By DAN KARELL
With his career at somewhat of an impasse, Herculez Gomez has decided to return to the place where his career highlights began.
Puebla FC announced late Wednesday that they’ve signed Gomez ahead of the Clausura season this spring, which kicks off on Jan. 10. Gomez comes from Tigres UANL, where he only spent half a season.
Nearly five years ago, an out-of-contract Gomez took a risk and left MLS for Liga MX, signing with Puebla. The decision turned into gold as Gomez scored ten league goals, finishing tied for the goal-scoring lead in Mexico and breaking into the U.S. Men’s National Team for the 2014 World Cup.
By FRANCO PANIZO
It wasn’t pretty by any stretch, but it counted all the same.
Sacha Kljestan found the back of the net on Wednesday to cap the scoring in Anderlecht’s 3-0 win over Zulte-Waregem in the first leg of their Coupe de Belgique quarterfinals series. Kljestan struck two minutes after entering the game, bundling a cross over the goal line with his knee in the 86th minute before celebrating it modestly.
The goal was the 29-year-old midfielder’s first since scoring in a Pro League tilt back on Oct. 29, and his second across all competitions in a season that has seen him struggle for consistent playing time. It came on the same day that fellow American John Brooks scored in a German Bundesliga affair.
Kljestan and Anderlecht will attempt to close out the series and move onto the tournament semifinals when they host Zulte-Waregem in the decisive leg on Jan. 21.
You can see the goal here:
By FRANCO PANIZO
What was looking to be an incredibly quick comeback now appears to be a test of patience and mental fortitude for Joe Gyau.
Gyau was seemingly on his way to making a lightning-fast recovery from the left knee injury he sustained back in October, returning to full training for Borussia Dortmund in mid-November. But the 22-year-old winger suffered a setback during the past week, as his knee struggled to cope with an increased workload.
Gyau had recently been playing games for Dortmund’s second team, making three appearances since Nov. 21. He was left off this past weekend’s roster, however, due to the knee issues.
While it is not clear how much of a setback this is for Gyau, it seems unlikely that he will crack back into the relegation-threatened club’s first team until after the Bundesliga’s winter break. Borussia Dortmund play their final game before the new year this Saturday, and don’t return to action until Jan. 31.
Gyau made one substitute appearance for Dortmund this season before suffering his knee injury in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 1-1 draw vs. Ecuador on Oct. 10. He had surgery to repair the damage, and U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann stated just before then that the speedy winger would be out of action until at least January.
What do you make of this development? Worried that Gyau might be trying to rush back too soon? What do you think are his chances of making the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2015 Gold Cup roster?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Three days after earning the praise of his manager, John Brooks put an exclamation point on a spectacular week by finding the back of the net.
The Hertha Berlin centerback scored the opening goal in his side’s 4-4 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt Wednesday for the U.S. Men’s National Team defender’s first goal since his game-winner against Ghana at this summer’s World Cup. The finish was Brooks’ fourth goal of his club career.
Brook’s finish came via a set piece, as Hertha Berlin midfielder Ronny provided a long-distance free kick into the center of the box. A streaking Brooks finished with his left foot from just outside the six-yard box to open the scoring.
The 21-year-old defender was recently the subject of praise from manager Jos Luhukay, who has been impressed by Brooks’ defensive work in recent outings.
Despite Brooks’ heroics, Hertha Berlin were forced to settle for a draw after conceding a three goal lead, including a 4-2 lead in extra time.With the draw, Hertha Berlin move into 11th place, four points clear of the relegation zone.
Have a look at Brooks’ finish after the jump:
Photo by Nick Turchiaro/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
After a largely inactive week, the MLS player landscape figures to change more noticeably on Thursday.
Stage 2 of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft will take place less than a week after an expectedly-quiet first round, with 56 players still available for selection.
Last Friday’s Stage 1 saw three veterans picked up by new clubs, but there figures to be a lot more movement in Stage 2 as teams attempt to fortify their rosters at discounted rates. Players taken in this round can have their contracts renegotiated.
The Montreal Impact are first to choose, followed by the San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids, Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo. Expansion clubs New York City FC and Orlando City choose last.
Some of the more recognizable remaining players include Canadian attacker Dwayne De Rosario, versatile defender Marvell Wynne, goalkeeper Jon Busch, seasoned midfielder Shalrie Joseph, and forward Edson Buddle.
Players who are not selected in this round will become available to any MLS club on a first-come, first-served basis.
Here’s a look at the entire list of 56 players available for Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft:
By DAN KARELL
On the verge of winning their third title of 2014, Real Madrid are interested in keeping manager Carlo Ancelotti around for the long-haul.
Speaking in Morocco during the Club World Cup, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said he’d be “delighted” to extend Ancelotti’s contract. The Italian boss deserves plenty of credit, not only for leading Real Madrid to the UEFA Champions League and Copa Del Rey crowns but for managing a team filled with big egos and a seeming imbalance of attacking players over defenders.
We’d be delighted to renew his contract when the season ends,” Perez said. “There were initial question marks about getting him in as coach, but I always wanted him. I saw what he achieved at Milan, Chelsea and at PSG. One day I was at a Champions League game with my friend Galliani, I was introduced to Carlo and he was keen to present the whole team to me. He creates a great family atmosphere apart from doing a great job as coach. This is important.”
Ancelotti joined Real Madrid ahead of last season after winning two consecutive titles at PSG. Ancelotti is currently in the second year of a three-year contract.
Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday: