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Herculez Gomez

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MNT Weekend TV Schedule: Race for the World Cup Roster

The countdown clock continues to tick as the May deadline for FIFA World Cup-bound nations to submit their preliminary 30-man tournament rosters draws ever closer. U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann stating that, “The door remains open till the very last day,” for U.S. players in leagues all over the world, so the pressure to put in eye-catching performances increases with each match.

While, MLS-based players are gearing up for the domestic season, players abroad find themselves beginning their club campaigns in Mexico or cutting through the meat of seasons across Europe. With games taking place all over the globe from Friday night to Monday afternoon, Klinsmann and his staff will fan out across Europe to take in a couple games in person.

On Saturday, some of the coaches will pay a visit to Nurnberg to watch defender Timmy Chandler lace up his boots for a go-round with visiting Bayern Munich. GolTV will air the match live at 9:30 a.m. ET in the United States.

A second group will set up shop at St. Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, England, to check out Geoff Cameron and visiting Stoke City battle the Saints. The match will be available live on NBC Sports Live Extra at 10 a.m. ET.

Fans who wish to do some scouting of their own can check out the following list of games that will be broadcast in the United States this weekend, featuring up to 13 U.S. MNT players who will be looking to impress as the competition for a World Cup roster spot continues to heat up:

U.S. Men’s National Team on TV (all times ET) :

ESPN Deportes
TIJUANA-MONTERREY (live) 10:30 p.m. (Liga MX)
Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, Herculez Gomez

NÜRNBERG-BAYERN MUNICH (live) 9:30 a.m. (Bundesliga)
Timmy Chandler

NBC Sports Live Extra
SOUTHAMPTON-STOKE CITY (live) 10 a.m. (Barclays Premier League)
Geoff Cameron

ASTON VILLA-WEST HAM (live) 10 a.m. (Barclays Premier League)
Brad Guzan

SUNDERLAND-HULL CITY (live) 10 a.m. (Barclays Premier League)
Jozy Altidore

USA Network
TOTTENHAM-EVERTON (live) 8:30 a.m. (Barclays Premier League)
Tim Howard

MANCHESTER UNITED-FULHAM (live) 11 a.m. (Barclays Premier League)
Clint Dempsey

ESPN Deportes
PUEBLA-CHIVAS (live) 1 p.m. (Liga MX)
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco

SCHALKE-HANNOVER (live) 11:30 p.m. (Bundesliga)
Steve Cherundolo


NANTES-LYON (delay) 12:30 p.m. (League1)
Alejandro Bedoya

USA Routs Guatemala in San Diego

  • USA’s All-Time Leading Scorer Becomes First MNT Player to Reach Half Century Mark with 55th-Minute Penalty Kick and 72nd-Minute Tally
  • Chris Wondolowski and Alejandro Bedoya Notch First International Goals, with Herculez Gomez and Clarence Goodson Adding to Rout
  • U.S. Opens Group C of Gold Cup Against Belize on July 9; Game Kicks off at 8 p.m. PT at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, with Live Broadcast on FOX Soccer

SAN DIEGO (July 5, 2013) – In his first international match in more than 10 months, Landon Donovan made the most of his return by scoring his 50th and 51st career international goals as the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated Guatemala 6-0 in an international friendly at Qualcomm Stadium. The game served as the team’s final tune-up before kicking off the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In addition to Donovan’s penalty kick tally in the 55th minute and his 72nd-minute volley finish, Chris Wondolowski and Alejandro Bedoya each notched their first international goals. Herculez Gomez, who scored the first goal of the match, and Clarence Goodson also contributed scores during the rout, which featured five goals in the second half.

It was the USA’s most lopsided win since an 8-0 victory against Barbados on June 15, 2008. The U.S. extended its unbeaten streak against Guatemala to 20 games (14-0-6) and is 14-4-6 all-time against Guatemala.

The U.S. begins Group C play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup against Belize on Tuesday, July 9, at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. PT, with a live broadcast on FOX Soccer. Fans can also follow the action on’s MatchTracker and through Twitter @ussoccer.

The U.S. has won five straight matches for the first time since 2011-12, when the Americans capped off 2011 with a 3-2 win against Slovenia on Nov. 15, and then won the first four matches of 2012. The last time the U.S. won five straight in a calendar year was a six-game winning streak in 2008, with every match taking place in 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.

