MEGHAN BRENNAN - Thursday, June 17, 2010
US Men's striker Herculez Gomez doesn't boast with the ego of a Greek-god, but brings to the World Cup strong, goal-scoring talent to match his first name.
"I'm in a World Cup right now, I'm extremely lucky to be where I am, and I know it," Gomez told YA during a press conference in South Africa, Wednesday.
'Lucky,' is an interesting choice of words for a player like Gomez with a nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic. A work ethic that played a large role in securing him a deal with Puebla FC of Mexico's top division, after his contract with the Kansas City Wizards expired last year.
"You know what it [the World Cup] is like, it's crazy! Especially compared to where I was six months ago," Gomez explained with kid-like enthusiasm. He continued, "It's been an amazing trip, it's been an amazing journey, it really has been nothing short of a miracle."
Prior to making the World Cup squad, Gomez made miracles happen during the 2010 Primera Division season, as he became the first American to lead a foreign league in goals scored .
And on Bob Bradley's roster he has continued his miracle working, with goals scored in both World Cup friendly victories over the Czech Republic and Australia. He awaits his chance to score on the world stage, as he didn't see any playing time in the opening-round tie with England.
"It would have been nice to get in, but I'm sure my time will come. I'm definitely working very hard in training sessions and I think it's showing, and I think I'll have my chance," said the Las Vegas native.
Gomez believes that if, or when his chance comes, it is likely the US will be trailing by a goal.
"They [the coaches] aren't going to throw me in there if we are up 6-0," Gomez said with a smile. "I have to be prepared. Sit there, be patient and be prepared."
And although the Mexican-American's national team career is in its infancy, with just two caps from the 2007 Copa America Cup, he is prepared to show South Africa the top tier player he has become.
"I'm not going to be the flashiest player, I'm not going to be the best, but I know who I am and that benefits me," said Gomez simply.
He knows, the United States knows and Mexico knows, now Gomez hopes the world will soon know what a strong player Herculez really is.