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Could new Newcastle signing Santiago Munoz choose USMNT over Mexico?

St James' Park, Newcastle

In an interview with ESPN’s Herculez Gomez earlier this week, new Newcastle United signing Santiago Munoz dropped a bombshell when he revealed that he could be open to representing the US men’s national team on the international stage.

The 19-year-old signed an 18-month loan deal with Premier League giants Newcastle just before the European transfer window slammed shut, leaving Liga MX outfit Santos Laguna for a shot at the big time.

Munoz is expected to train and play with the sides in the Magpies’ academy set-up initially, where he will hope to impress enough to force his way into Steve Bruce’s first-team picture.

As part of the deal, Newcastle have an option to make Munoz’s move to Tyneside a permanent one if the attacker hits all the right notes.

Munoz was born in El Paso, Texas, though the teenager has been turning out for Mexico in the early parts of his career. Munoz helped Mexico win the 2019 CONCACAF Under-17 Championships, scoring five goals – including the overall goal of the tournament – and was part of the squad which finished as runners-up at the 2019 Under-17 World Cup in Brazil.

The frontman was involved as the under-23s won the 2020 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship earlier this year.

However, when asked whether it was a difficult decision to choose Mexico over the Stars and Stripes by ESPN’s Heculez Gomez, Munoz rocked the boat with a controversial answer, stating that he is yet to make his final decision.

“I’m not married to Mexico,” he said on Futbol Americas. “The door is still open.”

While his club career is still in its infancy, Munoz has already shown plenty of potential and his promise was quickly identified by Newcastle. The youngster enjoyed a breakout season with Santos Laguna last year, notching three goals and collecting three assists in 19 appearances.

Munoz’s switch to Newcastle sparked headlines of a different kind due to his name being eerily similar to the fictitious protagonist from the 2005 movie “Goals! The Dream Begins”, in which a young player by the name of Santiago Munez joins the Magpies.

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