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Report: Former USMNT forward Herculez Gomez in talks with Cosmos, MLS

HerculezGomezClubTijuana1-Victoria (FranciscoVega)


Herculez Gomez appears ready to return to the United States, but his move north is creating a battle for his services.

Both MLS and the New York Cosmos are in discussion with the forward, but according to a report at, the Cosmos are the frontrunners to acquire Gomez, who may favor a move to the recent Spring Season title winners as opposed to a move to the MLS.

MLS is interested in attaining the U.S. Men’s National Team forward’s services, but the move is more of an uphill battle because Sporting Kansas City still retain the rights to Gomez. In order to sign with a different team another franchise must trade for his rights, and Gomez has previously been critical about the structure of such a system.

The 33-year-old Club Tijuana striker has played in Mexico since 2010, this move coming after he departed the then Kansas City Wizards in 2009.


What do you think about this development? Where do you see Gomez signing? Think he will succeed wherever he ends up?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. This argument has featured more straw men than all the fields in Iowa. For some MLS-philes, any change in the current player rules means a lurch to the NASL model of the bad old days, with unrestricted spending leading inexorably to financial collapse. For the apologists for NASL 2.0, the collapse of the old NASL was caused by multiple factors, and only a tiny bit by the old Cosmos’ ability to spend bazillions, and “real” soccer requires unbridled competition.

    For me — someone who is old enough to have enjoyed the glory years of the Cosmos — the truth lies somewhere in the middle. In MLS, spending controls are necessary (sorry, NASL folks), but the current system is ridiculously complex and way more restrictive than necessary (sorry, Garber fans). The fact that Gomez seems to want to avoid the whole MLS system speaks volumes. On the other hand, I see no reason why the current NASL model will pose a threat to MLS any time soon. The Cosmos model of signing big players and expecting attendance and revenues to rise sharply and quickly seems, to me, unrealistic; it is certainly not supported by the facts so far.

    At times, the debate reminds me of a political argument between a hard-line socialist and a doctrinaire free-market supporter. Maybe the most appropriate system, for now at least, is a regulated free market, with spending controls but without the complex machinery that makes player movement impossible to understand.

    • Another MLS apologist cloaked in rational sounding words.
      Problem is, the defense of MLS constitutes an attack on the independent club model in the U.S. – and independent clubs themselves.

      • Brain guy’s words sound rational because… well… they are.

        And c’mon, OpenCupFan, what he said hardly rises to the level of MLS apologetics: The fact that Gomez seems to want to avoid the whole MLS system speaks volumes.

      • He is attacking Cosmos for signing big name players and competing at a loss. Neither is known to be true.
        They signed 2 big name players in three years and surrounded them with complimentary players. They are being successful based on stability, long-term contracts, not over paying for anyone. At least if they are, it hasn’t been publicly revealed.
        As for operating at a loss. How do we know this? The tournament they played in Hong Kong paid more than the amount received by the MLS champ. In addition, they are on a cable station that reaches about 40 million people. Further to this point, last year they were only televising home games, now they are televising home and away games. Also, they seem to have significant sponsorship at their stadium, website etc.
        As for operating at a loss en masse. Where is the evidence that NASL teams are operating at a loss? Maybe they are, no one has yet been able to show this beyond conjecture.
        My point for stating all of this is that Brain Guy cites general over spending and the Fact that the Cosmos must be overspending as a justiciofaction for MLS practices. Problem is he doesn’t tell how much MLS is losing, or how much the Cosmosare losing, or how much NASL is losing. He merely brings up the issue of spending as evidence that the MLS model is proper and should continue, with some minor adjustment, and therefore, is a MLS apologist – and run of the mill at that.
        Anyway, if you are aware they are losing large amounts of money and can demonstrate it, then that information would be truly well received.
        Lastly, the Cosmos and MLS models are diametrically opposed to each other. You can’t say “whatever, they both have shortcomings” and leave it at that. If you feign disinterest to the different business models, then you are effectively supporting the status quo.

  2. Several of the comments on here accept the premise that “There is no parity in NASL because Cosmos.”

    This is ridiculous. There have been four NASL finals. The Cosmos have played in one of them. Four different teams have won the the championship.

    Oh, and if you want to dig deeper, and look at overall “trophies” (for spring season, fall season, regular season overall, and championships): The Cosmos have 2 out of a possible 16, Minnesota have 2, San Antonio has 3, Carolina has 2, etc.

    You get the point. Let’s not jump to conclusions about competitive balance based solely on a ten game spring season four years into the life of the league. That’s all.

    • Well, the Cosmos have only been eligible for 4 of the 16 and won 2. They have only been eligable for 2 Soccer Bowls and won 1 (extra time in semi’s last year would have hosted final if they won).

