Toronto FC striker Herculez Gomez announced via twitter yesterday that he was leaving Toronto FC. This has naturally started people speculating as to where his next destination will be.
Thanks for the memories ...— herculez gomez (@herculezg) March 1, 2016
Naturally with the rumors of a DP striker coming in (not that Gomez would necessarily be one) and the Union being relatively thin at striker, fans of the Philadelphia Union were wondering if Gomez would be a player the Union were interested in bringing on. So let's take a look at Gomez versus what the Union already have.
Gomez will be 34 next month, however he has played pro soccer at a high level for 15 years. He's played for teams in the United States (LA Galaxy, Colorado Rapids, Kansas City Wizards, and the Seattle Sounders when they were still a USL team), Mexico (Puebla, Pachuca, Estudiantes Tecos, Santos Laguna, Tijuana, and Tigres), and Canada (Toronto). He's also earned 24 caps for the United States, scoring six goals. In the past year (split between Tijuana and Toronto), Gomez made 21 appearances and scoring twice - the best of which was the goal against the New York Red Bulls that put TFC into the playoffs for the first time in their history.
There have been questions lately though about whether Gomez can go an entire season. In the last two Liga MX seasons (Liga MX has an opening and closing torneo each season), Gomez played in 24 of 34 total matches while on loan to Tigres and Puebla. In Toronto, he played in seven out of twelve matches including two starts and a playoff appearance against the Montreal Impact as a sub.
The ability for Gomez to start a majority of the games most likely would not be an issue with Philadelphia. The managerial staff believes in CJ Sapong's abilities at striker and he will most likely get the lion's share of starts at the position for the Union, therefore if Gomez were to come it would be more for a backup role as well as possibly a mentorship for Fabian Herbers.
The real liability for Gomez is his salary. His Guaranteed Compensation is $261,000 - a pretty sobering amount for a bench option. Kurtis Larson of the Toronto Sun reports that the reason Gomez is leaving is due to contract re-negotiations breaking down. Now if Toronto is still willing to be responsible for a portion of that it may be a little more palatable, but if not that's a sizable amount of money for the Union to look to take on. The good thing is that the Union have the roster space if they're interested - and Gomez is an American so he would not occupy an international slot.
Personally I feel like if the Union can get some salary relief either from Toronto or through negotiating with Gomez, he'd be a good addition to the club. If he's full price, then I'd pass. What do you think the Union should do? Let me know in the comments section below!