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Herculez Gomez on MLS, Liga MX rivalry: "It has more to do with USA, Mexico"

05 March 1:36 de la tarde

Herculez Gomez on MLS, Liga MX rivalry: "It has more to do with USA, Mexico"

By Andrew Wiebe

As with most interviews, not everything makes it into print. That's why we've got this blog: to pass on all the fascinating tidbits that might get overlooked or swept under the rug.

With that in mind, here are some of Herculez Gomez's quotes that didn't make it into my preview of tonight's CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal (8 pm ET, Fox Soccer).

Remember, you can get your fill of CCL coverage right here at MLSsoccer.com.


On whether his teammates respect MLS...

“Let’s not mistake respect with fear. I think guys on our team respect MLS. They don’t fear MLS. Every time they play an MLS team, they definitely want to beat them and beat them bad – but not because they’re MLS. I think it has more to do with USA-Mexico and all that. But they know it’s growing. They know these players are getting better. Nobody likes to lose. At this level, we don’t play for fun. It is a job, you do get paid for this. But at the end of the day, it’s all about pride. It’s about what you want to leave behind. None of these players – the professionalism they have is off the charts – want to be known as second best.”

His reaction when told Sanots Laguna manager Pedro Caixinha favorably compared the Dynamo to a British side...

“I love that he says that and not something else. It shows the kind of respect that MLS is finding. He’s a smart guy. He’s been around the block and seen plenty of European football. And to compare MLS to European football – some might think maybe talk about the nature [of the game], the physicality – I think has a lot of merit to it. He talks about how quick paced, how exciting it is – two different styles of football kind of clashing. It will be fun for us. Fun for the fans hopefully.”

On MLS' stated goal of becoming one of the best league's in the world by 2022...

“Obviously, [MLS has] a long way to go to get to that 2022 projection. But you’ve got to start somewhere. I think they’re doing that. Today the soccer sense, the soccer IQ is definitely growing, tactically speaking.”

How MLS has improved since he left for Puebla in 2010...

“I think tactically the understanding is a lot better. You’re bringing in coaches who understand the American athlete and understand it’s a special kind of athlete. The American player is a player who will die for you. They’re willing to run through that wall for you. They just want to know why you want them to run through that wall.”

On the differences between the Dynamo's playing style and that of the majority of the teams in the Liga MX...

“It’s night and day. I think the Dynamo are a straight 4-4-2 team. Very forward, direct, physical. Set pieces are crucial for them. I don’t necessarily see them being such a possession team, but that doesn’t mean they don’t control the ball at times. It’s very different. The type of teams we play in Mexico, the majority are possession oriented. We’ve got definitely four or five teams that play direct. Very direct and very physical as well because that’s kind of what they have to do.”