Back several years ago the foundation for Herculez Gomez to be a Seattle Sounders player was laid. It was not his first stint in the area with the A-League version of the team, but interactions on Twitter when in consecutive CONCACAF Champions League cycles Santos Laguna and Seattle faced off. Herc scored four goals in the combined 2-1-1 +5 performance by the Liga MX side against the Sounders. What convinced him to consider a future with Seattle was seeing just how much the sport had grown in the Puget Sound from 2003 to 2011.
"It just kind of clicked," Gomez told SonarFeed Sunday night. "I had a lot of fun playing against you guys. Besides the rivalry on the field, it was really fun to interact with you guys, the fans, off the field. It's not every day that you get that type of banter...it kind of planted the seed, a little what if for down the line"
Herc's previous run as a Sounder was a bit different. This was his headshot.
@sonarfeed #AskHerc if he ever took a more lame headshot (not him, the staging, shirt, etc) than this: pic.twitter.com/FCKUilQhqY— Frank MacDonald (@frankmSounders) June 14, 2016
The Sounders have come a long way from that time. After getting waived by Toronto FC Gomez knew he wanted to come to Seattle, which turned out to be fortunate for him.
"My agent called me up and he said, 'give me some teams you wouldn't mind going to.' I said, 'Seattle.' He goes 'That's good news because they are literally the only team that's interested in you.'"
Herculez covered a lot of ground during the 90+ minutes of conversation at The Berliner Pub with four guys drinking and chatting about soccer.
Asked about Clint Dempsey's performance in the Copa America and his audacious attitude towards the game Herc said, "what I love about Clint is that he's got this huge chip on his shoulder, which I respect. I think we've got similar backgrounds in the way we grew up. Clint still carries that with him, that fire, that drive. As you get older you start softening up those edges, but Clint is just as raw and as sharp as ever and I love that."
He will be part of Fox's coverage of the USA vs. Ecuador match at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night.
"This is the new mecca of US Soccer, so they're [Fox] going to showcase that."
Fox's showcase will include a Sounder by choice, a US National Team member that expects victory.
"I expect that US to win. I think the problem is we know we can score three on Ecuador, but the way Ecuador plays is that they don't mind that because they can probably score six. It's going to be a battle. We're going to have to tighten up the ship. We're going to have to be very disciplined. But they are a very beatable team. The way the US is playing with belief they have that in them."