Herculez Gomez, shown being lifted into the air by Seattle Sounders fans during the 2016 MLS Cup Champions March and Rally in December, retired from professional football on January 17, 2017. (Photo: Jane Gershovich)
SEATTLE, Washington – Former United States international Herculez Gomez announced Tuesday his retirement from professional football after a 15-year career with clubs throughout North America.
The 34-year-old forward spent the 2016 season with the Seattle Sounders, helping the club to its first-ever MLS Cup championship, playing in 23 regular- and post-season games.
“I’m so grateful for the years that this game has given me, and I’d like to say thanks to every coach, teammate and fan that has helped me along the way,” said Gomez.
His MLS career began in 2003 with the LA Galaxy, where he made 53 appearances over three seasons, including a 2005 campaign in which he scored 11 goals in 22 games, capturing MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup crowns. It was during his time with the Galaxy when he was loaned to the Seattle Sounders of the USL in 2003 (17 games/1 goal).
Gomez played three more seasons in MLS with the Colorado Rapids and Kansas City Wizards, before signing with Mexican club Puebla in January of 2010, where he scored 10 goals and became the first American to lead a foreign league in scoring.
He spent five years in Mexico – scoring 37 goals in 142 appearances – including a two-year stint with Santos, where he recorded eight strikes in 33 appearances from 2012-13 season. Gomez returned to MLS in 2015 when he signed with Toronto FC, making eight appearances last season with one score.
The Las Vegas-native has 24 career appearances and six goals for the United States. He played in the 2007 Copa America (2/0), the 2010 FIFA World Cup (3/0) and the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup (2/0).
Gomez is one of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League’s all-time top scorers, netting 12 goals in 20 matches with Santos (9) and Club Tijuana (3). He also played in two games at the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup with Pachuca.
Other clubs Gomez played for include Colorado Rapids, Kansas City Wizards, Estudiantes Tecos and Tigres.