4313_gomezherculez_isi_intlmj070812085 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com

Herculez Gomez Just Misses Club World Cup

The American forward and Santos Laguna looked to have the CONCACAF Champions League wrapped up, but Monterrey stormed back. That story and more in Jon Arnold's trip around CONCACAF.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
May 02, 2013
10:30 AM
Rayados Rally for Title
Monterrey and Santos played a snoozer last week, heading into Wednesday’s second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final scoreless. Turns out they were saving the excitement for the last act. Santos thought it was about to lift the coveted trophy after going up 2-0 in the 50th minute. Monterrey had other plans, scoring four goals in a half hour to win its third-straight title. Aldo de Nigris had a brace and Humberto Suazo deservedly closed the scoring after a tremendous match. De Nigris took home the Golden Ball for the tournament. CCL 2013-14 qualifying During a league match against Chicago last weekend Montreal’s supporters unveiled a series of banners expressing displeasure with the lack of interest they perceived the Impact was taking in the Canadian Championship. The message must have gotten through. In the home leg of the tie Wednesday, the Impact put six past the Toronto FC to win 6-2 on aggregate and insure a team other than Toronto will fill Canada’s Champions League spot for the first time since the inaugural competition in 2008. Montreal will face Vancouver, which took care of business by beating NASL side FC Edmonton 2-0 for a 5-2 aggregate win. The first leg will be May 15 in Quebec with Vancouver hosting the second leg May 29.

In the Caribbean, W Connection of Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti’s Valencia won their groups in the Caribbean Club Championship to secure qualification. Caledonia and Portmore United will play a two-legged series to determine the final CFU slot.

Once those two spots are decided, the Clausura champions from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, and El Salvador, plus the champion and runner-up of the Liga MX Clausura are the only spots left to be decided.

Coach Antonio Mohamed rolled the dice and played a reserve squad at San Luis ahead of his team’s Copa Libertadores knockout opener. He had two players sent off but almost got out with playoff hopes intact. Instead, the home team scored in the 85th minute and confirmed that the Xolos will miss the Clausura playoffs just months after winning the Apertura. U.S. midfielder Alejandro Guido was an unused substitute in the match.

Did Mohamed’s gamble pay off? Sort of. Tijuana kept Palmeiras off the board but couldn’t capitalize at the other end en route to a scoreless draw. That means the team heads to Brazil in need of a victory or a draw in which goals are scored to advance to the quarterfinals. Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona both played all of the Libertadores match.

This weekend Corona, suspended for the league match, and Greg Garza were in San Diego to help announce a summer friendly against Club América at Petco Park.

That could feature a showdown between the familiar Americans of the Xolos and Ventura Alvarado, a Phoenix-born center back who could step into a starting role with the Águilas after the departure of Diego Reyes. The match will take place July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Other Americans in Liga MX
Herc Gomez entered Santos’ Champions League defeat in the 63rd. Alonso Hernandez was an unused substitute for victorious Monterrey. On the weekend, Gomez played all of a 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul and was booked in the first half.

Puebla is staying in Liga MX thanks to securing a point against Atlas. DaMarcus Bealey and Michael Orozco Fiscal went the full 90. Beasley had several opportunities including a shot forcing a rebound and allowing Puebla to score its goal. It’s at the 1:54 mark here: Jose Torres went the full 90 in Tigres’ derby loss to Monterrey on Saturday. It’s the third time in the Clausura he’s played the full match.

Quickly taken
  • Grenada won the Windward Islands tournament, which we mentioned last week. After stumbling out of the gates, the Spice Boys closed the tournament with wins against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia.

  • Chepo de la Torre was in Houston to drum up some excitement before his team takes on Nigeria in a May 31 friendly at Reliant Stadium. He posed for a photo with Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, which befuddled MLS Soccer.

  • Cheers to the Caribbean Football Database for alerting us to the story of a Martinique international who works in Paris during the week and flies to Wales to play in the second division on weekends.

  • You can catch up with how all the players the U.S. will face in the Hex who play outside the region did this weekend with our Hex Foes Abroad feature.

    Video of the Week
    The hilarious @FootballCliches account responded to a follower pointing out there’s never really a good time to concede by reminding everyone of the Barbados-Grenada Caribbean Cup match in 1994. Our video of the week explains the wacky game. What the video doesn’t show, unfortunately, is when Grenada worked out that after the Barbados own goal, it could score at either end, leading to Barbados successfully defending both goals for several minutes before extra time.

    Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a writer based in Arizona and is ASN's CONCACAF correspondent.

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