Gomez’s amazing 28 months in Mexico

HerculezGomezLaguna (Getty)

There have been few stories regarding American soccer players quite as compelling as that of Herculez Gomez and the amazing two years he has spent in Mexico reviving a career that was in jeopardy of ending not too long ago.

Gomez considered life after soccer when he looked to be out of options in the winter of 2009, after his contract with the Kansas City Wizards had expired and he was not re-signed. Two years later, Gomez is a regular for the top team in Mexico and enjoying the kind of career renaissance even he couldn't have envisioned two years ago.

In my new Fox Soccer feature on Gomez, the 2010 U.S. World Cup striker opens up about when his career hit rock bottom, and how much things have changed for him since then.

Give the story a read and let me know what you think. Hoping Gomez gets a national team call up this summer? Have his exploits led you to watch more Mexican soccer? Would you like to see him return to MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Mexican Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Gomez’s amazing 28 months in Mexico

  1. Shane says:

    Great player, person, and attitude. Gomez for the USA!!

  2. dcm says:

    Ives, you are an awful damn good sports writer.

  3. ACC says:

    Great piece and a great story.
    The question here is: how come he didn’t make it in MLS? Better coaches in Mexico the know how to use his skills?

  4. Red says:

    People do forget that Bob called him in to the USMNT 2010 WC team (not here, just general forgetful USMNT fans).

  5. Poo says:

    Good article Ives. It reminds us that these guys are close to just being one of us!

    BTW- has herc ever been photographed not in that pose?

  6. Poo says:

    He had some fairly effective years here. Maybe his game is just better suited to the style there? Maybe he has improved his skills and tactics since his MLS days?

  7. john says:

    A couple minor corrections Ives.

    Gomez didn’t “beat out” Hernandez for the Golden Boot in the Clausura 2010, they ended up with the same amount of goals and actually shared the scoring title per the FMF. Matter of fact, Hernandez didn’t even finish the season since he picked up an injury after match-day 9 and never played in the Mexican League again since he went straight to Mexico’s WC training camp after flying back from Manchester after his signing.

    He’s also not a “starter” for Santos and only became one when Darwin Quintero picked up an injury that sidelined him for almost a month and his subsequent suspension. Once everyone is healthy, the starting forwards are Quintero and Oribe Peralta.

    Pretty dubious stuff there Ives given the fact that this stuff is common knowledge to anyone who follows Santos or the Mexican League.

    Great fluff piece though.

  8. BSU SC says:

    Going from an out of contract MLS player to a World Cup player and Mexican League golden boot winner is about the most impressive thing I’ve ever heard of. Herculez Gomez is literally the Rocky Balboa of soccer. He will always be one of my favorite players.

  9. Darwin says:

    You’re a very small person.

  10. g? says:

    I like Herc too, but I think Demerit still has that role covered…

  11. TheRyanSTL says:

    Agreed. Great story for a great person and player. Just because John’s father never told him that he loved him doesn’t mean he has to be so critical.

  12. PAS says:

    I know Darwin Quintero is most likely going to keep his starting position, but he makes some of the worst decisions and is frustrating to watch. He’ll have two people next to him wide open in scoring positions, but istead of passing it he tries to dribble thru 3 or 4 defenders. I’ve seen him do this time and time again. I think Gomez has made a nice partnership with Oribe Peralta and they work well together.

  13. john says:

    I guess pointing out the factual errors in Ives’ piece hurts the ego of the small minority of American soccer fans who are incredibly insecure and tend to live their lives through some national team members.

    Ives gets paid to write for major publications and it’s amazing that none of the editors bothered to double check some of his “facts”…..facts that people like you guys easily gobble up in some feeble effort to boost your self esteem.

    I’ll say it again just so you can understand it, Herc is not a starter at Santos when all their forwards are healthy and he didn’t beat out Hernandez for the golden boot, they shared the title.

  14. john says:

    That doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s had a tremendous run in the Mexican League and is one of the most beloved players in Torreon and an all around great guy.

