Alejandro Zendejas, a left-footed attacker, has had to navigate emotional labyrinths when it comes to deciding which national team to represent. Born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Zendejas started playing soccer in El Paso from a young age, before moving to Frisco at the age of 13 to join the FC Dallas Academy. He will now represent the United States in the Concacaf Nations League, despite Mexico also vying for his talent in the past.
Fierce fight for his talent
As the first player to come directly from the El Paso team to the FC Dallas Academy, Zendejas was always a standout player. According to Chris Hayden, director of the FC Dallas Academy, Zendejas was mature from a young age and showed a lot of character and desire to succeed. Although he had great soccer skills, he needed to gain more experience to reach higher levels, and his time at FC Dallas helped him do just that. Zendejas played for the United States Under-17 team in the World Cup in Chile by age groups before signing with Chivas, a club that only employs Mexican players, making him decline future US national team call-ups.
Zendejas is aware of the pressure that comes with choosing whether to play for the United States or Mexico. Although he knows that he still has a lot to prove to secure a place on the roster for the 2026 World Cup, he does not regret his decision to represent the United States. The minutes he plays during the games against Grenada and El Salvador in the Concacaf Nations League group stage will be vital for him to showcase his skills and prove that he deserves a spot on the team.
Grateful for his opportunities
Zendejas is grateful to FC Dallas for giving him his first opportunity to play professional soccer. He acknowledges that the club opened doors for him that he might not have had otherwise. Although he faced a difficult decision, Zendejas has made up his mind to represent the United States and hopes to make the most of his opportunities with the team in the future.