21 Midfielder Club Atlas Mexico
Low centred, tricky attacking midfielder equally happy playing on either flank. A well regarded youth prospect in Mexican football for a number of years, ‘Ponchito’ made his debut for Atlas in the 2012 Clausara having starred for Mexico in the Under 17 World Cup one year earlier.
A slight but robust player, Gonzalez really arrived in the latter part of 2014. An excellent run of form for the youngster coincided with an impressive Apertura campaign for his club as Los Zorros tied with América and Tigres for top spot.
Gonzales’ displays did not go unnoticed at this point. With European scouts taking a keen interest in the Reynosa born youngster’s development, he received his first international call up from Migel Herrera for the October round of matches against Honduras and Panama. Making a low key debut against Los Catrachos, Gonzalez ended the year in good shape and on our watch list for the forthcoming twelve months.
2015 has been…
Indifferent. For the first few months of this year Gonzalez, along with Atlas, pretty much picked up where they left off at the end of the previous season. An opening day victory at Tigres indicated a team in good shape and although the season tailed off somewhat, Gonzalez remained in the frame for a place in midfield. Jostling for position with Eisner Loboa and Christian Tabó, Gonzalez returned a string of steady performances without delivering anything particularly explosive.
However, Gonzalez’ 2015 is more likely to be defined by one moment in early April. With Atlas level at 1-1 against rivals Chivas, Ponchito stepped up to take a 95th minute penalty which would have earned his team maximum points. Having done the necessary to stare down opposition goalkeeper Luis Michel, Gonzalez decided he was going to win the match with a panenka. However, said spot kick didn’t play out in reality as it may in Gonzalez’ head, with Michel able to correct his original lunge and make the save.
With his Clausara closing in shame, Gonzalez really could have used the redemption of a decent Apertura, however his performances have been both fleeting and negligible as Atlas have struggled. A solitary strike against Santos Laguna the only item of merit.
At international level, despite dropping from the main picture, Gonzalez was selected for, and played in the opening games of Mexico’s excellent run to Olympic Qualification in October. Starting the first matches against Costa Rica and Haiti, Gonzalez played his part but could only look on as Hirving Lozano stole the show. Dropped to the bench for the final games, 2015 comes to a close in fairly disappointing fashion.
Still popular with fans and exceptionally media friendly, Gonzalez has been vocal in his support of the widely travelled Gustavo Costas as he picks up the baton of head coach at Atlas. How much of a component he turns out to be for Costas will become clear in the early part of 2016 but Gonzalez, as things stand, doesn’t look anything like the player he was once touted to be.
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