      • Sure, I’m not arguing that they aren’t among the cream of the NASL crop. I’m just saying let’s not crown them before they deserve it.

        And I could say the same sorts of things about my Loons (and Stars), btw. Played in two finals — as the Stars, won one of them, and should have been in last year’s final but for a questionable call on the cusp of stoppage time in the semis. But I’m not bitter or anything ­čÖé

      • Oh, and not to nitpick, but the Cosmos have been eligible for 6 not counting this spring season, right? Feel free to berate me mercilessly if I’m wrong.

      • It doesn’t matter, Cosmos are the target de jure of MLS bots regardless of what they do.
        If they win, then they are destroying NASL, if they don’t win then their challenge to MLS is laughable.
        NASL is getting stronger, only time will tell if they become financially capable of challenging MLS long term, but the longer they are around the greater there influence on US soccer will be.
        One thing is for sure, not everyone is enamored with the MLS model, and now there is an alternative. Wonder if Sounders would gave made decision in this environment.

      • I agree completely that MLS structure is at best opaque, and at worst awful, but at the same time, isn’t it just a bit of a stretch to say that the NASL will ever be able to be anything more than the second-tier league to MLS?

        The deciding factor here is money; MLS has it, and NASL will not have it. And you need money to make money, and for that reason, it’s difficult for me to see MLS cede ground to NASL in any meaningful way for the foreseeable future. I share your antipathy towards MLS bots, but I think the most realistic best outcome is for gradual change to the MLS way of doing things. And look at this spring. The players won a (admittedly small) victory against MLS, and it forced changes. There’s no reason to think that that sort of thing won’t continue as soccer in the US becomes bigger. My two cents.

      • It is possible. Other challenges to top flights in this country have withered not because of finances, but because of motive. Ultimately, the challengers wanted to be part of the party, they didn’t want to challenge it or bring it down. Here, if you are to believe the jargon, NASL wants a change.
        Also, unlike the other sports in this country, this is not happening in a vacuum. Soccer fans understand the MLS is not representative of world soccer. To me, the key point is how long NASL can survive. Can it survive long enough to be stable and an attractive alternative. If so, it can challenge MLS. Remember, MLS is nickel and diming its players, NASL isn’t competing with NFL/MLB salaries.
        Again, this is just intended as a brief response, but what will happen to MLS when it’s MLS/SUM relationship with USSF is challenged? NASL will have to challenge it at some point – provided it last long enough to get to 18-20 teams. This is just a business reality. That relationship can not continue, it is clear that bundling USMNT with MLS helps MLS to the detriment of other professional soccer enterprises in the country. This is not the role of USSF and it would not withstand a court challenge, at least it doesn’t seem to me that it would.
        It is not easy, but the money is there, the key part is ending one group’s strangle hold on it.
        My opinion, in short.

  3. Herc can go to the Cosmos or anywhere else, he is over the hill at this point and MLS would not pay much for his salary, the Cosmos b/c they are floundering with tiny crowds will get him and overpay over MLS just for shock value as stated by others – let them waste their money – there are real stars coming to MLS like players from top Premiership and Champions league teams, not someone who is washed up and ran their full course through in the Mexi league…

    • MLS fans reciting the same arguments about MLS from Euro Snobs to NASL fans now is the most disappointing irony ever.

  4. Wrong

    I was a huge soccer fan back then, but teams that didnt win and had no chance of winning collapsed. Then so did the league, bringing down even the Sounders

    Dont foget who Herc left first.
    The Sounders, not MLS Sounders. USL Sounders.

    It will be very tough to run a second tier league. It will be impossible to run a second tier league where the same team wins every hear.

    • You should change your name to Quit Writing About Soccer in U.S. because you don’t know jack.
      MLS is perfect.
      Players need to stay in their place.
      We need to support billionaire owners at all costs.
      Cosmos are the devil.
      NASL will fail unless they kow tow to MLS.
      It is definitely tough for NASL when the entire soccer establishment ignores them regularly, belittles any accomplishments it makes, and then jumps all over any bad news like it is the end of the world.
      Longer the league is around,the more stable it will be and the more of a threat to MLS. Go ahead and dog the league, everyone understands it is defense mechanism based on insecurity b/c everyone in this country knows MLS is pitiful, difference is some people have finally decided to look elsewhere for their domestic soccer fix.
      Btw – you think him leaving the country instead of going to MLS proves my point or yours?

