Had the opportunity to catch up with our boy Herculez Gomez and hit him up with 10 quick fire questions…. Can you imagine following your heart and dreams and within 12 months have a Balon de Oro, World Cup appearance, big money move and the opportunity to play in the FIFA Club World Cup? He did… And he is.
Hit the Jump for 10 Questions with Herculez Gomez…….
A lot of changes over the course of the last 12 months… You had a chance to wrap your head around it yet?
It has been a crazy 12 months, a whirlwind of emotions for sure. It is still happening so fast! To think that in less than a year you can go from being out of a job MLSer to playing in a World Cup is all still surreal. It still takes time to sink in. I am very blessed to have had this type of opportunity come around, many aren’t as lucky and I am fully aware of it.
From a cultural standpoint, what’s been the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make since the move to Mexico?
It wouldn’t exactly be a culture standpoint, I have grown up with this culture.. I guess it would have to be getting used to people knowing who I am. I have never been a public figure, I mean in soccer circles people might be able to tell you who I am, but all of a sudden everyone knows everything about you. This country is crazy for futbol!
Can only imagine some of the stick you get in the locker room for repping the US.. Does it start to change at all with the success of US players playing in multiple countries?
Haha! You get stick in locker rooms regardless of what country you are from. But I do agree with you that the perspective of many all around the soccer world has changed, and for the better.
Fantastic Bicentenario for you personally, did you ever think you’d hit that type of form so early in your move?
To find my form early was key, when you are confident, especially as a striker it makes life easier. I was hoping to make a splash, but never imagined things would end up this way.
Not to throw anyone under the bus, but when you stepped up to receive your Balon de Oro alongside Chicharito and Johan Fano, there had to be some personal satisfaction considering the risk you took…
Risk? No risk. I would be a better player for it in the long run regardless. But there was plenty of satisfaction when I received that award… though it wasn’t personal satisfaction. There have been many people who have helped me, family and loved ones who have stuck with me through the ups and the downs, more than anything I was thinking about them.
World Cup 2010… How much of a whirlwind of emotions were there from the opening of camp, being named to the final roster to experiencing World Cup football?
It is very difficult to put into words.It has been something I have always dreamed of. I have never been the most talented player at any level, but I have never lacked work ethic either. To have my name called as one of the final 23, to have all that work pay off and know that I would fulfill a dream, it was something very special.
Pachuca… Can’t get much bigger than that in Mexico. Two Americans in Marco Vidal and Jose Francisco Torres must have made the transition just a bit easier..
Pachuca is a huge club in Mexico, they have literally won it all. Having those two guys here have made things much easier, its always good to have people you can relate to. We grew up in the same way. Plus those guys are a riot to be around, never a dull moment.
What’s the biggest difference between life at Pachuca compared to Puebla?
At a club level there are many differences, its night and day. Puebla is a smaller club in mexico, they don’t have many of the luxuries that other clubs count on. Where as Pachuca is a huge club and have some of the best facilities on Earth. I would also say expectations are always higher when you are on a bigger team.
What are some of the must see spots if we were to have a few days to hang out down there?
If you are ever in Pachuca you have to come check out the teams facilities, world calss! (www.tuzos.com.mx) You can take a tour of the old coal mines, Eat some Pastes at Kikos, or if you like seafood El Mochiteco.. or you can always come hang out with your boy! (My house is the hotspot for Billiards) I would also recommend a drive out to Puebla (45 minutes) or Mexico City (1 hour) and checkout all they have to offer.
2010 FIFA Club World Cup in December over at the United Arab Emirates… That’s some serious stuff right there. Internacional from Brazil (Copa Libertadores winners) and Inter Milan (Champions League winners)?
Can you believe it? First a World Cup and now a Club World Cup! Wowzers! What a wonderful opportunity to gain more experience vs some of the worlds best players. I cant wait to be part of it!