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WATCH: USMNT forward Herculez Gomez scores hat trick in Club Tijuana return

Sep 27, 2013, 12:37 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

After coming back from injury, it didn’t take Herculez Gomez long to get back amongst the goals… not long at all.

On his return to action for Club Tijuana, the US national team striker smashed in a hat trick in his opening 45 minutes of play, to help the Xolos beat Victoria 6-0 and set up a potential top seed for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Gomez has been out of action since July 17, but came on at half time with Tijuana already 3-0 up to add some extra gloss to the scoreline.

The 31-year-old striker, who made the switch north from Santos Laguna over the summer, scored all his goals in 25 second half minutes to give USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann a timely reminder that he is still around.

Gomez needs a good season in Liga MX, as he aims to make the US World Cup squad in Brazil. We all know what he’s capable of, so does Klinsmann, but Gomez has some pretty stiff competition with the like of Terrence Boyd, Eddie Johnson, Aron Johannsson and others all battling with Jozy Altidore to bolster the Nats forward options.

(MORE: Americans Abroad – Aron Johannsson can’t stop scoring for AZ Alkmaar)

But Gomez has arguably been overtaken as second-choice US striker in recent months, with EJ playing well and the Johannsson really making a name for himself in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar. At least Klinsi has plenty of time to make a decision, between now and next June is a long-time in soccer and there will be plenty of friendlies and World Cup qualifiers to test Gomez and others out. And it’s a great headache for Klinsmann to have.

I for one am glad to see Herc finally back in action and smashing some goals in. Let’s hope his spectacular comeback game sets him up for a spectacular season south of the border. He needs it, but so might the USA.

Watch his second half hat trick below, courtesy of our good pals at CONCACAF.

  1. futbol247365 - Sep 27, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Great to see Herc with a strong performance so soon after injury. That 3rd chip shot goal was awesome.

  2. tridecagon - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    I’m a Herc fan, I’m not ragging on him… but a decent high-school level player could have finished those chances. Based on the replays alone, this says a lot less about Herc’s form than it does about how overmatched the Victoria defense was.

  3. reidldavis - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Go Herc! Now… why can’t we have this many options at, say, left back?

  4. hildezero - Sep 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Two Americans actually scored in that game. It wasn’t just Herc, but also Arriola.

  5. smgraff4 - Sep 27, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    That Paul Arriola kid is the real deal. Klinsi should at least CONSIDER cap-tying him and playing him in partnership w/ Aron Johannson. For years, we didn’t have a true luxury of bona fide first strikers, but now we have that luxury. Agudelo, Johannson, Arriola, Altidore, Rowe, as well as EJ, Gomez, etc. The young crop, particularly if Fagundez gets his US citizenship (and this is just the starting point), looks absolutely lethal. Not quite world class, but not far from it. It will be interesting to see the kinds of money the Revs collect for Rowe and Fagundez (and they unfortunately made a huge blunder in letting Agudelo go free).

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