Gomez gave the U.S. a well-deserved 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute as the USA capitalized on a major advantage in ball possession throughout the half. Jose Torres lofted the ball into the box towards Joe Corona, but his lunge just missed the cross, allowing the ball to skip to Gomez at the far post. He was all alone and hit a first-time blast from close range past Guatemala goalkeeper Ricardo Jerez Jr. It was the sixth career goal for Gomez and the first career assist for Torres.

The goals came in bunches for the U.S. in the second half with Donovan leading the surge. He drew a penalty kick about 10 minutes after the break after he was shoved to the ground by Guatemala’s Carlos Castrillo. Donovan took the penalty and drove it straight up the middle as Jerez dove to his right.

Wondolowski pushed the U.S. lead to 3-0 in the 71st minute with his first goal in 12 career appearances. Donovan set up the sequence with a dashing run that unbalanced Guatemala’s defense, and even though a Guatemalan defender got a touch to his slipped pass into the penalty area, Wondolowski found himself at the right place at the right time off the deflection, burying his right-footed shot into the right corner.

One minute later, Donovan notched his second tally and 51st of his career off of a perfect cross from Stuart Holden who had popped free down the right wing. Donovan got behind four Guatemalan defenders and smashed his volley into the left corner of the net.

Goodson gave the U.S. a 5-0 lead with his fourth international goal in the 84th minute. His initial shot after a deft collection under pressure inside the penalty area was blocked both by Jerez and Enrique Miranda near the goal line, but Goodson was first to the rebound near the right post and roofed his second opportunity from close range, albeit a tough angle, for the unassisted tally.

Bedoya capped off the scoring in the 88th minute after substitute Brek Shea had burst free down the left flank off a fantastic first-time pass from Stuart Holden. Shea hit a cross on the ground that evaded several Guatemala defenders and U.S. attackers and rolled to a trailing and unmarked Bedoya, who drove his shot just inside the right post past the charging Jerez.

Additional notes:

  • U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup included five players making their first appearances of 2013.
  • Landon Donovan earned his 145th career cap in his first action since the USA’s historic 1-0 victory against Mexico on Aug. 15, 2012, at Estadio Azteca.
  • Goalkeeper Nick Rimando made his first start of 2013. His previous appearance came on Jan. 25, 2012, when he and Sean Johnson split duties en route to a 1-0 victory against Panama in Panama City.
  • Rimando did not need to make a save en route to his second career shutout in his seventh career appearance.
  • Defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Michael Parkhurst and midfielder Jose Torres also made their first starts and appearances this year.
  • Onyewu earned his 67th career cap in his first match since his second-half substitution during the USA’s 3-1 win against Antigua & Barbuda on June 8, 2012.
  • Parkhurst, playing in his 16th career MNT game, saw the pitch for the first time since he started in the USA’s come-from-behind 3-1 victory against Guatemala on Oct. 16, 2012 at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
  • Torres appeared in his 21st game and first since the USA’s 1-0 victory against Jamaica on Sept. 11, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio.
  • DaMarcus Beasley wore the captain’s armband on Friday and will maintain the captain’s role heading into the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. This was the second time Beasley started a game as captain and the first since Oct. 15, 2008, against Trinidad & Tobago. Beasley has now appeared in 104 career matches, which ranks ninth on the all-time MNT list.
  • Joe Corona made his first start for the senior team and collected his fifth career cap.
  • Klinsmann made two substitutions to open the second half, bringing in Stuart Holden for Torres and Mix Diskerud for Kyle Beckerman. Holden made his 20th career appearance and third of 2013 while Diskerud made his first appearance of the year and the fourth overall in his young international career.
  • The USA moved to 6-2-2 this year and 5-1-1 in U.S.-hosted games in 2013.

-U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report-

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Guatemala
Date: July 5, 2013
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, Calif.
Kickoff: 8:23 p.m. PT
Attendance: 25,080
Weather: 67 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                         1 5 6
GUA                         0 0 0

USA – Herculez Gomez (Jose Torres) 42nd minute
USA – Landon Donovan (penalty) 55
USA – Chris Wondolowski 71
USA – Landon Donovan (Stuart Holden) 72
USA – Clarence Goodson 84
USA – Alejandro Bedoya 88

USA: 1-Nick Rimando; 15-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 21-Clarence Goodson, 7-DaMarcus Beasley (capt.); 14-Kyle Beckerman (8-Mix Diskerud, 46), 16-Jose Torres (11-Stuart Holden, 46); 10-Landon Donovan (17-Will Bruin, 73), 6-Joe Corona (20-Alejandro Bedoya, 59), 2-Edgar Castillo (23-Brek Shea, 59); 9-Herculez Gomez (19-Chris Wondolowski, 59)
Substitutions Not Used: 4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 12-Sean Johnson, 18-Jack McInerney
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

