Sports

The adventure from Dallas to Europe that he hopes to end up as a prospect from Mexico or the United States

DALLAS — For Johan Gómez, the call of European soccer came faster than many expected, and although he has not made his debut in the First Division, this American soccer player of Mexican parents aspires to follow in the footsteps of his brother Jonathan Gomez, who was summoned by El Tri, although he still does not know which team could call him first.

The 20-year-old Gomez is just finishing his first year at FSV Zwickau in Germany, after a stint at FC Porto in Portugal, which was his gateway to Europe from FC Dallas’s academy.

His Mexican roots make him an interesting prospect for El Tri’s future, although he acknowledges that he still has a long way to go to reach the goal of playing in a World Cup, a goal he has set for himself since he began playing in his native Arlington, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“I come from a soccer family. My uncle played with Cruz Azul Hidalgo“Gómez said. “I started playing soccer when I was three or four years old. In fact, since I was one or two years old I started with the ball. From there I caught the wave and I have not stopped“.

After his early years with YMCA and Solar club teams at the Dallas Classic/Select levels, he was called to the FC Dallas Academy.

He was a fundamental part of the FC Dallas teams that dominated the US Soccer Development Academy league, today MLS Next, until he realized that he was ready to seek more important challenges, without neglecting his studies.

“Always the trajectory for me was to get a scholarship at school (university),” he said in an interview with ESPN. “But starting with the Sub 17 in the Generation Adidas Cup, agents began to arrive and there I began to get excited. I thought it can be done. I began to see my teammates who signed professional right there with FC Dallas, who left with national teams. I realized that it could be done.”

“Originally, they had offered me a contract with North Texas Soccer (FC Dallas’s second professional team), with the idea of ​​playing there for a year and then going to the first team,” he added. “Obviously it wasn’t an ideal fit for me and that’s why I didn’t go that route.”

Gómez had the opportunity to try out with three European teams, with which he felt he had a good performance. But he received no news.

When he thought he would return to the United States to decide whether to return to FC Dallas or accept the offer of college football, the call came that would change his life.

“I was already very tired, I had been away from home for a month, but it was Porto,” he mentioned. “He has a very long history with the Mexicans. And there I stayed with Porto“.

Gómez soon began to surround himself with first-team players with experience in Mexican soccer, such as goalkeeper Agustin Marchesín, Jesús ‘Tecatito’ Corona and briefly by Héctor Herrera, who immediately added him as “part of their family”.

“Marchesín invited me to stay at his house, he took me to dinner with his family. He gave me a shirt. Those experiences stay with you for a lifetime,” he recalled. “Tecatito always told me that the most important thing is to believe in yourself and work hard.”

Gómez took advantage of the experience of alternating with players of the highest level, who were already established in the Portuguese First Division and who played in tournaments as important as the Europa Champions League and the World Cup, to absorb everything on and off the pitch, from preparation even the way of approaching the matches.

“Everything happened very quickly, from being with the FCD U19 Academy, now you are in Porto”, he acknowledged. “It’s crazy. I didn’t even have time to think about it.”

FOLLOW YOUR EUROPEAN PROCESS
Over the past summer, it was time to continue on their way to better opportunities, hoping to get even closer to the European First Division. He moved to the third league in Germany.

“Many players have come here from the United States and were able to do it,” he said. “It’s a good league for young players. The First and Second of Germany give a lot of follow-up to this league. In Germany I am in the first team, although it is the Third Division“.

“In Portugal I trained with the first team, but I never had the opportunity to play with them. That’s why I wanted to evolve a bit and play for a first team.”

Gomez is a player born in the United States of Mexican parents, who hopes one day to be considered by one of the national teams for which he is eligible.

“Sometimes I get messages from the United States. I have not heard anything from Mexico,” she mentioned. “There are very good leagues here in Germany. I’m definitely going to start attracting more attention and then get called up to the national team because my goal is to play a World Cup. I lack, but there I go in the process“.

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