U.S. soccer players on other national teams

Mexico defender Miguel Angel Ponce controls the ball during an international friendly match against the U.S. in April. Ponce is a Sacramento native.
(Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Players with U.S. citizenship who have opted to compete for other national teams:

Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador): Alvarez, a midfielder/forward, was born in Houston and played for several U.S. age-group national teams but now plays for El Salvador.

Steven Beitashour (Iran): Beitashour, a right back from San Jose, was twice invited to training camps with the U.S. national team but opted last fall to play for his parents’ native Iran.

Isaac Brizuela (Mexico): Born in San Jose to Mexican parents, Brizuela, a midfielder, was sent to Mexico when he was 2 years old.


Dustin Corea (El Salvador): Born in Los Angeles and raised in Oregon, Corea, a forward, played for the U.S. U-17 national team before making his national team debut for El Salvador in March 2013 on his 21st birthday.

A.J. De La Garza (Guam): Although the Galaxy defender from Maryland made two appearances for the national team, neither game cap-tied him to the U.S., allowing him to jump to Guam last summer.

Gerson Mayen (El Salvador): Born in Los Angeles, the former Manual Arts High and Chivas USA midfielder played for the U.S. in the U-20 World Cup but moved to El Salvador’s senior national team two years later.

Miguel Angel Ponce (Mexico): A left back from Sacramento, Ponce has spent his professional career in Mexico.


Steve Purdy (El Salvador): A defender from Bakersfield, Purdy played at Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose, at California, and with three age-group U.S. national teams before declaring for mother’s native country.

Giuseppe Rossi (Italy): The one that got away. Born to Italian immigrants in New Jersey, Rossi moved to Parma, Italy, as a 12-year-old to play soccer. He declined an invitation to a U.S. training camp ahead of the 2006 World Cup to stay with the Italian team, which he has captained. A forward, he scored seven times in 29 appearances.

Soony Saad (Lebanon): The Sporting Kansas City forward was born in Michigan and set numerous high school scoring records before going on to the University of Michigan. But after playing for two U.S. age-group national teams, Saad joined the Lebanese national team last spring, scoring the team’s only goal in his debut.

Cirilo Saucedo (Mexico): Saucedo, a goalkeeper, was born in Mexico but his mother has U.S. citizenship. The 32-year-old plays for Tijuana in Liga MX and has made one appearance for the Mexican national team.


Neven Subotic (Serbia): Born in the former Yugoslavia, Subotic moved with his family to Salt Lake City when he was 10 to escape the Bosnian civil war. A center back, he made 12 appearances for U.S. age-group teams before switching to Serbia in 2009.