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Gomez makes strong World Cup case

GomezGetty

By AVI CREDITOR

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Herculez Gomez. United States men's national team.

Just months ago, the two joining forces seemed farther fetched than American fans rooting for England on June 12. After a season for the ages in Mexico, though, Gomez made his triumphant return to the national team with a goal in a 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic Tuesday night that may be the final chapter in a tremendous individual comeback story.

Gomez headed home a 65th-minute goal off a Stuart Holden corner kick, perhaps providing the final piece of evidence for coach Bob Bradley to include the striker on his 23-man World Cup roster.

"It's out of my hands now," Gomez said. "I did everything I could at camp. We all did. We worked really hard."

Gomez entered the match at halftime, replacing Edson Buddle to earn his third cap with the national team and first since 2007. He created an offensive spark off the bench, much like he did over the last few months when he scored at a feverish pace for his former club Puebla.

"Herculez played his way into the camp with his performance at Puebla," Bradley said. "It was based upon goals, and in some cases coming on as a sub and scoring.

"When you have him in camp you get to assess a lot of things. Some plays tonight still, for me, need to be better, but obviously, he scored a goal, and that's very important in this whole thing."

Gomez displayed his knack for scoring when his team needed it the most, down a goal midway through the second half.

Holden's corner kick bent toward the far post, where Clarence Goodson rose and headed the ball back to the near post. Gomez connected with a purpose, sending the ball into the back of the net with his forehead and evening the match at 2-all.

"That goal was 10 percent me and 90 percent Clarence," Gomez said. "I'm definitely thankful that I was at the right place at the right time."

His timing extends beyond that solitary moment.

As far as U.S. goal-prone forwards go, Gomez has emerged and reaffirmed his position as the country's best option along with Jozy Altidore and Brian Ching. In the aftermath of Charlie Davies not being included in the team's summer plans, Bradley had been searching for a reliable option at the top of his formation to help fill that void.

After an up-and-down Major League Soccer tenure and a career-saving move to Mexico, Gomez just may have done enough to get that unthinkable call to join the final World Cup roster.

"It'd mean the world, that's for sure," Gomez said. "It's every soccer player's dream to be on the roster and have the opportunity to go to the World Cup. We're all nervous and anxiously waiting."

Bradley's final-roster announcement is scheduled to be made at about 1:20 p.m., live on ESPN.

"I've talked about how players have a lot to be proud of," Bradley said. "Here's a guy that was totally out of the picture and played his way back in and certainly will be discussed further tonight."

Comments

  1. While I agree about him being out-jumped, don’t fret over his substitution in the 65th and the ice. First, you have to ease him back in. He can’t be expected to play a full game after being out for 7 months. No club or country has those expectations, and fans certainly shouldn’t. Secondly, the ice pack was most certaintly pro-active, and not re-active.

    He still is not there. He seemed to run weird as well. But he will have to play as much as possible in the next two exhibitions. If he continues to show signs of weakness against Australia, then insert Goodness. But give him some time.

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  2. I would take both, Buddle moves well for a bigger guy and played with confidence last night and Gomez has a nose for goal and making good runs to get himself in a position to score.

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  3. -1 brodeo

    Commentators had Ching screaming for the return pass. There’s such a thing as too much nose for goal. Choose your poison.

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  4. Its a rule every national team needs to bring atleast 3 Goalkeepers.

    What has Marshall prove to be on this team? Nothing!

    Rogers was okay but wasn’t enough Beasley or Bedoya will take that place.

    If we do bring 8 defenders than Bornstein and Pearce are in. What other options do we have?

    For the World Cup in Brazil 2010 we better start getting young soccer players ages 14-18 and put them to play in Europe and learn how they play the beautiful sport of Football

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  5. Zippy chance Herculez doesn’t make the final roster. He’s done more than Buddle, Johnson, and Findley this year. His goal last night was the clincher. I have a feeling he will score in one of the group stages in the latter part of the game.

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  6. Please cut both Pearce, and Bornstein: They are worthless…

    5 other cuts: Findlay, Marshall, Kleshjan, Buddle, Bedoya

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  7. Yeah did you see Gomez when he had the ball on that long run up field? He looked like he didn’t know what to do with it and then shot into the defender from about 30 yds out. The other time that stood out to me was when Rogers had the ball on the left and Gomez was about 10 yds offside and calling for the ball. You could tell Rogers knew it and couldn’t pass it to him. Gomez is not going to be a big time impact player for the US in the World Cup, but he may make it as the last option. Its obvious Bob loves Ching but there is no one else to put up there.

    I think we can do well in this tournament if we stick with our top 13 players or so. The drop off in talent is ridiculous after that. Most of these reserve guys should not be going to the World Cup, but at least we have some great players in our starting 11.

    Oh and Bornstein was exposed again vs. a good European team. I don’t care how fast he is, I’d rather have Spector on the left vs. England.

