While you were watching Sporting Kansas City against the Philadelphia Union, Herculez Gomez scored a beautiful goal against Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League (or, as I like to call it, the best tournament no one is watching).
The U.S. striker collected a ball near the 18-yard box, took a touch, and calmly blasted it past TFC’s helpless netminder. It was, now that I think about it, from nearly the same place where Pando Ramirez tallied. Love Pando.
Anyway: Gomez struggled to find time with Santos Laguna in late summer and early fall, but is earning more and more playing time as the season wears on. He netted against Querétaro before the international break, then went to the American camp and started both World Cup qualifying matches. He didn’t score, but he ran hard and proved his worth on many occasions.
He has this ability to get hot and stay hot. Part of it, I suspect, is that Gomez doesn’t rely on fancy tricks and the like to score his goals or make an impact. It’s not to say that he can’t beat a guy off the dribble, but he’s much better at doing the little things, winning corners with hard work, finding the gaps between the defense. The term poacher has such a negative connotation, but that’s exactly where Gomez excels. You don’t need form for that; you just play hard and play smart.
Honest question: Is Gomez an automatic starter on the United States national team right now? Where does he go in a USMNT fantasy draft? Because I have him pretty high and rising higher.
Here’s the goal from last night.
Take it or leave it.
Manchester City has made a final push for Everton defender John Stones, and has set its last offer at $52 million. Last month, the Citizens made the same exact bid for the 22-year-old, which was rejected by Everton.
[ MORE: Italian legend Christian Vieri looks to join Chinese Super League ]
City is said to be looking to avoid overpaying for Stones, after compensating Porto over $55 million for centerback Eliaquim Mangala two years ago.
While Stones has gone on record saying that he wants to play for manager Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, it remains to be seen if Everton will part ways with its prized defender.
Following a midweek loss against FC Edmonton, the New York Cosmos will try to rebound at home against Puerto Rico FC.
The Cosmos currently have two losses during the Fall Season, having conceded 10 goals in six matches, which is the second-most in NASL.
[ MORE: MLS weekend preview ]
With no unbeatens remaining, Spring Season champion Indy Eleven looks to keep its place near the top of the table against Miami FC.
Minnesota United looks to build off of its strong start against league leaders Rayo OKC, with the two teams separated by a mere two points.
Meanwhile, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers continue to search for their first win of the Fall Season against the struggling Jacksonville Armada.
New York Cosmos vs. Puerto Rico FC
Ottawa Fury vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Fort Lauderdale Strikers vs. Jacksonville Armada
Miami FC vs. Indy Eleven
Rayo OKC vs. Minnesota United
FC Edmonton vs. Carolina RailHawks
He was tabbed to be Liverpool’s opening day starter in goal, but Loris Karius could now miss the first two months of the Premier League season after suffering a hand injury in Wednesday’s International Champions Cup loss against Chelsea.
[ MORE: Real looking at Sissoko, Verratti as midfield options ]
The 23-year-old was brought to the Reds this summer from Bundesliga side Mainz for over $6 million.
Karius opted not to represent Germany at next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in order to avoid missing any game action with Liverpool. Unfortunately, the young keeper will now likely miss between eight and 10 weeks.
His career ended over seven years ago, but former Italy international Christian Vieri is looking to make an improbable comeback in a country that continues to attract big stars.
The 43-year-old Vieri is reportedly coming out of retirement to join the Chinese Super League, and posted a video on Twitter confirming his plans.
Last playing in 2009, Vieri finished his career where it began — in Italy — with Atalanta. During his career, the striker played for 10 clubs in his native country, while also spending time in Spain and France with Atletico Madrid and Monaco, respectively.
Vieri made his name with Inter Milan, where he recorded six straight seasons with double-digit goals. At the height of his career with Internazionale, Vieri netted 27 times across all competitions during the 2002/03 season.