  5. Wow, five years straight years of NASL is about to die posts from an army of MLS bots.
    FYI- Cosmos did not kill NASL. A lot of things with nothing to do with the Cosmos contributed.
    Parity is such a stupid joke. All those years the Yankees were winning World Series definitely destroyed baseball. Yep, nobody likes a dynasty. Oh yeah, Mike Tyson knocking dudes out in 30 seconds almost killed boxing, it’s so much better now that there is parity in the heavy weight division. Parity is such a dumb joke argument that it in fact only benefits team owners, and no one else. LaLiga is clearly on the verge of collapse as well. Way to go MLS fans supporting your billionaire overlords at the expense of players. Herc was chased out of the country by the MLS. It is pathetic.
    Best part is Cosmos are so irrelevant you clowns can’t stop talking about them.
    Support your local independent clubs if you want to support soccer.

  6. NASL has fewer barriers to entry for players than MLS.

    Why are more barriers to entry a good thing for a soccer league?

  7. You guys crack me up.

    The crazy allocation rules have a very exciting MLS season going while the non crazy way NASL does it saw the most boring season in the history of soccer, ok probably not, but only because soccer is just as bad world wide.

    Now Herc is going to go to the Cosmos. Great, I can hardly wait for the second NASL season to start, so the Cosmos can go wire to wire.

    Then bottle caps fails to mention the Cosmos winning every year while almost every team drew no fans. That might have been a factor too? No? Ok, whatever you say. Proceed as we did in the late 70s then.

    Just don’t whine about MLS and conspiracies when NASL has no fans. Guys who had their hearts broken in 1983 know how the story ends.

    • Yep. There seems to be this belief that if the Cosmos build a mini-super club, then other NASL owners will follow suit. Sadly, it hasn’t worked out that way. If, after all, Seattle, Portland, Montreal, Vancouver and Orlando were still around, maybe. But the markets just don’t exist. There just isn’t enough money to be made. Even Minnesota, home of the only player in the league with any decent national team experience this decade is selling him and spending a hundred million to jump ship. The only team in the league mls can’t pick off at will is the Cosmos, but any other team that gets big enough will join the big boys, and the Cosmos will be stuck playing in smaller and smaller markets. This is not a recipie for success.

      As for the comments above about ‘challenging the pyramid’ it’s tough to do when every other team in your league lost cup games to what is basically becoming a developmental league for MLS.

      • Bull. There’s not just tons of money to be made. Cue the Lonestar quote now. “We’re not doing it for the money. We’re doing it for a #@$%load of money!”

        Let’s count, now, the number of leagues that have done REALLY well with just 2 teams. SPL. La Liga. Heck, Bundesliga is doing fine right now with just one.

        Here the Cosmos sit. The Harlem Globetrotters of the NASL. Waiting – BEGGING – and, I daresay, DARING – someone to pronounce themselves a legit challenger. You think, in this soccer-poor market we’ve got going, the American public wouldn’t respond to a legit deathmatch? The Cosmos have $500+ million in hand. They’re waiting on someone else – whose means far exceeds his unit – to whip it out and have a deathmatch. They’re praying for it. They want it so bad they can’t see straight. And they’re wondering what everybody’s DEAL is? Are there no insecure billionaire football fans left on the planet? C’mon? We got a DARE going!

        I really, really hope somebody takes them up on it, and starts the spending spree. It’d really…liven things up. And start an entirely different soccer discussion in this country? Where is it writ that Real, Barcelona, Man City, and PSG are the only teams allowed on the globe to stupidly overspend? This is a buyer’s market, people. Somebody have the intellect (or lack thereof) to step into the void…and overspend.

        A lot of great deathmatches got started over WAY less than this.

      • Remind me how the Cosmos have $500 million to spend?

        The Portland Thorns draw 3x more fans.

      • Why am I sweating after reading this, and why did I start imagining Heath Leger as the Joker saying this about 2/3 of the way down…

    • So if NASL adapted the crazy allocation rules that would mean they would have an exciting season? That’s nonsense.

      It’s your opinion that MLS is having an exciting season and NASL is not. I wouldn’t know. I don’t watch either of them.

    • “soccer is just as bad world wide” okay! You win the award for the craziest post of the year. I’m sure Sounders games are fun and all but you have had a bit too much koolaid!

    • Its hard to tell if you actually believe your posts or if you are just trolling. But you need some fact checking. First off afteer winning in 2013 the Cosmos failed to fin any silverware in 2014, so no they don’t win every time.

      Second, NASL for the 3rd straight year has broken their previous attendance records since they reformed in 2011. They are doing alright.

      Finally, Herc’s decision as to where he wants to play is his decision. I am sure if MLS put him on a team he wants to play for at a salary he is willing to play for he’d sign. With the Cosmos at least he has the choice of negotiating the team of his choice at arms length. And frankly the Cosmos are a quality side and for a 33 year old Herc probably a pretty decent destination.

  8. I dig some Herc too, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and stand up for MLS rules.

    A financially sound and stable league is important to have — still, even though things have changed a lot since the old days.

    Second, I’m enjoying the hell out of the league with all of it’s parity. I don’t want a 4-teams and everybody else league like England.