GUA: 1-Ricardo Jerez; 2-Carlos Castrillo, 3-Enoc Vasquez, 13-Victor Hernandez (14-Luis Cardona, 59), 5-Carlos Gallardo (6-Milton Leal, 78); 24-Jonathan Lopez (17-Enrique Miranda, 76), 8-Sergio Trujillo (9-Wilber Perez, 59), 16-Jonathan Marquez, 22-Edward Santeliz; 18-Minor Lopez Campollo (19-Angelo Padilla 85), 10-Jose Contreras (capt.) (7-Marlon Sequen, 86)
Substitutions Not Used: 11-Kevin Arriola, 12-Victor Ayala
Head coach: Victor Monzón

Stats Summary: USA / GUA
Shots: 12 / 5
Shots on Goal: 11 / 0
Saves: 0 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 1
Fouls: 12 / 13
Offside: 0 / 7

Misconduct Summary:

Referee: Valdin Legister (JAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Kedlee Powell (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Richard Washington (JAM)
Fourth Official: Paul Ward (CAN)

Budweiser Man of the Match: Landon Donovan

The Three Amigos

A Liga MX championship. A quarterfinal finish in Copa Libertadores. A spot in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League. This would be a fantastic feat for the most storied clubs in Mexico, and even more remarkable for the fledgling club just south of the border called Club Tijuana, or more commonly Xolos. It’s that achievement that brought Herculez Gomez to the club he now calls home.

It was a novelty idea with Tijuana when they got to the First Division. But then they just starting get after it in every sense,” said Gomez. “In two years, they’ve won a Liga MX title, made a deep run into the Copa Libertadores, and now they are in the CONCACAF Champions League. Their brief history at this level has been nothing short of remarkable. I have friends in this area and they tell me Xolos is absolutely running this region. They put their stamp on this area and to see what they’ve become is something special and even more so now that I am part of it.”

Gomez now makes one part of “The Three Amigos”, along with fellow U.S. internationals Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona. They are a part of a growing number of Mexican-Americans having an influence on this unique club, highlighting the special place Xolos holds for fans on both sides of the border.

“People love soccer in Tijuana very much, and they have a lot of pride in Xolos,” said Castillo. “In less than a year we won a Liga MX championship and we did good in the Copa Libertadores, so now our club has a good name in Mexico and it feels like we’re a big team.”

For Corona, who scored in the promotion playoff finals two years ago and played in the championship games against Toluca a year later, having the U.S. National Team players on the squad sends an important message.

“It’s cool that we have three players from the U.S. National Team now on one team. A lot of kids in the younger teams in the club can look up to us,” said Corona.  “Herc would ask me how it was in Tijuana and asked if he would fit into it. He already lived in San Diego when he was younger, and now having him over also gives Tijuana an identity. Now Mexican-Americans know this is a good place to get an opportunity.”

As Gomez sees it, Castillo and Corona are great role models for the Mexican-American kids to follow.

“When you talk about Edgar and Joe, they embody everything you’d want in a pro,” said Gomez. “They’re two very young and promising players and I love what they stand for. As a Chicano growing up, I didn’t have many players to look up to but know with players like Joe and Edgar there are players kids can look up to.”

The first of the trio to arrive at Club Tijuana, Corona still lives in San Diego and crosses the border for training and games. It made the transition for Castillo that much easier when he joined the team.

“I get along with Joe really well,” Castillo said.  “He’s my roommate at Xolos and I go to his house every week.  His mom makes great pupusas, and it’s always good to have a home-cooked meal.”

The bond between the two has been strong, and Corona believes the addition of Gomez to the squad will help their performance for both club and country.

“Edgar and Herculez are great players,” Corona said. “It’s been a great experience playing side-by-side with Edgar, and we know each other really well on and off the field. I am just looking forward to next season, and having Herc with us will allow us to get to know each other better so when we’re called into the National Team we already have that familiarity, chemistry and commitment.”

That chemistry and commitment was another huge factor in the decision for Gomez to make his way to the border.

