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USMNT, Mexico battle for teenage star Munoz

Santiago Munoz has burst onto the scene for Liga MX giants Santos Laguna in recent weeks and the El Paso born forward, just 18 years old, has interest from several clubs in Europe.

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He also has interest from the USMNT...

Munoz grew up in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, but would regularly cross the U.S. and Mexico border to play soccer and is eligible to play for both national teams.

When you watch Munoz play, you can’t help but think of Raul Jimenez.

The Mexico youth striker scored his first Liga MX goal off the bench, an equalizer against Club America, and has made two appearances in recent weeks in the Clausura for Santos Laguna.

Speaking to Jon Arnold from The Striker Texas, Munoz revealed that he has heard from the USMNT setup and is very keen to leave all of his doors open despite starring for Mexico at the U17 World Cup in 2019 as they finished runners up.

“Yes, there have been approaches about the U.S. national team. Not long ago I spoke with people there. Honestly, it’s interesting to me and I talked to my family as well. It was interesting to us,” Munoz said.

“I said to the people from the United States that I wasn’t going to close any doors to anyone. Mexico called me first and I’ve been working with them for a while now, and of course when I got there, I took advantage of the chance. I feel good with them and how they treat me and everything, but I don’t know if, in the future, it will be better to be in Mexico or be in the United States with the national team.”

Santiago Munoz among many dual nationals the USMNT are keeping a close eye on

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has made it no secret that he and the entire staff within U.S. Soccer are casting the net as far and as wide as possible when it comes to finding players to represent the USA.

Yunus Musah, Sebastian Soto, Folarin Balogun and Efrain Alvarez, among many others, have either played for the USMNT or are being lined up to.

Santiago Munoz has made a very promising start to his career with the Mexico youth national teams and at Santos Laguna, and the USMNT don’t have a ton of top quality options in the number nine role.

If Munoz continues his trajectory, the USMNT and Mexico will be battling very hard for him to choose them.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports