DETROIT, MI - JUNE 7: Gabriel Gomez #6 and Amilcar Henriquez #21 of Panama celebrate a first half goal by Luis Tejada #18 while playing Guadeloupe during the 2011 Gold Cup at Ford Field on June 7, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Panama won the game 3-2. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kerith Gabriel, of the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, is reporting that the Philadelphia Union have come to an agreement with Gabriel Gomez. An announcement should come sometime next week, according to his article.
A source confirmed to Gabriel that a Presna.com article proclaiming talks between the Union and Gomez had reached the finalizing stage was correct. When officially added to the Union, Gomez will become the fourth acquisition of Philadelphia's 2011 MLS Offseason, along with waiver draft selection Nazir Khalfan, Costa Rican international striker Josue Martinez and Home Grown Player signing Jimmy McLaughlin.
Gomez is a defensive midfielder with plenty of positional versatility. He can play anywhere on the backline, along with multiple positions in the midfield. Gomez's speed gives him the ability to play as a left back, which has had plenty of speculation throw about over the future of the position for the Union.
The 27-year-old has proven at both the club and international levels that he is able to dominate a game as a box-to-box midfielder, showing off his talent in Panama's win over the United States in this past summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.
The Union utilized a multitude of tactics during the 2011 MLS season, some of which included putting two central defensive midfielders in front of Jordan Harvey/Gabriel Farfan, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Sheanon Williams and Faryd Mondragon/Zac MacMath.
Head Coach Piotr Nowak may see Gomez as a complement to current defensive midfield starter Brian Carroll, the team's starting left back or one of a number of other positions. Gomez brings versatility to the Union that Nowak seems to prefer in players that he brings into Philadelphia.
Though the signing may not cost the Union any money in terms of a transfer fee, Philadelphia does have an international roster spot problem heading into the 2012 MLS season. There are currently nine international players on the team's roster, with only eight spots allotted for such players in 2012.