“In Mexico, soccer is a business and many of the locker rooms down there are not tight knit or feel like a family,” Gomez said.  “The one thing Edgar and Joe told me was how awesome the locker room was and that was very important to me. I have only been there about a week but you can already tell how they get along, they’re friends and genuinely like one another. Everything has come together for them and it’s been awesome. To be honest, they were influential in me coming to Xolos.

Clearly it’s going to be a special for the trio Friday night when they get to represent the United States in front of both sets of their hometown fans.  Gomez began his career in San Diego, and he proud to see what his teammates have accomplished.

“If you look at Joe, he’s local boy doing good. He’s a hometown hero and he’s wearing it very well,” said Gomez. “To see what him and Edgar are doing in Liga MX and now breaking into the National Team, they are about to explode onto the scene, and for the people in this region it’s very exciting to see them up close and personal.”

Climbing Up The Competition Ladder

Since taking over as head coach for the U.S. Men’s National Team in the summer of 2011, Jurgen Klinsmann has preached the need for U.S. internationals to play at the highest level possible, against the toughest competition and in pressure situations.  Regional cup competitions certainly meet all that criteria, and in that regard this past season was a successful campaign for Americans after 11 players made their mark in some of the most prestigious cup competitions around the globe.

UEFA Champions League

JERMAINE JONES (Schalke): Jones played a crucial role for Schalke during its run in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League. The German-American played in all but one fixture, helping them win Group B and remain unbeaten through the group stages of the tournament. In the knockout round, Jones scored a crucial equalizing away goal in the first leg against Galatasaray. However, Schalke couldn’t capitalize on their home grounds and were eliminated  4-3 on aggregate.

MICHAEL PARKHURST (Nordsjaelland): Parkhurst started and played every minute of all six group games against Chelsea, Juventus and Shakhtar, and earned a spot on the Champions League Team of the Week from MatchDay 3 following a 1-1 draw against Juventus.

SACHA KLJESTAN (Anderlecht): Played in five of six group games for the Belgian Champions, competing against AC Milan, Malaga and Zenit St. Petersburg.

Europa League

CLINT DEMPSEY (Tottenham Hotspur): Appeared in all six group games as Spurs went unbeaten and finished second in Group J against Lazio, NK Maribor and Panathinaikos. He missed the third round against Olympique Lyon due to injury but returned for the quarterfinals against FC Basel. He scored two goals in the second leg away to Basel and sent the game to extra time with his 82nd minute equalizer;  however, Spurs ultimately fell in penalties.

CONCACAF Champions League  

HERCULEZ GOMEZ (Santos Laguna): Gomez played a crucial role for Santos as they reached the CONCACAF Champions League final before losing to rival side Monterrey 4-2. Herc torched his former league in the tournament, scoring all three of his goals against MLS clubs.

OMAR GONZALEZ (LA Galaxy): Gonzalez played a big role for the Galaxy defense as the reigning MLS Champions made it all the way to the semifinals, where they lost to eventual champions Monterrey. The Galaxy outscored their opposition 12-4 in the early stages of the tournament and Gonzalez anchored the backline and scored on a header in the dominant 4-1 victory in the quarterfinals against Costa Rican side Herediano.

EDDIE JOHNSON (Seattle Sounders): Johnson was a key factor in Seattle’s high octane offense in Champions League play this year. Johnson found the back of the net for a key goal in the Sounders historic 3-2 comeback win against Mexican side Tigres in the quarterfinals, and also scored in the tournament’s early going against Honduran side Marathón.

BRAD DAVIS, TALLY HALL (Houston Dynamo): Davis scored one of the most dramatic goals of the tournament with a last-second tally to give the Dynamo a 1-0 win in the first leg against Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna. Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall performed fantastically in that match, making three impressive saves to keep the clean sheet. The Dynamo duo couldn’t duplicate their home-field success on Mexican soil, however, and Santos eliminated Houston 3-1 on aggregate.

Copa Libertadores

EDGAR CASTILLO, JOE CORONA (Club Tijuana): The Mexican-American duo have helped lead Club Tijuana on a run through the Copa Libertadores and are currently in the quarterfinals after an upset win against Brazilian side Palmeiras in the Round of 16. Castillo and Corona started in both legs of the 2-1 aggregate victory, including the 1-0 win in Sao Paolo. Xolos came out flying in their first entrance in the tournament, winning its first three group games including a 1-0 win at Millonarios in Colombia. Tijuana will play top-seeded Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro in their quarterfinal fixture.

