FRISCO – North Texas SC was already up 1-0 on Lansing Ignite FC when Jonathan Gomez blasted past an Ignite defender 10 years his senior and found the perfect cross to the open man, just as he has for over three years within the FC Dallas Academy.
The end result was an Arturo Rodriguez goal to double NTSC’s lead and grant Gomez his first professional assist in just his fourth pro game. He followed that up with another beautiful through ball in traffic to find Ronaldo Damus for the third and final goal of the 3-1 win on June 29, showcasing his passing accuracy and transcendent vision on the field.
“It was just a dream come true,” Gomez said. “It was something special for me. That’s what I look for, I look to assist. It was just a great feeling to be able to assist two of my teammates and then get the win.”
Gomez stole the show in that game and was rightfully named to the USL League One’s Team of the Week following North Texas’ win, his first of such achievements in his fledgling career.
“For right now, I just want to keep starting (for NTSC) and assisting and most importantly getting the win. Win first and then everything else is after,” Gomez said.
The 15-year-old Gomez was the youngest player on the field that day against Lansing. He’s been North Texas SC’s youngest player its fielded to date.
“I think it’s the same mindset, you just have to go out there and play,” Gomez said on playing against grown men at such a young age. “It feels good to know that I can compete at that level and play well too.”
Gomez has quickly risen up the youth ranks since joining the FC Dallas Academy in 2016. At 12 years old, Gomez began his FCD career as a left winger with the U-13 side and three years on has moved to left back and progressed to the USL League One affiliate North Texas SC.
“(Coaches) said I was good at defending so they moved me to left back but I still had that attacking mindset,” Gomez said. “I just took it to my advantage and used my defending and attacking abilities to become a good attacking left back.”
It’s been a meteoric rise for the young fullback, and not by accident. Gomez has been a marquee player and one the FC Dallas organization is keeping a close eye on for the future. Not many FCD Academy players, less at 15 years old, can get minutes with Luchi Gonzalez’s first team.
Yet, that’s what Gomez did this past weekend when he started at left back in an international friendly against former FCD coach Oscar Pareja’s new club, Tijuana. Gomez went toe-to-toe with some of Mexico’s finest, a battle against opponents representing a Liga MX playoff team. He came off the field in the 69th minute but held his own and showed why the first-team has been paying him attention.
“(He’s) fantastic,” Gonzalez said on Gomez. “Although he wasn’t perfect, he showed no fear. He played with a lot of personality, attacked, made defensive plays, good positioning, he’s a kid that has a future. It’s really great to see that and he has to keep working for that opportunity.”
Gomez, named a top performer by MLSSoccer.com in this year’s Generation Adidas Cup in April, has not been lost on the minds of national team coaches, either. Most recently, U-17 U.S. National Team coach Shaun Tsakiris called up the precocious defender to be a part of his 24-man squad to travel to face Portugal, Turkey and Brazil in the 2018 Nike International Friendlies in December.
“It was a great feeling wearing the badge and being able to represent my country,” Gomez said. “I really like it. It’s a really great experience, they treat you really well and I hope I can get called back.”
FC Dallas runs in Gomez’s blood; his older brother Johan Gomez began playing with the FCD Academy in 2013. A Keller, Texas native, Jonathan is excited about his future at the club as he aims for the top of pro soccer.
“(I’d) love to progress through North Texas, FC Dallas,” Gomez said. “It’s great feeling to know that I’m in their plans for the future and I hope I can live up to the standards and be able to play for the first team one day, but until then I have to keep working to get there.”