce.

  22. Soccernst says:

    Only if they give us his left foot and keep Bornstein also. Otherwise valid points.

  23. Kevin_Amold says:

    Calling people xenophobic is not for soccer blogs either. The man has an opinion, one that I respect, and agree with more or less.

    As for this guy, he is totally within his rights to choose Mexico. And I am totally within mine to dislike him for that decision.

    People think when players like ________ ____ choose Italy, not only do we have to accept his decision, but wish him well and rejoice when they see success. Sorry chaps, if a player has a choice and he chooses another country, he, and everyone else, can accept that I’m pissed and I will now boo him worse than had he been a native born italian, mexican, whatever.

    Does that make me a “xenophobic nativist?” Maybe, but it UNDOUBTEDLY makes me a USMNT fan that hurts when players that qualify for us choose another country than the one I love and support.

  24. Federico says:

    I’m with you Rich. We have to remember our Forefathers came here to better ourselves not to do “hit and runs.” Were American, even if we have to be categorized and slapped with a Mexican tag. Don’t get me wrong I’m proud of my heritage, but America has given me the chances no other place could. So when the USMNT faces Mexico its no competition who I’m rooting for. But if Ponce was born here and raised in Mexico then I see no issues with him choosing Mexico. He’s identified himself more Mexican than American.

  25. John says:

    no, we can just give bornstein to israel.

  26. BWH says:

    I had a doctor ask me what my heritage was once, so I went on a list of my grandparents and great-grandparents, where their families are from, and people I was rumored to be related to. I ended up with being part English, French, German, Scottish, Dutch, Irish and American-Indian.

    Her response was, “Ah, so you’re American.”

  27. Hush says:

    I’m from Latin decent, so I understand what you are talking about Rich. I do hated when people root for the team that their parents were born in, then two weeks later their like, New York is my shiznet or Chi-Town all day baby! On their facebook. I’m like, aren’t you Columbian or hard core Mexican?? I dont get it? You want Donovan to break his face, yet you represent Chi-Town to the fullest a week later..No jodan gente! Lets be real folks, you can act all foreignish with your life, but the fact is, you were born on U. S soil, why hate your own nationality? :(

    Ponce’s situation I completely understand, he was raised in Mexico… not 100% Chicano by these standards. So good for him. I hope he gets PWND by us if he ever faces us.

  28. abc says:

    As an immigrant to the US I consider myself American first, my family chose to come here and to become US citizens. I can’t really understand people who have the opposite mentality. BUT: this is not one of those cases as Ponce grew up in Mexico. So I will say good luck to him, something I would never say to Rossi, even though as a USMNT fan I despise the Mexican national team. Hope he has all the success in the world, just never against us.

  29. Red White & Blue Porker says:

    A lost of brain washed people here, thank God I went to private school.

  30. Red White & Blue Porker says:

    lot*

  31. Annelid Gustator says:

    It’s a full side tournament, CONCACAF or FMF just won’t send a full side.

  32. Patrick Bateman says:

    that private school education is really paying off there, Anamika Veeramani,

  33. Kaster says:

    Woah woah why are people critizing him? When Andy najar decided to play for Honduras no one said nothing and dindnt say nothing. Why with him?

  34. Lazy says:

    Because Mexico can’t because of concacaf rules.

  35. Wesley says:

    Woah only Mexican do that sure of that? What about the polish that came to the USA vs Poland game? The hondurians that came to play the USA?Or salvadorians when is USA vs salvador?. The argentines during the USA vs Argentina?. Yeah you seem to forgot idiot

  36. Joe B NYC says:

    I doubt that Bradley would’ve picked him anyway. And I used to be a Double B fan— (sigh…)

  37. RB says:

    Thank you.

  38. RB says:

    “Calling people xenophobic is not for soccer blogs either.”

    Sure it is, if they’re being xenophobic.

  39. Eurosnob says:

    I see your point, but doesn’t Ponce already live and play in Mexico?

  40. tyler says:

    To all the people playing the “how can he call himself Mexican if he was born here?” argument:

    Y’all DO know that Jermaine Jones is from, and grew up in, Germany? Same with Timmy Chandler. And Stuart Holden was born in Scotland. And wonderboy Juan Agudelo was born in Colombia.

    Kind of funny how people yell TRAITOR and act as if their American identity has been damaged when an American-born player decides to play another country, but no one seems to mind when it’s the other way around.

