Gringo Report: Gomez likely to leave Estudiantes Tecos
GUADALAJARA, Mexico — US international Herculez Gomez's time at relegation-embattled Estudiantes Tecos looks set to be coming to an end, with multiple Mexican teams swarming around the 29-year-old striker and the club likely to accept a good offer.
“I'm from Vegas and if I were a betting man, which I'm not, I would say that at this point right now, the chances [of staying] are slim with the situation of the club,” Gomez told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday outside of Tecos' Tres de Marzo stadium.
Estudiantes seem likely to offload Gomez and use the money to strengthen other areas of the team, before a crucial Clausura 2012 season in which they will battle with Atlas and Club Tijuana to stay in Mexico's top division.
“They've made it clear that my sale could be beneficial for the incorporation of more players to help this team stay in the first division,” Gomez said.
While Gomez admits being disappointed at the prospect of leaving the city of Guadalajara, there has been a lot of interest in the player, with rumblings in the Mexican press linking him to Club América, Santos Laguna and Club Tijuana.
Gomez, not willing to divulge which clubs are interested out of respect for Estudiantes Tecos and the clubs involved, did admit to MLSsoccer.com that there are some big fish circling.
“The great thing is that I'm not a player without options,” he said.
Asked by the Spanish-language press if a move to a bigger club would help his chances of a US national team recall, Gomez said he doesn't believe it will. He suited up in the 2010 World Cup but has struggled to crack the code ever since, either under former coach Bob Bradley or in the new regime under Jurgen Klinsmann.
“I don't see myself out of the national team picture, but the circumstances that I've gone through in the last three or four months, I do see my incorporation into the national team being a very difficult one,” he said.
Gomez netted eight times for Estudiantes Tecos in the Apertura 2011 tournament, and finished the season with a higher goals-to-minutes-played ratio than the league's top scorer.
The top scorer himself during the Bicentenario 2010 season, Gomez was forced onto the bench when the coach that brought him to Estudiantes Tecos, José Luis “Chelís” Sánchez, was fired early in the season. The former MLSer regained a starting spot for the last four games of the season.
If he does move to another Mexican team, it will be Gomez's fourth during his two-year stint south of the border. He moved first to Puebla in January 2010, then Pachuca, before Estudiantes Tecos came calling last summer.
Gomez took to his Facebook account on Tuesday with a post that was both ominous and pragmatic about the situation.
“It looks like I may be elsewhere next season... where should I go?” he asked. “#queserasera.”
Tom Marshall covers Americans playing in Latin America. He can be reached via email@example.com.