- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On April 21, 2010
- 1 Comments
- Bob Bradley, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez
In American soccer right now there aren’t any other guys that are hotter on the scene than Edson Buddle or Herculez Gomez. One is lighting things up in Major League Soccer, the other in the Mexican first division. In a year where the US Men’s National team is in need of a couple strong strikers for the World Cup due to a long list of injuries or lack of scoring Buddle and Gomez may be the best bet for a South Africa spot.
Question is which should Bob Bradley really consider here? Just Buddle? Gomez? Or both?
The lingering issue here isn’t how their are playing right now but it’s their history on an international level. Neither have spent a lot of time with the USMNT, Buddle has only been called up once and Gomez has played with his name on a US jersey only twice. Their streaky nature caused that, probably along with other factors.
Neither have really enjoyed where they’re playing until right now. Its obvious you put the right guy in the right system and things will pay off. For Gomez it is with Puebla in Mexico and for Buddle it’s this current group with the Galaxy.
Both bounced around MLS a lot in their short careers. Buddle saw some success early on with Columbus before he got sent off to New York, then Toronto and then finally in LA. He’s seen success in LA when he is healthy but he’s also see disappointment there to, just look at last season and you’ll know why.
Gomez isn’t far off from Buddle in going around the MLS circles, he started off in LA, then got shipped to San Diego and Seattle for a couple loan spells, then he got traded to Colorado and then finally to Kansas City. His final two stops in the league weren’t great as he gradually lost playing time, but in all honesty I see this more as a coaching issue rather than a player issue. He had to deal with Fernando Clavijo in Colorado and Curt Onalfo in Kansas City. Neither are great MLS coaches by any stretches.
So what should happen to both come next month? We know Bradley is expected to call in a few more guys than normal to camp to try to sort things out. It would be shocking if both somehow failed to get calls from Bradley to this camp. They’ve both booked their tickets to at least the camp, if not even to South Africa.
Both are highly motivated right now and are loaded with confidence. Two factors not many strikers possess right now on our national side. While last year’s MLS bunch of Jeff Cunningham, Robbie Findley and Conor Casey are all struggling to find their form again, its Buddle and Gomez who are finding the back of the net like never before.
I look at Gomez in particular here and see a guy that is lighting up one of the world’s better leagues. Mexico isn’t Australia or anything here, but I’d be willing to say it’s as tough of a place to produce well in as some leagues in Europe.
If I’m Bradley I’d welcome the fact that I’d have to deal with this situation of two guys playing so well right now. Its better to have this situation than to figure out if he needs to pull an attacking midfielder into a striker role to make up for the injuries and issues that have gone on over the past few months.
So who do you have going here? One, both, or neither?