Q & A with Herculez Gomez

After the match, Gomez will prepare for his Liga MX schedule. Throw in a couple U.S. MNT friendly games at the end of May and beginning of June and cap it off with three 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and you officially have one busy schedule. Gomez, who scored Santos’ lone goal in the 1-0 victory in the first leg in Seattle, took time to speak with about playing against Seattle, scoring against MLS teams and preparing for the long summer of soccer ahead. What is your general mindset going into the game against Seattle on Tuesday, knowing that Santos is up 1-0 on aggregate?
Herculez Gomez: “I guess for us, we have to eliminate the first leg from our memory and just go in as if it’s a must-win game. It’s very plain and simple. We have to win. We win, we’re in. We have to factor in that away goals can harm us, that they’re a very good team, that they still have the ability to harm us and, like I said, we have to take care of business because we’re playing at home. We know how physical these types of games can be so we definitely want to put them on their heels and impose our football on them.” Are the Santos fans going to give the Sounders as much of a hard time as the Sounders fans gave you in Seattle?
HG: “The Sounder fans didn’t really give me a hard time in Seattle but I know our fans will give them a hard time here. Playing in this region isn’t the easiest thing in the world and I honestly don’t feel they feel this type of pressure week in and week out. I think it could definitely be an important factor for us.” So far, you have scored nine goals in all CONCACAF Champions League matches and all nine have been against Major League Soccer teams. Are you trying to keep that streak alive of scoring against MLS teams?
HG: “I’ve only played against MLS teams, really. It’s just the way it is. I want to do well every time that I’m on the field and it just so happens that I do enjoy these big moments in these CONCACAF games and MLS teams have done well to get into these big moments and for whatever reason it just happens to be that way. I don’t go in thinking it’s an MLS team and I have to go out and have to punish them or do anything like that. I’m just thinking that I have to do my job.

“I’ve never shied away from saying MLS made me the player I am today, but I’ve also never shied away from saying that I felt that maybe towards the end I didn’t get treated fairly. So any chance I do get, and especially because I do play in a different league and for most of the people in the States, this is going to be a chance for them to see me in my element with my club team. I do know that people back home are watching. I always want to show well for my family, I want to show well for my friends, I want to show well because I want a good representation of who I am and what I stand for. I think it’s always important, whether it be CONCACAF or National Team or club, that you try to put your best effort forth. It just so happens that I’ve been fortunate with these MLS teams. I don’t really have a rhyme or reason for it, it just happens to be that way.” How does playing in the CONCACAF Champions League help the National Team player pool, not just yourself, but National Team players playing for MLS teams?
HG: “Very rarely will you play in a hostile environment week in and week out, especially in MLS. So given that you now have to opportunity, playing in these different types of environments, with different types of fan bases, with climate changes, you’re already getting the preparation for what it’s like to be in those National Team qualifying phases. When you play in this region it could be snow like we did in Denver, to all of the sudden, altitude like we did in Mexico City and hostile crowds. These are teams you’re going to face, so I think it’s almost in a sense preparation for these National Team players that play in MLS.” Normally when you’re with that National Team, you’re more well-known as a forward. But these last couple games you started at midfielder. How was it to find yourself in that role?
HG: “I think my versatility has helped me over the years. I sort of embrace it now. It used to be something where I would kind of resist but I kind of embrace it now. I see it as a way to keep growing as a professional and keep learning more. And, quite honestly, I think they’ve put me in these roles because they think I can be effective for the team. The main objective is for us to win. It’s for us to qualify. If they feel like I can be a benefit, whether it be up top, as a No. 9, or on the wing on the left or right, I’m going to do what I do and just go out and try to play my best and my hardest to help the team.” Between World Cup Qualifying, CONCACAF Champions League and Liga MX, how do you manage to stay focused with so many tournaments and two different teams?
HG: “This is what I want. For so long I’ve been saying that I want to be much more than a bench player, much more than a super sub and I’m finally getting the opportunity for both club and country to really solidify myself in the starting 11 and really make those positions my own. So I know that I have to stay at my highest level both mentally and physically to stay in those moments and keep being a contributor for both club and country. Like I said, this is what I want, so I have to just keep doing it. I’m enjoying myself. It’s such a great ride. I’m on an incredible run with playing with the two teams and whatnot in the last two months, but I’ve been having fun. I think it’s all about staying in the moment.” Given where the team has put themselves after three games and an unusual circumstance of having three World Cup Qualifiers in a row in June, what is going to be the important part of getting ready for those three games as a team? How do you approach a summer like this?
HG: “I think you have to go one game at a time. You can’t go in thinking, ‘Oh my god, there are three in a row and we have to make the most of it.’ You have to prepare for one game at a time. Take care of the first, then you worry about the second. I think it’s the only way to approach these games. You have to give the respect that’s due to each and every single team you face because they’re not easy teams. It’s not an easy region, so we can’t look past anybody.” With the league ending in late May, essentially, you’ll be going straight from your season to that summer of games…
HG: “Yes. It’s been like that since last summer. I went straight from our championship run, we had our celebration, and then I met up with the team in Orlando and started physical testing and five games with the National Team and then literally had a 10-day break before preseason. It’s been non-stop. It will be the same thing if not worse as far as scheduling this year. But like I said, this is what I’ve always wanted. I always said I wanted to be a consistent player. When you find consistency, you’re going to find yourself with these types of problems, but they’re good problems to have.

