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Hérculez Gómez

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Hérculez Gómez

Hérculez Gómez
United States24(6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 5, 2013.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of July 17, 2013

Hérculez Gómez Hurtado (born April 6, 1982) is an American soccer player who currently plays for Tijuana in the Liga MX and the United States men's national soccer team. He is the first player to have won both the MLS Cup and Mexico's Primera División championship.

Early life

Gómez, the oldest of five children, was born in Oxnard, California[1] to Mexican-American parents.[2] He grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada,[3] and played on the soccer team at Las Vegas High School.[4]

Professional

Gómez started his soccer career in 2001 with Cruz Azul of the Mexican First Division on their second-division squad, and transferred to second-division team Aguilas Blancas de Puebla later that year. The following season, he returned to first-division soccer with Durango. However, playing opportunities were scarce for him there, so he left, thinking he would quit soccer, but instead he joined the San Diego Gauchos of the USL D-3 Pro League in 2002, where he excelled, scoring seventeen goals in seventeen appearances. The Los Angeles Galaxy staff noticed him during a friendly match and he joined the team in September.[5]

Gómez broke his foot while on loan to the Seattle Sounders of the United Soccer Leagues, and recovery took a long time. When he was able to play again, he joined the San Diego Sockers of the Major Indoor Soccer League.[6] He returned to the Galaxy for the 2005 season on a developmental contract, but played well enough to make it to the first team. His big chance came when Landon Donovan was called up to the national team. Donovan's absence gave Gomez many more starts at striker, and he was able to shine as a breakout goal-scorer.[7]

He scored the game-winning goal in the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, then helped the Galaxy to a rare Cup 'double' when they also won the 2005 MLS Cup. Gómez ended the 2005 season with eighteen goals scored for the Galaxy (in all matches), and was voted by the local L.A. media as the year's Most Valuable Player.[8]

Early in the 2006 season, Gómez was moved to the bench with then-coach Steve Sampson. Sampson used Gómez as a midfielder to see if he could score goals running at defenses. After Sampson's firing, however, Gomez scored several times under new coach Frank Yallop, and ended that season with five goals.[9]

On December 1, 2006, Gómez was traded to the Colorado Rapids along with Ugo Ihemelu in exchange for Joe Cannon. He scored the first goal in the history of Dick's Sporting Goods Park in his first game for Colorado, a 2-1 win over D.C. United on April 7, 2007. Gomez tore his ACL during training with the Rapids in September of that year and was forced to undergo a lengthy recovery process.[10]

On September 3, 2008, Gómez was traded to Kansas City Wizards in exchange for allocation money, a fourth round 2009 MLS SuperDraft pick and a first round 2009 MLS Supplemental Draft pick. His first goal for the Wizards was an injury time winner against San Jose Earthquakes, a must win game in their 2008 play-offs push.[11]

Gómez signed with Mexican club Puebla F.C. in January 2010.[12] He scored ten goals in the 2010 Mexican season[13] to tie for the lead for most goals; this feat marked the first time any American player led a foreign league in goals.[14]

Estudiantes Tecos

Pachuca placed Gómez, along with its entire squad, on the transfer list.[15] During the transfer window he moved along with teammate Braulio Luna to Estudiantes Tecos.[16] Gómez scored his first goal for his new club in the second game of the Mexican Apertura season, coming in a 2-1 loss to San Luis.[17] Following this good performance, Gómez was included in the starting lineup for his side's next game against Club América at the Estadio Azteca. Gómez played the full 90 and hit the post with one shot, his side won 2-1 and gained their first points of the season.[18]

On August 19 Gómez started from the bench as his side faced former club Pachuca. Pachuca went up 1-0 in the 22nd minute but Tecos equalized in the 49th. Gómez came off the bench in the 67th minute and led his side to a 2-1 win, striking it past the onrushing goalkeeper after receiving a nice through ball.[19]

Santos Laguna

Cash-strapped Estudiantes Tecos were forced into selling Gomez to league rivals Santos Laguna, whom Gomez joined on December 10, 2011.[20] Since joining Santos Laguna, Gomez has scored 11 goals in his first 12 appearances for the team across all competitions.

