By FRANCO PANIZO
SEATTLE – Herculez Gomez came into the U.S. Men’s National Team camp with a knee injury that threatened his availability and now he is leaving with it.
A U.S. Soccer spokesman announced during the U.S. team’s press conference on Monday that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has released Gomez from the squad to allow the forward to further rehabilitate his knee. Gomez will head to Athlete’s Performance in Los Angeles to continue his recovery from the right knee contusion he suffered while in season with Mexican club Santos Laguna, much in the same way midfielder Brek Shea was sent to one in Dallas to heal an ailing calf.
The 31-year-old forward had been doing fitness and individual work with the U.S. team over the past couple of weeks, but his knee never made enough progress to the point where he could play. He had already been ruled for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier vs. Panama, but now will also apparently miss next week’s clash with Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Gomez, who has been a fixture for Klinsmann in recent months, did not dress in any of the Americans’ last three matches.
Klinsmann also confirmed on Monday that midfielder Jermaine Jones would not play in match with Panama at CenturyLink Field due to the concussion he suffered in the second half of last Friday’s 2-1 road win vs. Jamaica. Klinsmann, however, said that Jones would be ready to go against Honduras next Tuesday.
“Jermaine is fine. He’s doing great,” said Klinsmann. “We, obviously, take things seriously, we don’t want to do anything risky even if he’s ready to go today. We’re just (taking precautions), we keep him out of tomorrow night’s game and he will definitely be back for the game in Salt Lake City.”
What do you think of Gomez being released from USMNT roster? Sad to know he will not play for the U.S. in either of the upcoming two qualifiers? How big of a loss will Jones be vs. Panama?
Share your thoughts below.