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  8. After last night, my 23 are:

    Keepers: Howard, Guzan

    Defenders: Goodson, DeMerit, Spector, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Oneywu, Bornstein, Marshall

    Midfielders: Dempsey, Donovan, Clark, Bradley, Edu, Holden, Torres, Beasley, Feilhaber, Rogers

    Forwards: Altidore, Ching, Gomez

    No Hahnemann…we just don’t need to take three keepers when we are defense needs plently of back-ups.

    As well, we only need three “true” forwards because Dempsey can easily rotate up top if needed, and because there’s Holden to fill in.

    That said, my starting 11:

    ———-Howard———-

    –Spector–Goodson–DeMerit–Bocanegra

    –Dempsey–Clark–Bradley–Donovan

    —–Altidore—–Ching—–

    I simply think that though Oneywu is recovered, he’s not in the best shape, or ready to start, hence I pick Goodson to start. Two things concerned me last night with Oneywu, going off in the ~65 min range with ice on the knee, and getting out jumped by a guy easily 4-5 inches shorter than him. It just tells me he’s not 100%.

    As for subs, in the defense I think we see Oneywu, Cherundolo, and Bornstein, in the midfield Holden, Feilhaber, and Edu, and at forward Gomez.

    Unused or minimally used players would be Marshall, Beasley, Rogers, and Torres.

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  9. Spot on about torres. And add holden to your list of players with the ability to process the game more quickly than most.

    I think torres is a player ahead of his time as far as the national team goes. He’s thinking four passes ahead, but we rarely string three passes together to begin with.

    Give the squad a few years to put more emphasis on skilled players and torres will be a key component. He’ll be our own american fabregas…

    (before anybody jumps on me for the comparison, american fabregas is a very poor man’s fabregas)

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  10. I read somewhere that Gomez was also eligible to play for Mexico at one point in time, so one of his parents must be from there. (Not that Mexico would give him a look)

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  11. I would rather have Budle than Gomez. Budle worked his but off last night. Other than a real easy goal Gomez didn’t show me much.

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  12. Sorry to say it but this looks eerily like 4 years ago, without a left back. Remember the Eddie Lewis experiment? Starting back four might be Cherundolo, Demerit, Bocanegra, Spector. Goodson and Marshall to back up. Gooch is not there. Like that header yesterday, how’s Peter Crouch sound? Bornstein and Pearce can’t go. Gomez goes, with Ching and Altidore. Buddle? Not Johnson.

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  13. Rogers looked better than I expected, he’s right on the edge.

    If the d was not so shambolic he might have made it on the plane.

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  14. I think Bob will go with:

    ———–Timmy———
    –Dolo-Gooch—Jay-Boca–
    -Deuce-Holden-Jr-Donovan-
    ———Ching———–
    ————–Jozy——-

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  15. Totally agree.

    Torres superior technical abilities for handling and moving the ball in tight spaces stood out.

    And his d/ability to win the ball back is better than most folks give him credit for.

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  16. Hey it was a try-out game, no big deal.

    Except – our d is shaky – bornstein, pearce, Goodson all had bad spells. We’ll give Edu a pass who looked ok except for oe egregious error which led straight to a goal.

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  17. I think you are right about Gooch. He probably gets on there in place of Pearce. Rogers also showed really well but exactly like you said the final pass lacked big time.

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  18. I don’t think Gomez made as compelling a case as some think. I thought he looked decent, slightly better than Eddie. The goal was nice but as he even admits, 90% of the glory has to go to Goodson for rising up and heading it back across goal perfectly. Still, having Landon and Clint who can both jump up top or play MF, it seems that bringing along Gomez won’t be too much to ask.

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  19. If I were Gomez I’d hold off putting any pen to paper with Pachuca just yet. If he makes this squad and somehow scores a few in SA, his next contract could have him set for life.

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  20. 3/4 of goal scoring is having the ability to be in the right place at the right time, and Gomez has that quality and needs to be on the plane. For those concerned about Gooch, remember that the there are two more full games and 17 days until the England game, and that Gooch at 90% is better than anyone else at that position. Even if Gooch sits for England, he’d have another week until Slovenia and Algeria is basically a month from now. And Ching had a good game, but Gomez’s goal is telling — I still don’t see Ching as the first choice off the bench because he doesn’t score.

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  21. I still think Gooch goes. He did look awkward out there though. Buddle misses out.

    Rogers really needs to work on getting the ball off his foot quicker. There were a couple times he couldhave put someone clean through, and like always, he just held the ball.

    If he could change that one thing about his game, he would be in consideration.

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  22. Sadly, this game reminded me a bit of the Costa Rica game during the hex. Torres was the only player showing well, and was taken off at halftime and didn’t play again for a long while. Torres really seems to be our only player save Donovan and Dempsey who actually have the capability to process the game and think about the third, fourth, or fifth pass in a sequence instead of just the first or second.

