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Herculez Gomez is returning to beast mode

Oct 25, 2012, 2:30 PM EDT

Herculez Gomez-Santos

While you were watching Sporting Kansas City against the Philadelphia Union, Herculez Gomez scored a beautiful goal against Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League (or, as I like to call it, the best tournament no one is watching).

The U.S. striker collected a ball near the 18-yard box, took a touch, and calmly blasted it past TFC’s helpless netminder. It was, now that I think about it, from nearly the same place where Pando Ramirez tallied. Love Pando.

Anyway: Gomez struggled to find time with Santos Laguna in late summer and early fall, but is earning more and more playing time as the season wears on. He netted against Querétaro before the international break, then went to the American camp and started both World Cup qualifying matches. He didn’t score, but he ran hard and proved his worth on many occasions.

He has this ability to get hot and stay hot. Part of it, I suspect, is that Gomez doesn’t rely on fancy tricks and the like to score his goals or make an impact. It’s not to say that he can’t beat a guy off the dribble, but he’s much better at doing the little things, winning corners with hard work, finding the gaps between the defense. The term poacher has such a negative connotation, but that’s exactly where Gomez excels. You don’t need form for that; you just play hard and play smart.

Honest question: Is Gomez an automatic starter on the United States national team right now? Where does he go in a USMNT fantasy draft? Because I have him pretty high and rising higher.

Here’s the goal from last night.

  1. jmsloop - Oct 26, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Noah,

    While I enjoyed your comments regarding Gomez, I am more interested in this: “CONCACAF Champions League (or, as I like to call it, the best tournament no one is watching)”

    I have been baffled throughout CONCACAF Champions play at the tiny (nonexistant) crowds at many of the games and the lack of discussion amongst fans. I don’t quite no what the problem is, but we need to find a way to market these games better. The more attention drawn to the excitement of club play across standard leagues and countries, the more entry ways to fanship, and the more attention on soccer as an international sport. Such recognition is vital for the growth of soccer at more than a regional level within the U.S.

    So, again, I don’t know the solution, but it’s certainly worth thinking about.

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