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Gomez scores hat-trick in Tijuana romp over Victoria

HerculezGomezClubTijuana2-Victoria (FranciscoVega)


Herculez Gomez has always has a way of connecting with fans off the field, but on Thursday evening, he gave those in attendance at the Estadio Caliente a night they may never forget.

On his competitive debut since his summer transfer to Club Tijuana, Gomez scored a second half hat-trick after coming on at halftime for U.S. Men’s National Team teammate Joe Corona, as Xolos ran riot against CD Victoria of Honduras, 6-0, in CONCACAF Champions League action. Gomez’s fellow American, Paul Arriola, also scored in the win.

The result sends Club Tijuana into the knockout round of the CCL.

From the opening moments in the match, it was clear that there would only be one outcome. Arriola nearly opened his account inside 60 seconds when a strike from outside the box rattled the bar.

In the 17th minute, Xolos found their breakthrough when, for the first of many times, an attacker broke through the defensive line and was through on goal. Diego Olsina was the recipient of the goal on this occasion, but in a similar play in the 32nd minute, Arriola was the beneficiary of a give and go before slotting home with aplomb to make it 2-0.

Three minutes later, Xolos midfielder Emmanuel Cerda was the beneficiary of yet another Victoria error and the rout was on.

Gomez came on at halftime and took a little while to settle. Once he did though, he provided all the scoring the team needed for the rest of the game.

Playing on the right side of a front three, Gomez beat the offside trap in the 59th minute and dribbled alone towards the goalkeeper, finishing strong and low to score his first in the Xolos shirt. Eight minutes later, Gomez finished off a free ball in the box with a well placed finish, and in the 84th minute, Gomez finished off his hat-trick in style, scoring on a deft chip over Victoria goalkeeper Jon Bodden.

Gomez’s hat-trick takes him to fifth place in the CCL all-time scoring charts, tying him with former teammate Oribe Peralta.

Here are highlights of all the Club Tijuana goals:


What did you think of this result? Impressed with Gomez’s play/goals? Do you see him scoring in the league?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. The more players that show well the harder Jurgen’s choices become. Now that’s the kind of problem we need more of!

    I think US soccer needs to schedule as many “meaningless” friendlies between now and the WC. Team USA has players scattered around the entire world in leagues of varying quality which means we need as many chances as possible to make apples to apples comparisons between players.

    • I’d want to see Herc in a full match against better competition before I’d pencil him in for any meaningful USMNT matches. It might be due to the bright red jersey and the beard, but he looks overweight to me. It didn’t seem to slow him down, though.

      • This is why we need to schedule more games. We will never know how fully recovered Herc or Dolo or anybody else is unless we get them into camp and into games and there just aren’t enough of them between now and the World Cup.

      • isn’t that the point of playing for your club team? to get into form and to be fully recovered so that when the US plays, they’re good to go. Dolo knows the US team and if he can get back into form on the club level, he’ll slide right in for the US. even Gomez should be an easy transition given his extensive time under JK.

        further, JK and his staff go and watch the club games (i’m sure Gomez and Dolo will be top priorities), talk with the coaches, etc.

      • It’s not the same. Most top nations have their players concentrated in one league so it is easy to compare the club form of two players. JK has to evaluate lots players across different leagues.

      • You will never find Herc overweight. He wants to go to Brazil more than anyone. He’s working back to fitness, but over the past few years, he’s shown everyone that you simply can not count him out.

    • If you’re talking about in regards to him playing for Mexico, he recently said in an ASN interview:
      “It was kind of expected,” Gil said of El Tri’s interest. “I’ve heard it before when I was younger. I haven’t heard directly from them. It’s always been around but I just hope that one day I hope I can play for the U.S. I grew up wanting to play for U.S. Soccer.”

  2. I didn’t watch the game, just these highlights, but man, Arriola looked good. I hope he’s the real deal, he could even make an impact this WC if he keeps this up. Just a few months ago he was a relative unknown.

    • There is no evidence to suggest that. Herc made the WC squad four years ago because of an unbelievable hot streak but didn’t really perform well at the WC. We have better options, plus his age is a handicap.

  3. Powerful way for Herc to say “Hey Klinsy, remember me?” Give that man another round of the Denny’s special!!

    I also wouldn’t mind Arriola being brought in to the next round of qualis. Let him train with the team, and if the game is going well, a wink wink 92nd minute sub into the Jamaica or Panama game.

  4. Herc’s final goal was a beauty. Cheeky chips are always entertaining.

    I don’t know if it’s a possibility, but I’d LOVE for LA to draw TJ in the knockout stage. We could get a sizable road crew to Tijuana, no problem.

    • He’s not as speedy as Donovan at the same age, and hasn’t learned to conserve his energy yet (although that may be due to Xolos hectic style), but I think he’s better at taking on players one on one than Donovan at any time in his career. He reminds me a bit of Xherdan Shaquiri, of course not yet as lethal. Definitely a promising kid.

  5. With Dempsey still out, I think Arriola has a chance of getting into the next qualifiers. Klinsi enjoys bringing in someone new each time around and this kid looks ace.

    Good to see Gomez doing so well, but the first two goals would have been saved by a better keeper. Still, an in-form Gomez just pushes our other strikers to stay focused.

    What’s up with Corona getting subbed at half? I didn’t watch the game, but for someone who isn’t playing in the league then to get subbed at half is a bit disheartening…

  6. Kind of hoping JK does not call in Gomez. Want him to get a good rhythm going at club level and hopefully make that World Cup roster. Guy’s a great presence in the locker room and a natural poacher type striker.

    • I think Herc, Johannsson and Boyd should all play a lot of minutes in the October qualifiers so we can see who does better at the international level.

  7. Great result for Xolos. It would be a great story if they bring the CCL tittle and we then see them squaring off against the likes of Borussia Dortmund or a rematch with Atletico Minerio at the World Club Cup.

    • He really looked good. Hit the woodwork, made a run that nearly forced an own goal (saved by crossbar), delivered a pass that should have produced a goal (more woodwork), scored a goal and was generally quite creative.

      Gomez did a good job of exploiting a high line being played by a team that was already being routed. Arriola is the real story here.

    • Yeah he was one of the most influential players for TJ. This was the first time I’ve seen him outside of highlights, and just looked at his bio; he’s only 18 and playing very well at this level. I doubt he’s going to be at TJ after next season. He will be sold most likely to one of the BENELUX teams.


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