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  23. Beasely did look good. He may yet be a real contributor again! I’d be happy if he was looking as good as he was in winter. He was on a supr steep trajectory upwards… still fast, more knowledge about the Euro games than nearly anyone else we’ve got.

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  24. Thoughts? Yes, Bornstein sucks. Not a revelation. As you said, he did put in a rather nice form tackle though. This game proved to me that our only back 4 with a chance to get us out of the group will be

    Spector – Boca – Goodson/Demerit – Dolo

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  25. Howard, Hanneman, Guzan

    Demerit, Goodson, Bocanegra, Bornstien, Cherundolo, Spector, Pearce

    Dempsey, Holden, Donovan, Bradley, Edu, Clark, Beasley, Torres, Bedoya

    Altidore, Gomez, Ching, Buddle

    Omissions: Oneywu(Not Fit IMO), Marshall(Not integrated into team),Feilhaber(hasnt impressed IMO but will be on roster most likely), Klesjan(Sucks Balls), Rogers(can whip in a mean cross, but not good enough), E.J.(Just didnt do enough on the feild), Findley(See EJ).

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  26. After last night’s game, it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. If Charlie didn’t even the the chance to come to camp, it would be insulting to bring Gooch on the plane. He had no explosion from his legs, no leaping ability, and looked slow.

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  27. Agreed. I didn’t see any of the “omg he iz so injured” moments. I saw a thick accumulation of rust. Dunno if it shakes off in time or what.

    But seriously, I think we were missing 3/4 of the starting D, 2/4 of the starting midfield, all of the starting forwards, and the starting GK… I mean they didn’t even dress.

    Except Borno and Pearce, I’m actually pretty damn pleased with all the guys making Bobo’s job (locking the roster) just a bit tougher.

    Sacha really was absent though after the first two minutes.

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  28. Of course most of the team was disappointing. We were watching 8-30 on the roster playing without the help of our top talent.

    In that light, some of last night’s performances were actually pretty impressive. Torres, holden, ching, beasley and edu looked sharp. They’ll look even better playing with donovan, dempsey, altidore and bradley.

    And at least three of those guys will be reserves, while gomez or buddle will make for an adequate fourth-choice forward.

    Sure our bottom ten players weren’t exactly an inspiration, but let’s not damn our south africa trip to failure until we’ve seen our first XI.

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  29. While I admit I didn’t have enough time to read all these posts, has anyone been talking about Bornstein and how terrible he looks on the left? He gets burnt almost from the first step and now he seems to resorted to literally form tackling his mark. I hope BB thinks he’s too much of a risk to play.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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  30. I am calling it right now. Shock player left off roster will be Gooch. I am telling you know he is not ready and is a liability.

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  31. I like Goodson, and he did get Gomez the goal, so overall he played pretty well.

    But he also was directly responsible for at least one goal, and out of position on others.

    I’d rather have a healthy Gooch and Boca, all things considered.

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  32. I second that motion. Moronic comment. I’d take Gooch as back-up, if needed, over Marshall. There is an important difference between the statuses of Gooch and Davies, based on what they were doing/not doing for their clubs at the end of the season.

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  33. Amazing there is no love for Torres on here. I thought the played very well tonight and that was the best he has looked in a Nats uni.

    Beasley is back, I liked what I saw from Ching which is his usual hustle and ability to draw fouls, and I don’t think Bornstein OR Pearce should be on that plane. Too bad we all know JB is going, even though he’s woefully inept.

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  34. I liked the way Herc played but even more I really liked the way he played with Ching. The two of them played extremely well together (I would have an even stronger case if Herc hit that shot to either side of Cech instead of right at him)

    I also think Ching earned himself first man off the bench status if we need a goal.

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  35. It’s painful just to see him out there, because you know he isn’t even giving the effort. He’s way too tentative and unless he comes out with a much better performance against the Turks, he needs to be a bench player going into our first match. I’m now pretty sure why Milan was never in a rush to play him at the end of the season.

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  36. Agree with Earnie Stewart. The U.S. fans who are upset about the loss or confused as to why we started who we did are complete donkeys. This game was NOT about the result but more about individual players and chemistry between 2nd and 3rd stringers.

    I hope Coach Bradley doesn’t make the same mistake with Gomez as we did in 2006 with Taylor Twellman. My predicted cuts: Bedoya, Marshall, Eddie Johnson, Pearce, Klejstan.

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  37. I hope Gomez makes the team. He always seems to be at the right place at the right time and could provide a spark coming off the bench. Personally, I thought he would be a bit faster did anyone else have that impression.

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  38. Agree… I don’t care where the players come from, or what their ethnicity is… as long as they respect the flag and the team.

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  39. Tom: I think that is about right, all around.

    Beasley could see time if fatigue becomes an issue or to shake things up.

    jts

    (not my brother TCS, are you?)

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