The Sounders today announced the signing of former U.S. international forward Herculez Gomez, who had trained with the team last week. He also tweeted a goodbye to Seattle over the weekend, but he’s back now -- and to stay. We should get the details of how the deal came down -- and more -- around noon when today’s training session ends and Gomez, Sigi Schmid and Garth Lagerwey are expected to be available.
Gomez, 33, had been a free agent since March 2 when he was released by Toronto FC, for whom he scored one goal in eight appearances last season.
He made 24 appearances with the United States national team between 2007 and 2013, including a spot on the 2010 World Cup team. He spent the first part of this decade playing with six different Mexican clubs, and the latter part of the last decade in MLS. In 2003, while still trying to establish himself in MLS, he made 17 appearances with the USL Sounders, scoring one goal.
As always, the club did not release terms of the deal, however Gomez was not signed as a designated player, and indications are that he came at a relatively modest price that would interfere with general manager Garth Lagerwey’s plans stated last week about filling the third DP spot, open since the transfer of forward Obafemi Martins.
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For now, here’s the release from the club:
Seattle Sounders FC today announced the signing of forward Herculez Gomez. The 33-year-old joins Seattle following an extensive career in both the U.S. and Mexico, including a one-year stint with the USL Seattle Sounders in 2003. The U.S. Men's National Team veteran has 24 international caps and six goals in international play, including three appearances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Gomez is being added to the Sounders FC roster pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
"We're happy to add a player with Herculez's experience to our current roster," said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. "He has done well in training and we look forward to seeing what he can bring to the team."
Gomez, 33, has 323 career appearances across 14 seasons of professional soccer in North America. He began his MLS career with the LA Galaxy, where he made 53 appearances over three seasons, including a 2005 campaign in which he scored 11 goals in 22 games, as the Galaxy captured the MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It was during his time with the Galaxy when he was loaned to the Seattle Sounders of the USL in 2004, where he appeared in 17 games, scoring once during his first tenure on Puget Sound.
He played three more seasons in MLS with the Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards before signing with Mexican club Puebla in January of 2010, where he scored 10 goals and became the first American to lead a foreign league in scoring. He spent eight seasons in Mexico - scoring 37 goals in 142 appearances - including a two-year stint with Santos Laguna, where he recorded eight strikes in 33 appearances in the 2012-2013 season. He returned to MLS in 2015 when he signed with Toronto FC, making eight appearances last season with one score.
"Herculez is a veteran player who has played in some big games," said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. "I look forward to his team play, hard-working attitude and his goal scoring as an addition to our team."
The Las Vegas-native has 24 career appearances and six goals for the United States Men's National Team. He was a member of the United States' 2010 FIFA World Cup roster, where he played in three of the four matches in South Africa for the Stars and Stripes. Gomez most recently represented the USMNT at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
"We are happy to add a player who understands the history and traditions of our club from his previous time with the Sounders," said Sounders FC Sporting Director Chris Henderson. "On top of that, Herculez can provide our team some good experience and an attacking spark."
Following a 2-1 home loss Saturday evening to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Seattle Sounders FC trains this week at Starfire Sports ahead of a bye weekend from MLS play. The Rave Green return to action next Saturday, April 2 with a home matchup against the Montreal Impact (7:00 p.m. PT / Q13 FOX, Univision-Seattle, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
TRANSACTION: Seattle Sounders FC signs forward Herculez Gomez on March 24, 2016.
Name: Herculez Gomez
Jersey Number: 9
Born: April 6, 1982 in Oxnard, California
Citizenship: United States / Mexico
Acquired: Signed with Sounders FC on March 24, 2016
Previous Experience: Toronto FC (2015); Puebla (2015); Tigres UANL (2014); Club Tijuana (2013-2015); Santos Laguna (2012-2013); Estudiantes Tecos (2011); Pachuca (2010-2011); Puebla (2010); Kansas City Wizards (2008-2009); Colorado Rapids (2007-2008); San Diego Shockers (2004); Seattle Sounders (2003); LA Galaxy (2002-2006); San Diego Gauchos (2002).