Charlie-In-A-Bottle For Gomez? Probably Not…

Gomez got a cup of coffee with the USMNT in the 2007 Copa America

Gomez got a cup of coffee with the USMNT in the 2007 Copa America

A lot of talk lately about Mexican Leaguer Herculez Gomez and whether he merits a call-up to the USMNT–the next cap would be his third–with the World Cup just double digit days away. Gomez has netted in six of his last seven games for Puebla.

A mercurial figure, Gomez is a former MLS striker who scored just once for the Kansas City Wizards over 34 appearances through 2008-09 games.

TSG will go against our most popular axiom in this post (“You can’t look at observations in isolation, you need to look at the whole body of work.”) and ask you be the judge from these brief clips. Here are a sampling of Gomez’s goals over the past month. Forget not knowing the Bob Bradley playbook, to this writer, it’s just not enough for Gomez this cycle….a good defender likely shuts half of these down.

March 14th, 0:45 mark

March 7th, 1:15 mark

March 1st, 2:00 mark

February 20th, 0:50 mark

February 18th, 0:50 mark

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/15 at 10:11 AM

    Soccer By Ives has a different opinion here which is worth a read: http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2010/03/a-case-for-herculez-gomez.html

    I have to disagree with that opinion though using Ives logic.

    My counterpoint uses one of Ives arguements: We all saw Jeff Cunningham score goals at MLS-level — did it transfer to the USMNT? It did not.

    One more note, if Gomez gets a call than Mike Grella for Leeds should as well as he has scored every opportunity he has this year for Leeds.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Jeff on 2010/03/15 at 11:40 AM

    I think it is a bit ingenius to claim that the majority of Gomez’s goals are weak and should thus be disregarded, while also making the statement:

    “Clint Dempsey scores goals. In general, the USMNT does not…Clint may be daydreaming about the offense being built around him from time-to-time. But he’s got the experience and know-how to be in the right place, and history shows that he knows what to do once there. Who else on the USMNT has that on it’s resume?”

    It seems that you may be letting your prior opinion of Gomez dictate your interpretation of the current facts, which imply that “Herculez Gomez scores goals.” While the Mexican league is not known for its defense, there is an undeniable intangible skill in putting yourself in the right place at the right time and being able to finish. While Cunningham and Findley scored a lot in MLS, they have already shown that they do not have what it takes to compete and score on the international level. Grella can’t get off the bench for Leeds. I wish there were more time to see if Gomez can play with the US, but if we’re willing to (theoretically) give Jermaine Jones a shot with no US experience at a position where we actually have a minor overload of talent, shouldn’t we give Gomez some consideration at a position where there is a dearth of talent? When a player is hot, he’s hot, and if he keeps scoring goals at this pace up until the end of the Mexican season, he can’t be ignored. For now, he’s just another person to keep an eye on for the next two months.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/15 at 11:47 AM

      Extremely fair point Jeff. Perhaps TSG is a little hypocritical here–although I did qualify our comments in the post.

      I think the difference, for me, is the level of play. I see high level national team competition and the EPL as a better resume builder for goal streaks and “hot” streaks.

      For me, the Mexican league is not known for it’s defense. One of the dangers with the column was posting that video there….a good international defender in my opinion stays on their player there.

      I agree that Gomez should not be ignored, but I perhaps should have written more clearly that setting expectations that the level of play he is playing at right now can transcend to the international level would be appropriate.

      Given his up-and-down trajectory of his career and the few observations I have, my opinion is with 90 days left and two camps….it would be extremely difficult–because Bradley favors a system where forward players need to be keenly aware of how they defend an align themselves in the run of play–for Gomez to make an impact.

      Reply

  3. Posted by dude on 2010/03/15 at 12:37 PM

    Yes, he merits a callup. Anybody who is scoring goals deserves a callup, even players I hate (Damarcus Sickley).

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/15 at 4:12 PM

      I probably agree with a camp call-up here if his “form” continues. I’m going to attempt to watch a game and evaluate in the coming weeks.

      Reply

  4. [...] sparked a bit of a brewhaha by exposing Gomez’s recent goals in this piece [...]

    Reply

  5. Posted by Dougs on 2010/03/16 at 7:04 PM

    A little late to the party here but finally found time to look at the videos. Those are all strong goals and not one should be discounted. If that guy could even produce at 1/3 of the rate he currently is at the international level, he should be starting. A callup shouldn’t even be a question given the current dearth of options we have.

    Reply

  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/16 at 7:52 PM

    Wow Doug, I have to agree with you — they’re all weak goals in my mind. In all but one Gomez was unmarked or his defender was nonchalant.

    Same videos above?

    Reply

    • Posted by Doug on 2010/03/16 at 9:28 PM

      Let me explain. In every goal he was either making a well-timed run or carefully placing the ball in the corner or both. Those are the things a good striker does well and things most MLS strikers do not. I think those goals show more striker skills than most goals in the MLS and a 6/7 rate in MLS surely gets you a look. I acknowledge that they are weak compared to Rooney or Torres but would not concede that they are weak generally. I’m no expert on mfl, so take my opinion for what it’s worth. Thanks for responding Matt.

      Reply

  7. Posted by Doug on 2010/03/16 at 9:32 PM

    A follow-up Q. Didn’t he score a nifty goal off a well-placed free kick. Which one of our other strikers does that?

    Reply

  8. [...] (See 6 more of Gomez’s goals here.) [...]

    Reply

  9. [...] to make certain we served up a plate of Buddle scores, even if it was cold. Since we did it for Herulez Gomez and even Eddie Johnson a few days [...]

    Reply

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