No professional soccer player is happy when minutes get limited, and U.S. international Herculez Gomez is no different. But there is an obvious, added pressure point to all matters of minutes and playing time – that looming World Cup roster decision.
So events are magnified, 2X or 3X.
Gomez has recently lost his starting spot at Tijuana. In a conspiracy of poor timing, he got just 13 minutes last week as U.S. assistant Martin Vasquez watched from the stands.
Here’s the tough reality for Gomez, who was a U.S. starter at this time last year: If he can’t get sharp at fit with his Liga MX club, getting called into one of the upcoming U.S. friendlies (next week against Ukraine or in April against Mexico). If he can’t get into one of those camps, the chances will diminish that Klinsmann will call him into the May camp prior to the World Cup.
On his side: Gomez has spent a career proving himself again and again, beating the odds. And it looks like he’ll be asked to do so yet again. He knows so, too. What he told Tom Marshall in the MLSSoccer.com piece:
It’s tough pill to swallow, but I’m man enough to admit it. I like having that chip on my shoulder, I like having to prove people wrong. This is just going to be another chapter in the story for me.”