    Also, pointing out that he’s not a starter for Santos doesn’t mean he’s not an important player for them.

  15. Poo says:

    You mean like last nights rainbow attempt turned flop for a penalty when it failed? Quintero is a skillful player, but def. immature.

  16. PAS says:

    Yep… I’ve watched Santos for the last two years or so. Quintero is a skillful player and can be a game changer. I am just saying his soccer decision making is pretty poor most of the time.

  17. wildchild says:

    Since we’re being so thorough, we’ll add that Gomez was not a starter when he shared the golden boot: many of his goals were as a super sub, unlike Hernandez who was a starter. If you do a minutes comparison, I think they come out pretty close.

    Also, just because Gomez took the spot of an injured player, doesn’t make him less of a starter.

  18. Casey says:

    And played Robbie Findley who lacked any type of finishing touch:
    link to youtube.com

  19. Weaksauce says:

    We would’ve went further in the World Cup if Gomez and Buddle started!

  20. AL says:

    lol, keep dreaming

  21. BenH says:

    Great piece. Amazing story. Still remember when Garber asked him about how much he was making in the Mexican league and Gomez responded something like ‘let me put it this way, if I came it’d be DP money’. That league pays a lot. Glad he’s doing well and hope we call him up.

    Herculez Herculez

  22. predicto says:

    Nice article – I thought it was a good exposition piece showing Gomez’s personal struggles and success. Amazing that an accomplished soccer player like gomez can have financial struggles like this – and how close he came to quitting because of it. I guess that’s MLS low pay downside.

  23. THomas says:

    Agreed. He embodies everything that the USA and American dream is about. Ironic that he’s making it come true in Mexico. Regardless, he’s always been great and had a positive attitude when with the USA, I’d love to see him contribute again. How old is he?

  24. THomas says:

    Ya or if we didn’t have to play Ghana

  25. Kevin G. says:

    He didn’t say that though, all he was stating was that some of Ives information is incorrect.

  26. Big Chil says:

    I remember meeting some of Herc’s cousins and friends at the beer garden outside of Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. Herc’s whole path to being picked for the final team was exciting as was the speculation that he would, and did, start the Algeria game (and what a game :). Also, prima, if you’re out there, you were cute!

  27. Skywardo says:

    I would like both of their jerseys

    And damn if us Americanos don’t need a story, that many of our families have been through, to soften up the seriousness of the day. I love Mexico too, and its beautiful football.

  28. Skywardo says:

    Hes absolutely correct, along with Holden in Ricardo’s mf position vs Ghana

  29. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    If my name was Hercules that would be my pose 24-7.

  30. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Surely you mean Edu in Clark’s position? Holden just wasn’t fit enough.

  31. joejoe says:

    Basically this means the MLS failed to recognize a player with the skills to score many goals. Colorado and KC played him out of position. Sigi didn’t think Herc was good enough. Take that fat man.

  32. Skeeter says:

    The guy hasn’t always been on fire .. he was in LA , what? 7 years ago?

  33. Air Jordanz says:

    …nor is Holden a defensive mid.

  34. Air Jordanz says:

    Last time I checked, the criterion for being labeled a “starter” is to start games. Which Herc has done multiple times. Also, co-scoring champion is not much of a far cry from scoring champion, and leaving out the Chicharito bit doesn’t undermine the content of the article in any significant manner.

    That said, most people don’t appreciate the sort of insight and commentary you bring to the table, myself included.

  35. ARTES says:

    He did score 18 goals for the Galaxy but mostly because Donovan was not around much that year so he got playing time, then he was put in mostly as a midfielder. With the rapids he got injured and he just did not play very much in KC. He just needed his chances. Even in Mexico he went to Puebla and stood out but he didn’t get much playing time with Pachuca. Though at that time Pachuca started getting horrible coaches.

  36. Rob says:

    I think you missed the part where some comments say that he was played out of position so that lead to his poor performances in MLS. In Mexico, he is being played in better positions so he is on fire and he would’ve done the same in MLS if they had played him in the proper position. That is speculation based on past and current performances.