    This kind of thing happens all the time in international football. You win some, you lose some. If that offends you, find a new hobby.

  41. Eurosnob says:

    I think Honduras should in the consideration as well, since he is their national hero. But, honestly, it’s not like we have a slew of stellar left backs on the USMNT.

  42. Jonn says:

    Andy Najar was born in Honduras, isn’t a US citizen yet, and doesn’t speak English. Big difference.

  43. chris says:

    I’m ok with players born in other countries that grow up here and play through US soccer. But I don’t like people that don’t speak a word of english but choose the usmnt because they can’t make it in their home country

  44. Aj says:

    Exactly they are just doing this because he is of mexican decent. You think colombians are crying because Juan agudelo is playing for the USA. So why cry for ponce.

  45. This Guy says:

    Chandler and Jones are different cases. Their parents served in the military. They were born on American bases by NATO standards that makes them born on American soil. Your argument pertaining to these 2 is ignorant. I’m not yelling traitor at Ponce, just typical Mexican wanting the dream that is the United States. He can play for whoever he wants but he obviously feels the US is better than Mexico.

  46. This Guy says:

    Yeah. Because nobody did it with Subotic or Rossi? They aren’t Mexican. Another ridiculous claim.

  47. Kevin_Amold says:

    Eh, not really.

  48. jonk says:

    What?

  49. tyler says:

    And the ugly side of soccer rears its head.

    Protip: don’t call someone ignorant in the same post you use the phrase “typical Mexican.”

  50. RB says:

    Why not? One opinion is OK, but another is not?

  51. dudeinho says:

    gotta get rid of that chivas jersey then lol

  52. WJM says:

    Kudos to Rich!! Since Ponce and his family consider themselves Mexican, when are they moving back to beautiful, wonderful Mexico? I’ll help them pack. Too many parasites. My mother was born in Scotland, but I would never play for anyone but the US.

  53. Primoone says:

    wow…im sad.

    But hey…silver lining here:WE HAVE BORNSTIEN!

  54. RB says:

    “And the ugly side of soccer rears its head.”

    No kidding. And check out the “parasites” comment the followed just a few minutes later…

  55. dudeinho says:

    the fact that you dislike him is stupid.

    the sport is a business

    Money talks and what nobody here ever talks about is the amount of money mexico can throw at these players. I remember reading a while back before the 06 WC that the US pays about two grand per game. I imagine mexico is still to this day paying a hell of a lot more. Not to mention endorsements and TV time, Sold out stadiums, etc.. all here in the states.

    I dont blame him Financially its makes sense for him to play for Mexico.

  56. dudeinho says:

    i guess your too retarded and cant read he already lives down in Mexico with the family.

  57. Aj says:

    Your are an bigger idiot than the other idiots in this page.

  58. Jamie Z. says:

    Well, if that’s fair game, I, for one, was disappointed to open the comment section and see this place full of “typical Americans”.

    This is a global game in a global society. This is part and parcel of the process. Everybody whining one way or another should really just get used to it; this isn’t a phenomenon that starts and ends with some Jersey kid named Rossi.

  59. Jamie Z. says:

    Word to the wise: Before calling someone an idiot, check your spelling and grammar.

  60. Aj says:

    Idiot his family already lives in Mexico. Shows your from scottish decent. Good job buddy.

  61. Jamie Z. says:

    Word to the wise (pt. 2): Before calling someone retarded, check to make sure you can construct sentences properly using grammar school punctuation.

  62. Jamie Z. says:

    1. What?

    2. *you’re. Those words mean different things. “Your” is a possessive personal pronoun and “you’re” is a contraction that means “you are”. Luckily, you aren’t expected to know these things as an American, unless you happened to be born somewhere else, so you’re all set!

  63. WJM says:

    AJ and “Dudeinho”…

    You must be right. I am retarded and also an idiot. Thank you for putting me in my proper place… and with such eloquence and artistry.

    Too much Pluribus… and not enough Unam. You wouldn’t understand.

  64. Mike says:

    Yes, that is positively correct. Any official FIFA recognized tournament cap ties a player. The Copa America is an officially recognized competition.

  65. RB says:

    Word to the wise (with apologies to Jamie Z!): when criticizing someone for their lack of eloquence, pulling out Latin phrases and telling them they wouldn’t understand, remember to check the spelling of “unum”.

    (Or are you trying a pun to celebrate Pumas’ recent Clausura victory?)