With Santos Laguna's 2012 Clausura victory, Gomez became the first player to have won both the MLS Cup and the Primera División championship.[21]

International

Gomez was named to the United States roster for the 2007 Copa America, and earned his first cap as a second-half substitute against Argentina, with his first start coming against Colombia.[22]

On May 11, 2010, Gomez was named to the U.S. national team's provisional 30-man 2010 World Cup roster. He scored a goal for the U.S. national team in a 4-2 friendly defeat to the Czech Republic on May 25, 2010. The next day he was named to the 23-man roster for the 2010 World Cup.[23]

On June 5, 2010 he scored a goal for the U.S. National Team in a 3-1 win over Australia in the United States' final friendly match before the World Cup.[24]

Gomez played in 3 out of the 4 games for the United States at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, including the round of 16 game against Ghana.

Gomez made his return to the national team in 2012, appearing in friendlies against Scotland and Brazil and scoring a goal against the latter on May 30.

Gomez scored a goal in the 72nd minute in the U.S. National Team's first match of 2014 World Cup qualification against Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa, Florida on June 8, 2012. The U.S. won the match 3-1 in rainy, sloppy field conditions. Gomez started the game on the right wing but traded sides throughout the match with Clint Dempsey. On September 11, 2012, during a qualifying game against Jamaica, Gomez curled in a free kick in the 55th minute to help the U.S. win 1-0. The win placed the U.S. in a better position to advance to the next qualifying round, with 2 games to play.

On June 27, 2013, Gomez was named to the 23-man roster for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.[25] After appearing in two of the team's three group stage matches, it was announced that Gomez would be replaced in the Gold Cup squad for the knockout stages.[26]

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
01. May 25, 2010 Rentschler Field, East Hartford, USA  Czech Republic
2 – 2
2 – 4
Friendly
02. June 5, 2010 Ruimsig Stadium, Roodepoort, RSA  Australia
3 – 1
3 – 1
Friendly
03. May 30, 2012 FedEx Field, Landover, United States  Brazil
1 – 2
1 – 4
Friendly
04. June 8, 2012 Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, United States  Antigua and Barbuda
3 – 1
3 – 1
2014 World Cup qualification
05. September 11, 2012 Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, United States  Jamaica
1 – 0
1 – 0
2014 World Cup qualification
06. July 5, 2013 Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States  Guatemala
1 – 0
6 – 0
Friendly

Career statistics

Club

As of August 19, 2012.
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
USA League Open Cup League Cup North America Total
2003 Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2003 Seattle Sounders A-League 17 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 21 1
2005 Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer 22 11 4 6 4 1 0 0 30 18
2006 30 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 31 5
2007 Colorado Rapids 20 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 21 5
2008 17 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 2
2008 Kansas City Wizards 8 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 9 1
2009 26 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 28 0
Mexico League Cup League Cup North America Total
2009–10 Puebla Primera División 15 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 10
2010–11 Pachuca 29 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 5
2011–12 Estudiantes Tecos 16 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 7
Santos Laguna 17 7 0 0 0 0 6 6 23 13
Total USA 124 24 8 7 9 1 0 0 141 32
Mexico 77 29 0 0 0 0 6 6 83 35
Career total 200 53 8 7 9 1 6 6 233 67

International

As of July 9, 2013
National team Year Apps Goals
United States
2007 2 0
2008 0 0
2009 0 0
2010 6 2
2011 0 0
2012 11 3
2013 3 1
Total 22 6

Personal

Herculez is the brother of MMA fighter Ulysses Gomez.[27] He is of Mexican-American heritage.

Honors

Country

Club

Los Angeles Galaxy

Santos Laguna

  • Primera División (1): Clausura 2012

Individual

Puebla FC

  • Primera División de México Scoring title: Bicentenario 2010

References

External links

  • FIFA competition record
  • Herculez Gomez stats at Medio Tiempo.com (Spanish)
  • followUSsoccer.com


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