By FRANCO PANIZO
The drought is over. The pressure is gone. Herculez Gomez is back on the scoresheet.
Nearly a year after burying his last goal, Gomez found the back of the net by grabbing the winner in Tigres’ 2-0 Copa MX triumph over second-division club Irapuato. The veteran forward played hero for his side when he broke the deadlock in the second half with a headed finish from close range after a cross from the left. The 56th-minute goal opened his Tigres account and was his first in any competition since scoring a hat-trick for Club Tijuana in CONCACAF Champions League play in September 2013.
Ventura Alvarado was involved in that continental tournament on Tuesday, and found the back of in Club America’s 6-1 smashing of Puerto Rican outfit Bayamon FC. Alvarado was handed a rare start by Antonio Mohamed and repaid his head coach’s faith by scoring America’s third goal in the 14th minute of a match. The win at Estadio Azteca moved the Mexican powerhouse into first place in Group 8 and saw the 22-year-old defender go the distance.
Other players to make unusual cameos were Paul Arriola, Alejandro Guido and Fernando Arce Jr. The Under-20 U.S. Men’s National Team members all saw time for Club Tijuana in the scoreless draw with Coras Tepic in Copa MX action. Arriola started and lasted 82 minutes while Guido got the nod and played 63 minutes before making way for Arce Jr. Fellow American youngster and former New York Red Bulls forward Amando Moreno was also in uniform for the Xolos, but did not get into the game.
Here is how the Americans Abroad did on Tuesday:
- Jonathan Spector started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 2-2 draw vs. Ipswich Town.
- Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-1 loss vs. Middlesbrough.
- Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 2-1 win vs. AFC Bournemouth.
- Danny Williams did not dress in Reading’s 2-1 loss vs. Huddersfield Town. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Duane Holmes dressed but did not play in Huddersfield Town’s 2-1 win vs. Reading.
- Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 3-2 loss vs. Charlton Athletic.
- David Yelldell did not dress in Bayer Leverkusen’s 3-2 win vs. FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League.
- Ventura Alvarado started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in Club America’s 6-1 win vs. Bayamon FC in the CONCACAF Champions League.
- Edgar Castillo did not dress in Atlas’ 2-1 win vs. Mineros de Zacatecas in Copa MX.
- Herculez Gomez started, played 87 minutes and scored a GOAL in Tigres UANL’s 2-0 win vs. Irapuato in Copa MX.
- Jose Torres did not dress for Tigres UANL.
- Paul Arriola started and played 82 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 0-0 draw vs. Coras Tepic in Copa MX.
- Alejandro Guido started and played 63 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Fernando Arce Jr came off the bench and played 27 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Amando Moreno dressed but did not play for Club Tijuana.
- Joe Corona did not dress for Club Tijuana.
- Greg Garza did not dress for Club Tijuana. He is recovering from a nose injury.
- Gabriel Farfan did not dress in Jaguares de Chiapas’ 0-0 draw vs. Oaxaca in Copa MX.
What do you think of these performances? Do you see Gomez earning more minutes and going on a scoring run now? Think Alvarado sees more playing time in the near future?
Share your thoughts below.