  66. John says:

    Unless you are raised in a multicultural familiy where you speak a second language, eat traditional food, and visit your parent’s country during the summers where you still have family, you will never understand Ponce.

  67. WJM says:

    To RB…

    Thank you. I stand corrected on spelling of UNUM. My bad. STILL VERY UPSET WITH WITH BOB BRADLEY.

    Viva Estados Unidos!.

  68. BenH says:

    Fail.

  69. BenH says:

    Fail #2.

  70. CÉU CARMESIM says:

    Exist or have existed in other selections Brazilian players : Germany, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Spain, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, Bolivia, Tunisia, Portugal, Belgium, Usa ….. you can not cry for everyone.

  71. Xenophobe says:

    Can we leave the “move back to Mexico” comments to daily newspaper websites, please? Jeeeez.

  72. rich says:

    I didn’t realize Ponce lived most of his life in Mexico so I would cut him some slack on that, but I stand by my statement about people born and raised in the US but trying so hard to be Mexican, Polish, etc. and reject the country that gave them so much.

    The funny thing is when they go to the country of their roots the natives of those countries see them as Americans right off the bat.

    I hate that the schools now teach you that if you are not a white male you are a automatically a victim. I have traveled extensively and have seen how much harder life is in most other countries and how much harder it is to get ahead.

    The majority of Mexican-Americans (or whatever you want to call them) would have a hell of a lot harder time having the same standard of living here then they would in Mexico (which is why their parents risked so much to get here), yet the schools tell them what victims they are. This breeds resentment and the feeling of being apart.

    When a person rejects his country and walks around with a Mexican flag on their shirt then maybe they are encouraging other people to see them as less then Americans and thus second class citizens.

    Again, I don’t see being proud of your roots and being proud of your country as being incompatible. So many people now feel to show their ethnic pride they have to reject being an American and I think this doesn’t make any sense.

  73. dinho says:

    John, let’s be honest. Israel doesn’t want Bornstein. No one does.

  74. wjm says:

    To Rich…

    Perfectly stated!

    +10

  75. Taylor says:

    Well you just hit the nail in the head of why a lot of people dislike Americans-HYPOCRISY!!!

  76. manuel says:

    Let me tell you something once and for all. Not ALL Mexicans want “the dream that is the US” OK?

    I am Mexican but I’m also a naturalized US citizen. Do you have a problem with that. I did it for convenience just like the good ol USA does everything for. My wife happens to be American by birthright even though her father is German and her mother Mexican. We are raising our two kids here. We pay a lot of taxes, spend a lot of money and travel inside this great country. But I feel 100% Mexican and she feels 100% American even though we met in Mexico City where she had lived for seven years. Her dad lives in Germany and her Mom in Houston. My whole family lives in Mexico. 99.9% of my relatives, and I have a huge extended family live and work in Mexico and they do it never, ever thinking about the US. They are incredibly happy there. I am happy here but I miss a lot of things about my country, and I could go back whenever I feel like it. You got another problem with that?. I have not done any better here than I did in Mexico, I have done about the same.

    Every place in the world has it’s good and it’s bad. You are either a good person in pursuit of your own dream without affecting third parties or you’re not. I have a feeling I’m of the first kind and you’re of the second!!!

  77. Joshua says:

    +10

  78. Nathanael Greene says:

    Do you realize that the US had the biggest financial incentive to win the 2010 world cup? More than Spain, and certainly more than Mexico. Maybe the financial incentive isn’t quite what you think.

    He can choose to play for Mexico, but I can choose to cheer against him because he doesn’t wear the US shield.

  79. MATT says:

    People people… yes this sucks for USA, but you do realize this does not permanently cap Ponce to Mexico. Technically he is playing in a Mexican Youth team. As guests to Copa America, this is not an official senior game for Mexico. This also applies to Jonathan Dos Santos, who would still be eligible for Spain and Brazil.

    What you should be concerned about is Chandler, who has played for the German youth teams. He has played for USA but is not caped off. He would have been if he had played in Gold Cup. He and his club requested to miss the Gold Cup….. I know Germany is no Mexico in our eyes, but where are the haters on him.

    As one said, this is how world football goes. His job comes first and Chivas are the ones who pay him. Is there anyway USSF can compensate that? Everyone is so quick to hate a kid they wanted even though he still is technically available. He has said “If USA wants me, I haven’t heard”. Don’t want to set anyone’s hopes up, but if the USMNT still wants him, he is still up for the taking.