“Not everybody gets to be in this privileged position that I’m in. Not everyone gets to say they’re doing league runs, and trying to make finals and win finals, same thing with CONCACAF Champions League and doing the same thing with World Cup qualifiers. These are the good problems to have. This is what I’ve always wanted. I’m doing it, I’m having a blast. My body has been great and mentally, I feel good. I just have to keep it going because I know not everybody gets to be that lucky and sooner rather than later, this is all going to be over.”

U.S. MNT vs. CRC: Quote Sheet - March 22, 2013

U.S. Soccer President SUNIL GULATI: 

On if he expected the weather:
“It’s been a perfect week in Denver until it started snowing two hours before kickoff. [It was] probably not like any other game we’ve witnessed, or certainly the U.S. team has played in since I’ve been involved. We are very pleased with the results.”  

On playing in the snowy conditions:
“We had 19,000 people; some were on their feet the whole game. So we understand if the match would have been suspended, it would not have played from the first minute. It would have been picked up from where the game was, that’s a recent change by FIFA, so the game would have then been replayed from whatever point. We’re worried about the safety of the players and being able to see the ball, and the referee and match commissioner made the decision that the game could continue and I think it was the right decision." 

On considering postponing the match before it started:
“No, because all week it’s been perfect, so we can always second guess ourselves, but we had a torrential rain storm against Mexico many years ago.  You think about it sure, but second guessing doesn’t do us any good. We played, got the game in, got three points, saw the crowd, and most of the crowd went home happy.”  

U.S. Men’s National Team Head Coach JURGEN KLINSMANN

On the result:
“I think the most important part is we have three points and it prepares us for Mexico. The second half was a battle; it was tough to create a good passing game. We wish the conditions would have stayed as they were at the beginning of the game. Overall, great character shown by all the players to fight and just gave everything they had. We want to thank the crowd for the amazing support. They suffered as much as we did.” 

On playing on the snow-covered pitch:
“You adjust to the conditions, meaning you try as much as you can to push the ball forward into the opponents half. You can’t pass through the channels, you can’t pass one and two touches to midfield; that’s not the game you can play anymore. We told them at halftime, be smart, don’t pass backline balls, don’t pass it inside, and go from there. It’s a simple adjustment to the rather severe conditions. It’s for both teams really difficult to play all the way through; we can’t even discuss whose disadvantage it is at the end of the day. We wanted to score a second goal. We would have loved to play through it, we would have loved to score even more goals, but you adjust and get it over with. A different climate or different environment, this is really the tough part of it for all the players, to within a few days adjust to different climates. “

On if he would have reconsidered playing the match:
“I would have done anything kind of possible not to stop. I mean you start it off, you score a first goal, you want to add another one, you don’t get the penalty that you clearly deserve to get, then you don’t want to stop it obviously. You want to keep that advantage and finish it off.  You want to see a second and a third goal, but under those conditions you can’t play through with it, it’s tough to do that.” 

On his plans to deal with the conditions:
“From a tactical side, from passing elements, you couldn’t play today. It was just simply impossible, but I think you know how they adjusted to it, what they made out of it, certain players were just admirable. You never know how players adjust to it until they are on the field, once the game starts. Costa Rica did really well to adjust to the snowy conditions. They gave us a really tough game.”

