The Mighty Herculez Is No More: Toronto FC Release Gomez
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:
Thanks for the memories ?…
— herculez gomez (@herculezg) March 1, 2016
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.