By DAN KARELL
For the first time since having surgery on his worrisome right knee, and joining a new club, Herculez Gomez made an appearance in the colors of Club Tijuana.
The U.S. Men’s National Team forward played the opening 45 minutes for the Xolos U20 squad in a 3-1 victory against his Cruz Azul counterparts, registering no goals but playing his first minutes in a 1-0 win against Costa Rica for the USMNT at the Gold Cup on July 17.
Gomez’s replacement in the U20 match, Jose Alberto Garcia, scored twice in the second half to ensure the win for Xolos at home. Before the match, manager Jorge Almiron told the club’s website, “Now we have Herculez Gomez, we have referred him to play with the U20 team (on Friday) and gain fitness so we can take him with us for the next matches.”
The 31-year-old was signed from Santos Laguna this summer as a replacement for Duvier Riascos, who left Xolos for Pachuca, but doctors decided that Gomez should have surgery after having tried to rehab his right knee problems ever since late May. Gomez was called into both the USMNT World Cup qualifying and Gold Cup squads, but was constantly bothered by the knee issues.
Depending on the medical team and Almiron’s decision, Gomez could make his Xolos first team debut either on Thursday in CONCACAF Champions League action at home, or next Sunday at Puebla, against USMNT teammates Michael Orozco and DaMarcus Beasley.
What do you think of this news? Do you see Gomez making his first team Xolos debut next week? Do you see him instantly fitting into the lineup?
Share your thoughts below.