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Gomez makes strong World Cup case



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."


  1. And Bradley criticized him for it, in that BB way of his. With Gomez you get a guy who can come on for 15-20 minutes tops and maybe nick a goal at the end when you really need one. That’s a pretty valuable option off the bench, I can’t imagine Hercules would see the first 11, not with his lack of int’l experience.

  2. Altidore won’t score from the run of play. Actually, Altidore won’t score at all. He would be too scared to get his pretty uniform dirty.

  3. I agree, the ice pack was likely pro-active. However, what was more troubling was his form. 6’4″ guys don’t typically get out jumped on headers by shorter guys unless the shorter player really has “hops.” I contend a healthy Oneywu would have won that head ball challenge that resulted in a Czech goal.

    Problem is DC, we don’t have a lot of time to coddle Oneywu’s injury. If it was March, then I’d totally be on board with you. However, Oneywu clearly is not 100%, and therefore should not start. What’s the problem with bringing him in as a sub? As an aside, Goodson has looked very good in his last two MNT outings.

  4. Didn’t know about the “3 keeper rule.” That really sucks, because we don’t need 3.

    I have Beasley in my 23 man roster. I don’t think Bedoya showed enough last night to make the cut.

    If we bring Pearce, then BB has lost his mind. Two of the Czech Republic’s goals last night were directly due to Pearce getting beat. Per you, we have to bring Hahnemann, so then I’d drop Marshall.

  5. Agree with you about Onyewu….even if he does make the team I don’t think he is ready to start vs England. This is the back four I would like to see against Turkey.

    Dolo – Demerit – Boca – Spector

  6. Pearce was the biggest dissappointment for me as well. After seeing him play so well in the dream 3 game series 2 years ago: England, Spain, Argentina, where I thought he was the best field player over the 3 game series. I really thought he would shine compared to JB. He did not.

    Both were limp, to call a spade a spade. I don’t really see any option except to keep JB as insurance and go with Boca then Spector on the left with JB backing up those 2 in the case either has to move to CB.

    A real bummer for me, because Pearce’s crosses have been so much better from the left than any of the other options.

    Real bummer

  7. Goodson’s got Crouch. Start Cherundolo/Boca at LB. Cherundolo is probably better captain material competing against Boca. Assuming Gooch can’t start and Boca can’t either.


  8. uhhh, he was on the break against 2 defenders, with Usain Bolt, I mean Brian Ching, trying to catch up. Everyone else was still back. He got a corner off of it though.

  9. The best thing about Gomez was his hustle and his ability to find space and be in the right place. Good positioning doesn’t just happen. And I don’t blame him for not trying something fancy 1v1 in his first callup with a trip to SA on the line.

    And what did Buddle or EJ or whoever else do to prove they should go instead of Gomez? Oh..right..nothing.

  10. So, to sum up:

    Gomez is American, and Torres is American.

    And of course, Altidore is American, and Dempsey is American, and Howard and Bradley and Bocanegra and Johnson and Ching and Holden and in fact, everybody else on the team, no matter who Bob picks to take or decides to leave home today, is American.

  11. I didn’t think Gomez looked good AT ALL. Once again he scores an easy goal that any other player on the field would of put away. He even had a chance to take a defender one on one with open space all around him and what does he do??? The only thing a player can do with NO BALL SKILL… shoot it from 30 yards out!

  12. Mexican. He has dual citizenship which is how he made it to a Mexican team. Otherwise, they’d never use a foreign player slot for an American. Except for maybe Donavan.

  13. The biggest disappointment was Guzan. He was terrible, and has never played well for the national team. I also think it was a colossal waste of preparation time to have out first string sitting in the press box watching the B team play when they have not played together in almost 3 months. The USSF should have scheduled El Salvador or another regional team for a game on Saturday, and use that game as the audition for Gomez, Buddle and others. What a waste of a good quality tuneup game and there is not much time left to correct any of this.

  14. I love him. Hell, I can’t stop loving him. In fact, I love him too much.

    I still think Bob takes him to SA, but leaves him on the bench.

    I hope Im wrong.

  15. He’s brown. He and Torres give the USA a color other than black and white.
    Think figuratively not literally.

    Gomez is my cousin and so is Torres. Believe me, they are Mexican-American. Tortillas, anyone?

  16. There are a lot of apologists on this board…

    Gooch was a marginal athlete before the injury — his defending was just about brute force. Now, he is a step slower and can’t jump.

    There is no way he deserves a place. This is international football, not an effing teachers union; no one has tenure.

  17. We have some talented players coming up from the youth systems. Anton Peterlin, Cody Arnoux, Mike Grella, Mikel Diskeruud, Jack Mac, Ike Opara…to name a few. We’ll be ok. But those guys aren’t ready for this cycle. (Not to mention players such as Bedoya, Vicenzo Bernardo [if he ever finds a club] and Joseph Gyau, and Charles Renken.)

  18. Clearly you’ve never played and you know less than nothing about the sport.

    If scoring from 1 yard is so easy why have so few US players done it?

    This isn’t the NBA where shooting from beyond the 3 point line gets you one more point. 1 yard goals count just a much as 30 yard goals.

  19. +10

    I had high hopes for Bedoya but his limited minutes didn’t give him enough time to show anything.

    Maybe Bob is already thinking of him as a final 20 minute energy guy? Pearce and Bornstein should NOT be going to SA…

  20. I disagree on the offside comment. Gomez was onside when Rogers should have played the ball but Rogers has a tendency to hold on to the ball too long and that’s when he went offside.

    Gomez is on a hot streak and we can’t take just 2 strikers… I say he goes.

  21. I don’t think Pearce goes either and I feel bad for him. I’m not a huge fan but he can whip in a decent cross. It’s hard coming into the game at halftime when the other players have already been going for 45.


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