On plans for the next match against Mexico on March 26:
“Altitude is one of the main reasons being here. That’s a topic that if you talk to sports scientists, there is almost no ideal time frame. Some say 10-12 days you need at least to adjust to it. First of all we came to Denver because we knew we had a huge crowd behind us, which they proved it. The fans were awesome and pushed us the whole 90 minutes. We chose location for these five home games based on where we really feel like 100 percent support, with crowds with real home advantage. How much it helps us at the end of day to adjust to higher altitudes in Mexico City, we will see that on Tuesday night, but I think every day on talking to these so called experts helps you. Any altitude helps you.”  

U.S. goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN

On the crowd support at sold-out Dick’s Sporting Goods Park:
“The fans were fantastic. No one would have blamed them if they headed for the exits to get out of the weather, so the fact that they stayed to the end was absolutely phenomenal.” 

On how much the snow impacted visibility:
“You have to find a way to deal with it. Obviously it’s not ideal but you do the best you can, The guys in front of me did a good job of limiting their opportunities. The credit goes to them for sure.” 

On the negativity surrounding the team this week:
“Negativity from who? Whatever goes on the outside, you know inside of our team these group of guys have all the confidence in each other and belief that we can go out there and do our job. We have the support of the coaching staff. I thought today really showed that. The guys rolled up their sleeve, got after it and in difficult conditions where we got three points.” 

On how proud the team is of the result:
“It was important to keep a clean sheet. Not only for myself, but for the guys in front of me. I think they worked their butt off in terms of limiting their opportunities clearing balls, dealing with balls that are lumped forward, and second balls, all the little things that maybe they don’t get recognition for. That’s important that we are able to do that well.”

U.S. midfielder and team captain CLINT DEMPSEY

“All the credit goes to the boys. They fought hard tonight. It wasn’t the prettiest game but we grinded out a result and got a clean sheet. Now it’s about going off to the next game.”

On his performance in his first game as captain:
You just got to make sure your being smart out there, making sure your putting out a good shift and leading by example. Maybe when you lose the ball, you’re chasing down lost causes. It’s in the back of your head a little bit more to give a little bit of that extra effort.” 

On the play of Jermaine Jones:
“He’s always fighting hard in games. He’s giving everything that he has, and tonight he was big for us. He did a good job of breaking plays, winning possession and really being a force in midfield with Michael [Bradley].“  

On the goal:
“I just got the ball on a turn and played Jozy out wide, then he was able to set himself up to get a good shot off. There was a little bit of a lucky deflection, and I just happened to be following the play. If I would’ve missed that one, I would’ve been crying all night.” 

U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley

On the performance:
“In the past stretch, even going back to the last stage of qualifying, the things that our team always has to be about,  the fight, the commitment … we looked at each other and said this isn’t what it needs to be. As we move forward and the big games come, in order for us to be a team that competes at the highest level that has to be at it’s absolute highest whenever we step on the field. When you look in all those areas tonight, there is a lot to be proud of.”

On the crowds:
“We talk in football about what it means to have a home field advantage, and on behalf of the team we want to thank everyone tonight in Denver who comes out and supports our team and contributes to make it a great atmosphere and an environment where we feel like we’re being pushed on every second.” 

U.S. National Team forward Herculez Gomez

On the match:
“Good teams find ways to win games, and that’s what we did, we found a way today. We grinded out a result because it wasn’t very hard to see that conditions were pretty bad and it was pretty difficult to play actual soccer but we found a way.” 

On what the team can take from the game:
“Unity, I think, would be a big one. When the going got tough, we stuck together. We didn’t point fingers, we didn’t blame, we were intense with each other and we knew that it would take all of us to get the good out of this.” 

On if he’s played in these conditions before:
The closest I’ve gotten to that would be opening day in this actual stadium, but it wasn’t blizzard-like conditions. [With the Rapids] we had a few days where we would try it and it would get so bad we’d have to go indoors and do something else.” 

On DaMarcus Beasley’s play:
“Yeah, mi hermano! Man, it’s so easy to play with that guy. He’s such a good football player. At times it was very difficult for us to keep the ball because of these conditions, and I thought we did very well on that left side. Just having a player like that makes it so easy. He’s a consummate pro, he’s just going to give 100 for sure, and more. He’s a good player, and I don’t think there’s anyone on our team that won’t tell you that.” 

On keeping possession despite the conditions:
“We tried, we tried. Honestly, I think it could’ve a lot better for us on a good playing field, but I also think it threw a little screwball at Costa Rica. We’ll take it.”

