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Herculez Gomez leaves U.S. Gold Cup squad, who will replace him?

Jul 17, 2013, 1:53 PM EDT

U.S forward Herculez Gomez celebrates his first half goal with teammate Landon Donovan after scoring against Guatemala during their friendly soccer match in San Diego Reuters

This tweet from Herculez Gomez doesn’t need someone possessing the detective nous of Sherlock Holmes to work it out.

The USMNT striker is heading home.

After playing in two of the U.S. national teams three Gold Cup group games, it seems as though Herc is making way for some of Jurgen Klinsmann’s additions.

Gomez had this to say: “8 straight… add that to the list. I know the boys will handle business. Miss you guys already.”

With the Club Tijuana forward heading back to link up with club side before their Liga MX open against Atlas on Friday, who will replace him in Klinsmann’s roster?

There are plenty of attacking options Klinsi has to call on from Major League Soccer as the knockout stages of the Gold Cup begin. Gomez’ replacement should come from the original 35-man roster announced way back when.

Klinsmann has already stated there will be a few new faces for the USA in the upcoming games. I think we can bet on a few USMNT regulars getting the call up. In attack Graham Zusi could replace Gomez and other options that Klinsmann could bring in Houston Dynamo man Brad Davis to join his teammates Will Bruin. Those are the most likely replacements for Gomez. But what about Eddie Johnson? 

Defensively, expect to see Sporting KC’s Matt Besler pop up and maybe Omar Gonzalez? That would be my guess.

So will Klinsi gain much from calling these guys up, even though they’ve been away from the squad for the entire Gold Cup campaign so far? Um, yes.

(MORE: Graham Zusi for the Gold Cup roster anyone?)

Not only will these players who’ve elevated themselves to starters with the national team provide more quality and make the USA stronger, they also show these World Cup hopefuls that it can be done. 12 months ago guys like Zusi, Besler and Gonzalez weren’t close to being regulars for the U.S. But now their ticket to Brazil is snugly tucked into their back pocket.

Added quality and extra motivation for the wannabes, adding players to replace the likes of Gomez was a no-brainer from Klinsmann. And we will find out who the US has added to their squad by the end of day on Wednesday.

Get speculating…

  1. alexsenn01 - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Will Bruin is already on the roster, so he wouldn’t be one of the replacements. There really aren’t that many forward options, only Eddie Johnson and Bobby Wood. Zusi as a replacement for Gomez doesn’t make sense, as Zusi doesn’t play forward. With only Wondo and Donovan as the remaining players who play forward and have any experience (Bruin has just the one cap, vs Guatemala last week), it seems certain Eddie Johnson would be called in. Zusi would likely replace a midfielder or McInerney (who seems unlikely to play). Brad Davis is out with a hamstring injury, so I wouldn’t expect him called in. I’d bring in Brad Evans for right back if his injury from Sat’s game is healed, as neither Parkhurst or Beltran has looked good at right back. Then the 4th guy would be either Besler or Gonzalez (I’d go for Besler, he’s been more impressive to me than Gonzalez in their play with the US).

    If I were Klinnsman here’s what I’d do:
    Drop: Gomez, McInerney, Ashe, and either Beltran or Onyewu
    Add: Johnson, Zusi, Besler, and Evans (or Gonzalez if Evans not healthy enough)

  2. alexsenn01 - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    I forgot that Alan Gordon is also available as an addition at forward, and although I’m not a big fan of his I could see the argument for bringing in a true “target forward” as an option off the bench. Johnson has played more wing than forward with the US team this year, so it’s not clear where he would play if brought in. Could see Wondo and Landon up top with Johnson and Zusi on the wings, and two of Beckerman/Holden/Diskerud as the strongest offensive lineup.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Jul 18, 2013 at 5:12 AM

      Agree with most of this. Johnson got the nod and Gordon gets to the call up too.

      Good call.

      I think that is a smart move from Klinsmann. If the US are struggling to score late on — not sure if I can see that happening btw — then chucking on Gordon would be a great tactic. Usually works for San Jose!

  3. midtec2005 - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    It would be interesting to see Bocanegra called back in, he has settled his club situation now.

  4. dreadpirate82 - Jul 17, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    As a Sporting KC fan, I vote for Besler and Zusi to play at RSL Saturday, then catch a flight to Baltimore for Sunday’s match. If I can play two softball games and a soccer match on a Sunday at 34 years old, surely they can do that, right?

    • alexsenn01 - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:10 PM

      Understandable, but if guys get called in, they need to train with the team before they play. It’s a lot of different guys than they have been playing with on the US team, and it takes a while to build some chemistry on the field. Although I guess Klinnsman may be confident with the current guys against El Salvador and be counting on the new guys to play in the final two rounds against the tougher opposition. Still, I expect anyone called in to join the team in Baltimore on Thursday (or even today, as they likely already know)

      • dreadpirate82 - Jul 17, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        I know there’s no chance of that actually happening, for many reasons. SKC losing both guys would even things out for the SKC-RSL match, as both teams would be missing at least 2 top players.

        Zusi will be at the ESPYs tonight wearing an Aurelien Collin-designed suit. That may be my favorite sports story of the week.

  5. godsholytrousers - Jul 17, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    The only two players being dropped for sure are Gooch and Herc.
    The obvious replacement for Gooch is Besler or Gonzales. I trust Besler over Gonzales, but either is a good pickup.
    The replacement for Herc is cloudier, as the options are Johnson (who has been in horrible form) or Gordon (who is ultra one dimensional). I would go with Gordon who plays with Wondo and could pair easily with him if needed.

  6. boscoesworld - Jul 17, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Klinsi? Really?

  7. bigmo2013 - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Johnson over Gordon

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