Toronto FC is going all in.
On Friday, the club announced the signing of former USA international forward Herculez Gomez after acquiring his rights from Sporting Kansas City. In a move that has shocked the North American soccer scene, Toronto sent allocation money the other way in a deal that has come out of the blue.
Gomez returns to Major League Soccer after spending the last six seasons in Mexico with Puebla, Pachuca, Tecos, Santos Laguna, Tijuana and UANL, racking up 37 goals in Liga MX.
The 33-year-old began his MLS career with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002 before going on to have stint with the Colorado Rapids. Before leaving for Mexico, Gomez appeared in 34 games for Kansas City, scoring a lone goal.
A World Cup veteran in 2010 with the Stars and Stripes, Gomez has six goals in 24 career appearances the national team.
This wasn’t the only move Toronto made Friday as they continue to identify who their strongest players are in hopes of making a push in the Eastern Conference and clinching their first playoff berth in franchise history. The team sent defender and midfielder Warren Creavalle to the Philadelphia Union in exchange for a second-round draft pick. Creavalle’s departure also clears up cap space.
Gomez joins an already powerful TFC attack with loads of firepower at the disposal of head coach Greg Vanney. With forwards Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco already occupying the starting roles, Gomez will join Luke Moore on the bench as the reserve forwards if the team ever needs a goal or any injuries occur.
“Adding a player with Herculez Gomez’ experience and ability was very important at the deadline. He is a proven winner having won both the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup with LA Galaxy. He has also won domestic titles and played in the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League while playing in Mexico,” TFC GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a news release.
“He is an accomplished goal scorer and we will benefit from having someone of his pedigree join Toronto FC.”
Gomez’s experience in big games should play dividends down the stretch as the Reds hope to hold down their playoff spot in the remaining couple months of the season.
Toronto FC plays host to Sporting Kansas City Saturday afternoon at BMO Field.