A blazing hot goalscoring streak for Puebla in 2010 put Gomez back on the map for the U.S. National Team, ultimately leading to his participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup where he saw time in three of four matches. His timing and nose for the goal have been matched by his perseverance throughout his career in MLS and Mexico. Gomez became the first U.S. player to lead a league in scoring outside the United States, tallying 10 goals in 14 appearances in the 2010 Torneo Bicentenario in Mexico. A seven-year veteran of MLS, Gomez scored the winning goal for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. 

  • Made three appearances in South Africa, including a start in the 1-0 victory against Algeria while getting minutes against Slovenia and Ghana
  • Scored his first goal for the U.S. in the 4-2 loss to Czech Republic in the Send-Off Series, finishing the year with a career-high six games played
  • Earned his first cap for the U.S. during the 2007 Copa America, coming on as a sub against Argentina in the opening match
  • Made his first start for the U.S. in the team’s third group game in Venezuela, featuring in the starting 11 against Colombia
  • Moved to Pachuca after a stellar season for Puebla, becoming the first American to finish a top the goalscoring chart of a foreign league when his 10 goals tied him with two other players during the 2010 Torneo Bicentenario in Mexico
  • Had a breakout season for the Galaxy in 2005, scoring 18 goals in all competitions including the game-winner in the 2005 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final
2010: Made a career-high six appearances … Started in the USA’s 1-0 victory against Algeria on June 23 that put them through to the knockout phase of the World Cup …Entered in the 80th minute of the 2-2 draw against Slovenia on June 18, drawing the foul that set up the potentially game-winning goal by Mo Edu that was nullified by a foul inexplicably called against the U.S. … Played the 30-minute extra time period against Ghana in the Round of 16 loss … Scored his first career international goal in the 4-2 loss to Czech Republic on May 25 in the Send-Off Series … Tallied the USA’s third goal in the 3-1 win on June 5 against Australia … Got 23 minutes against Brazil on Aug. 10 in New Jersey … 2007: Named to the 2007 Copa America roster, he made his debut for the U.S. on June 28 against Argentina … Started the third group game on July 5 against Colombia …  First Appearance: June 28, 2007, vs. Argentina … First Goal: May 25, 2010, vs. Czech Republic.
2010: Moved to Pachuca in the summer after a successful spring campaign with Puebla … Used exclusively as a reserve in the Torneo Apertura, he made 12 appearances in league play … Scored his lone goal in 3-1 win on Sept. 25 against Tecos … Played in both of Pachuca’s matches in the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, including a start in the 2-2 draw on Dec. 18 against Al Wahda … Scored 10 goals in 14 games with Puebla in the Torneo Bicentenario, earning him a share of the top spot in the Mexican Primera División and becoming the first U.S. player to finish first in league scoring outside the United States … Proving to be a super sub, he made only six starts … Went a tear of tallying eight goals in 10 matches, including a stretch of five consecutive games from Feb. 17 to March 14 … Six of his goals either tied or won games … Notched a pair in 4-1 victory on April 18 against Cruz Azul … 2009: Appeared in 26 games, recording three assists on the season … First point of the year came on assist against San Jose Earthquakes in 2-0 win on April 5 … Converted game-winning penalty in U.S. Open Cup third round match against Minnesota Thunder to advance Kansas City to the quarterfinals … 2008: Debuted on Sept. 7 for Kansas City at Houston as second half replacement for Josh Wolff in 70th minute … Scored first goal of Kansas City career in dramatic fashion on Oct. 18 in stoppage time against the San Jose Earthquakes … Sent off in 75th minute of Eastern Conference semifinals and missed second leg while serving one-game suspension … 2007: Traded to Colorado Rapids as part of a package for goalkeeper Joe Cannon … Scored the first ever goal at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 7 against D.C. United … Finished with four goals and two assists in 20 games … 2006: Scored five goals and tallied three assists in 30 games for Los Angeles … 2005: Voted as Los Angeles Galaxy’s Team MVP after scoring 18 goals in all competitions ... A key factor in Galaxy capturing the Double as MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup champions … 2004: Spent time with the San Diego Sockers and San Diego Gauchos … 2003: Appeared in one game after signing with Los Angeles Galaxy as a developmental player … 2002: Scored 17 goals in 17 games for the San Diego Gauchos … Scored a goal and was sent off against the Minnesota Thunder on June 26 in the U.S. Open Cup.

Born in Los Angeles to Mexican-American parents, he speaks fluent Spanish … Oldest of five children … His favorite book is Yo Soy El Diego, the autobiography of Diego Maradona … Lists Cobi Jones as his favorite U.S. player all-time.