    Herc seems pretty bitter towards MLS, perhaps for good reason from his perspective.

    But for me, if MLS looses Herc to NASL due to his disdain for its rules – I’d say oh well no biggie. There are plenty of other exciting players in the league to watch.

    • I agree. My first reaction was that he was considering the Cosmos out of spite more than anything. I’m really excited for this next transfer window for MLS, more so than those in the past.

    • No offense, but it is pretty ignorant to think that it is ok for a team to owna player’s rights 6 YEARS…SIX YEARS…after he leaves the league to play else where. I am all for severing rights if a player leaves for a full season else where, but I would be ok with 2 maybe 3 years. However, I have seen seen 6 and longer. Some teams (New England with Sebastian Lletget) just take advantage of these rules (player rights retention, discovery rules, allocation etc). There should be reasonable limits.

  9. I am an MLS fan but if Herc and players like Herc actually consider NASL as an option then more power to them. Maybe this will make MLS think twice about ther funny rules if it means them missing out on potential stars coming yo MLS.

  10. The whole purpose of the Allocation system, Lottery System rights held by clubs for seemingly forever, etc., etc was for the MLS to reduce players salaries through non-compete rules and clauses. This was to eliminate teams from bidding and/or overbidding for a players services over another team. These were rules adopted at the onset by the MLS because overpaying for player sevices through a rough and tumble process, were the same conditions that brought about the demise of the “Old NASL” who had bloated roster salaries when most teams brought on higher paid foreign stars and journeymen. and ended up overpaying for them. One by one, the NASL teams folded until a few were left and the league then folded.

    Flash ahead to the MLS of today, salary structures that limit overpaying, Stadiums owned and operated by teams to make money instead of paying rent in oversized American football stadiums and now, even healthy television rights that are getting better and bigger every year.

    In short, these are rules and policies, especially those that pertain to holding a players rights seemingly indefinitely, that should be revamped. The MLS fought hard to keep these rules from changing, even giving up some sort of “bastardized” free agency for it’s players, and in return, these rules are never to be challenged or spoken of…until the next CBA.

  11. Can we get some clarification, i.e. reporting, on why SKC still retains his services by explaining the rule/scenario?

  12. The MLS player acquisition rules are completely ridiculous. That said, even though I’ve always been a big Herc fan, he’s well past his best and it won’t be any great loss if he signs with Hempstead.

    • It’s only been a couple of years since he hasn’t scored in Mexico on a regular basis. Strikers goes through dry periods in their careers but round back into form. Being 35 or whatever age he is, he’s probably still good for another 8-15 goals in an MLS.

      • Orlando want Dom Dwyer. Kansas should sell him for a couple million, sign Herc and a winger.

      • real money doesnt exist in inter-league transfers, not happening, not enough allocation to ever matter

    • It’s an intriguing move to say the least. I don’t think he would be a DP in MLS (although maybe that’s what he wants), but I think the Cosmos are looking for shock value, a lot like the Wright and Raul signings.

      I’m guessing he’s a much better striker than the younger Mkosana and that he would be Raul’s main target, but signings like these make me wonder how much money the Cosmos really have, and why they keep spending it on older players. Maybe they’re building the infrastructure, but why not combine a Gomez/Senna/Raul/Ayoze salary into one younger big time player in an effort to start a trend?

  13. Wanting the best for soccer in the country, want Herculez to sign with the Cosmos & lead them to the US Open Cup title.

    The more validation of the lower leagues the better. It will create interest in those teams creating more opportunities for players & money to spend & also pushing MLS to continue to improve. All of which helps everyone, MLS, NASL, & USMNT.

    • Does Haji Wright play significant minutes for them yet? I’ve always been curious why he signed with an NASL team.

      • He starts for Cosmos B. He came on against Cuba as a sub, that’s his only first team time to my knowledge

  14. I thought the ‘rights’ only lasted 3 years after a player left? The guy left in 2009, 6 years ago, played for half the teams in Mexico, and his MLS rights are still owned by KC? Is that definite? Even by MLS standards this is hard to believe.

  15. I hope he lands in MLS. I’ve always really enjoyed Herc’s perspective on things and having him around the American game can only be a good thing. I fully blame MLS and the ridiculous acquisition system if they fail to land him.

      • are you implying you want a 33 year old Gomez is the answer to get to the next level?

      • You would probably be better to do it the week AFTER Klinsmann just took down the Dutch and the Germans…in their own houses.

        If you’re going to troll, troll intelligently. Know your audience.

        Amateur troll. Treasure troll. Precious.

        Carry on, though, whatever. Nevermind me.

      • Thanks for the compliments. Although I rejoiced in those victories, they were in non-competitive friendlies. Yes, it is a step forward, but not a leap.

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