Almost as if on cue, Herculez Gomez scored. Again.
The wanna-be U.S. national team striker has 10 goals in all competitions this year, nailing two more Wednesday night as Santos took yet another Major League Soccer side out behind the woodshed and delivered a right-proper whuppin’.
Gomez hit for two in the first half as Santos Laguna took apart the helpless Toronto FC back line. The 6-2 final gave Santos a commanding 7-3 aggregate victory.
Santos’ victory down in Mexico, securing a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League final series for los Guerreros, came just hours after U.S. national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann assured everyone that he did, in fact, know exactly who Herculez Gomez was. Probably has his phone number and everything.
Just so we’re all clear, here once again is what Klinsmann said about Gomez this very afternoon:
“Hopefully he continues that goal scoring period, and the more he scores the more his chances increase. It’s really as simple as that. But that’s our message to all players all the time. …Herculez is on the radar screen. But he’s always been on the radar screen. Hopefully he can make his case even stronger over the next couple of weeks.”
He did. Got an assist, too.
The full transcript of Klinsmann’s conference call is here.
So the chances that Gomez does, indeed, make the list when Klinsmann announces his team for the May-June friendlies and World Cup qualifiers? Not bad.
Juan Agudelo’s injury opens a spot at forward alongside Jozy Altidore. Teal Bunbury hasn’t exactly demanded to be called in through his play at Sporting Kansas City or with the under-23s. Terrence Boyd’s emergence may put a spanner in the works. Otherwise, Gomez’s stock just keeps rising – almost on cue.
(FYI, Klinsmann will announce that roster in mid-May, a U.S. Soccer spokesman said Wednesday.)