41213_gomezherculez_isi_usmntjt0326131334 John Todd/isiphotos.com
ASN Weekly Debate

How Many Goals Will Herculez Gomez Score?

The Santos Laguna forward continues to kick butt and take names for his club team, but our two intrepid debaters wonder how many he'll get with the United States national team.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
April 12, 2013
11:00 AM
Noah Davis: Okay. Let's do it. Two questions, Cali. 1) Have you seen any famous people? 2) How many more goals will Herculez Gomez score for the United States national team?

Ryan O'Hanlon: 1) No. But Christopher Lloyd went to the same gym as me in Santa Fe, which, yeah, I'm pretty cool. And 2) I'll say five. Five more goals.

Davis: So you think he'll double his current total? That's a bunch. I think he'll get two. He scores so many of his goals with Santos Langua by poaching, and I'm not sure his role on the U.S. team is really one that puts him in position to poach. Those goals usually go to Clint Dempsey or Michael Bradley, you know? It's not a knock against Gomez at all; it's just different placement.

O'Hanlon: Yeah, I guess that's sort of high? I'm counting on two things—him being in a position relatively high up the field; and the U.S. playing in some sort-of-blow-out games (friendlies, home qualifiers, maybe even the Gold Cup)—in the future. But yeah, that is an interesting point. He's on the American soccer radar as this guy who is scoring a bunch of goals for a pretty good Mexican team, but that's not who he is for the U.S.—mainly because of how he's used, not necessarily because He Can't Score on the International Level. Should that change?

Davis: I don't think so. I wouldn't put him on the Can't Score on the International Level list, but I also wouldn't feel comfortable with him on the If You Get Him The Ball More He Will Score list. Partially because that list is annoying to type, but also because he doesn't exactly have a stellar record with five goals in 21 games. And he's so good about tracking back that I think he's better on the wing. Which, of course, probably brings up the question of whether we want our attackers tracking back, but that's another matter entirely. O'Hanlon: I think that's fair. So, then, are we saying that he might not have a place on the field? Or, at least, maybe he does—he's early-days Dirk Kuyt as a winger on Liverpool—but only against better teams?

Davis: Right now, I think he has a place no matter what, especially if we're going with this new fullbacks attack thing that requires the wingers to play a bit more back and forth or whatever. But if/when Landon Donovan comes back, I think Gomez might be the odd man out.

O'Hanlon: You don't think it'll be Zusi?

Davis: Yeah, you're probably right. But there's part of me that thinks Donovan and Gomez are more similar and it would be an advantage to have Zusi out there. Then again, Gomez is straight up better than Zusi now. Also, there's Timmy Chandler and/or Fabian Johnson potentially pushing forward, which throws the whole thing out of whack.

O'Hanlon: Yes, there is that, which, I don't know. I think Fabian Johnson would be way better than Chandler as a winger. Chandler isn't particularly creative or skilled. Johnson is, but I guess the idea of the United States giving up on its first good left back... ever is a crazy thing to suggest. I'd like to see Johnson and Gomez play together on the left side, actually. He plays like a striker playing the wing would, in some ways, as he ends up holding off a defender and holding the ball up. I can see Johnson running past him and getting onto balls. I can also see him running past and then Gomez losing the ball, but whatever. Davis: And then everyone sprinting back. That would be fun. But yes, I think we are in agreement (shock!) that Gomez has a place on the team but maybe not as the primary goalscorer. Now here's an impossible-to-answer question: Who gets more goals Gomez or Jozy Altidore (at the time of Gomez's last cap)?

O'Hanlon: I'm now beginning to hate my answer of five goals for Gomez, but I think Altidore gets more—but that's a lot of goals and neither of us think the U.S. will ever score a lof of goals. I mean, he has to score more than Gomez, right?

Davis: Well, if I'm sticking with my original prediction of two, then yes. Altidore has to score more than two goals between now and the end of the World Cup. But I really don't have faith in anyone other than Michael Bradley and Dempsey to score at this point. If you gave me Altidore or Omar Gonzalez, I might take Omar Gonzalez. Altidore's getting much better at doing other things for the U.S., but he hasn't figured out how to score yet.

O'Hanlon: I am the most confident the U.S. scoring when I see a ball in the air near a goal and Omar Gonzalez is running toward it, which actually says more about Gonzalez -- no, I'm lying, it doesn't. But I don't know. Altidore just has to start scoring, I'd think. If for no other reasons than: he's playing a lot near the other team's goal, and he's a good finisher now.

Davis: Klinsmann Koaching Klinc: Just score Jozy. It's not hard. I did it. Many times.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. Still.

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