The Next (Little) Thing: Jonathan Gonzales


Jonathan Gonzales

Age: 20

Club: Club Leon (Liga MX)

Nationality: Ecuadorian

Position: Winger

Time spent watching Club Leon play in Liga MX leaves viewers with few questions — how is Miguel Ibarra fitting in now that he left the Minnesota tundra? Is young American goalkeeper Will Yarborough seeing any time between the sticks? And most importantly, who is that petit wrecking ball crushing defenders up and down the wings?

To put it simply, his name is Jonathan Gonzales, and you’re going to remember that name soon enough. At the age of 20, Gonzales is the youngest player with more than one cap for the Ecuadorian national team (he has four). What he lacks in stature, he makes up for in ferocity. It’s this mean streak that earned him 27 caps in Liga MX play last year, including 20 starts.

Gonzales started his career with Independiente de Valle, before taking his talents to the Mexican second division for Universidad de Guadalajara, and currently, to Club Leon in the first division. Though he hasn’t seen an overwhelming amount of time on the world stage (four caps for country), his club’s faith in him at such a young age is a good sign for his development.

How to cite this article: “The Young Guns” Written by Shaker Samman (2016), Copa America Centenario 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, (accessed on (date)).