The Mighty Herculez Is No More: Toronto FC Release Gomez

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And so it ends; Herculez Gomez’s time with Toronto FC has come to a close.  After all the focus of TFC fans was on the release of the new away kit, Gomez posted what was clearly a farewell tweet early in the afternoon on Tuesday:

Kurt Larson then confirmed the news (on twitter as well) – although the team yet to speak up on the situation – and then posted a story later with a bit more detail.  It appears that the two sides just couldn’t come to terms monetarily, or find a salary/contract restructuring that would allow the team to be cap compliant, not just roster compliant (being they had at least one free roster spot) while retaining Gomez.  It’s a bit ironic that the news came out today; one day after Toronto FC posted a video starring Gomez as he looked back to the game in October where TFC clinched their first playoff spot; the game in which Gomez scored his one and only goal for the Reds.   Perhaps that was his farewell gift from the team?

Gomez’s time with TFC was odd – from his surprise signing last August it seemed as though he’d be a good veteran sub and maybe occasional starter for a team still looking for an identity.  We the fans had hoped for another defender but hey, Gomez was a known quantity and his years of experience could only mean good things, right?  But then he was pretty much nailed to the bench for his entire time with Toronto.  Even when the team was struggling for goals late in games, even as Robbie Findley hit new levels of futility in games, he still couldn’t get minutes.

Herculez would only feature in seven games, starting two and as mentioned he scored one hell of a goal in the playoff clinching match:

The positive in all of this is if it does indeed translate into playing time for Jordan Hamilton and Mo Babouli (who’s apparently going to be signed now because of Gomez’s release).  Babouli has had a very strong preseason, and Hamilton has spent the last two years on the fringe of being the next big thing.   If the team can find a way to bring two more young, talented, Canadian players into the first team, and – and! – get them meaningful minutes that aid in their development all while helping the team?  Then bring it on; I’ll take anything that improves national players while helping the club at the same time.

Kristin Knowles

Author: Kristin Knowles

Raised on basketball and baseball, Kristin soon saw the error of her ways when enrolled in a local football league as a child. Geography dictated she choose TFC as her team and ten years later she’s still yet to flee the city. Cynically optimistic, she now channels her inner hooligan by singing random pop songs and making poor puns in the stands. May contain adult content. Find me on the internet machine @kzknowles

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3 Comments

  1. Duncan Fletcher

    Hopefully it does lead to good opportunities for someone else to be successful, ideally that’d be hamilton or babouli, but who knows really.
    herc on his own, meh really, but losing gomez and moore, and with altidore injured, it really doesn’t look like that was the plan at all, but hey, i guess the december splurging had to be apid for somehow didn’t it? all along we’ve been hearing how gomez is a great guy to have in the dressing room, winning experience etc etc, how useful he’ll be as a backup when altidores away with usa or injured, etc etc, now boom, he’s expendable, and no dfoubt the message will be that he was just a bit player and so we shouldn’t be concerned at all.

    I’m intrigued as to how exactly this does help us cap wise, as presumably just like Moore if we’re simply waiving him that wouldn’t bring cap relief. saw someone on twitter suggesting that it may be down to number of players on the roster, ie it’s not a case of the first 20 (or is it 18) do count to the cap, and the rest don’t, but the other way round, the last 8 (or 10 whatever the number) don’t count and the rest do, so if you only have 26 players, then you only have to count the top 16 rather than the top 18 if you’ve got a full squad. maybe that’s true. who knows. and again, who knows exactly how much money we had to save, or how much we have saved. MLS!!!

    anyway, best of luck to gomez wherever he ends up next, hopefully someone steps into his role as ‘the one player who’ll sometimes call the social media team on their bullshit now and then’.

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    • I have been wondering if this is somehow a way of rectifying the mistakes made in late 2015 by keeping both Moore and Gomez on the roster, at that time?

      Well now someone has to come out of the woods and take advantage of the opportunity presented. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I have thought that MLS will open up their closed shop for a few more Canadians. All this in response to word of a made in Canada league.

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  2. Bummer, I was hoping to see more of Gomez, and after Moore was finally jettisoned, I thought things were looking in good shape to have Gomez as a suitable back-up striker.

    But who knows with MLSE. They could just be making room to sign a new striker, like maybe Zlatan? Do any MLS teams have discovery rights on him?

    🙂

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