33-year-old Gomez had spent the last six seasons in Mexico, remembered by most TFC fans for his time with Santos Laguna. While at Santos, Gomez played a significant role in defeating Toronto FC in the 2012 CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Final, converting three goals over the at times impassioned two-leg series to eliminate the Reds.
Prior to his time in Mexico, Gomez played for several MLS sides, making his debut in 2002. Gomez won the MLS Cup with the Los Angeles Galaxy and also contributed to domestic title runs in Liga MX.
In Herculez Gomez's prime, the attacker played a significant role for the US men's national team, finding the back of the net 6 times in 24 caps for his national side. Gomez also participated in the 2010 World Cup.
In order to sign Gomez, Toronto FC had to acquire his rights from Sporting Kansas City. Toronto sent an undisclosed sum of allocation funds to SKC in order to make the purchase.
While Herculez Gomez has scored 37 goals over his time in Mexico, his output has seemed to slow in recent years. Gomez only scored two goals in league play over the last two seasons (although he added 5 in cup matches), leading many to assert that his best years are behind him. Whether or not he will be effective for the Reds remains to be seen, and until his salary is disclosed it will ultimately be difficult to gauge the success of this acquisition.
With many anticipating the addition of a defender by Toronto FC, this move has led to mostly puzzled reactions among supporters and pundits alike. Will Gomez and Altidore both start when healthy, moving Giovinco back to more of a ‘true' #10 role? Is Toronto FC hoping to score 4 or more goals every game, defence be damned? Was this a last minute scramble when their efforts to sign a defender proved futile?
At the end of the day, Toronto FC have gone out and picked up a striker who has proven that he can finish when given the opportunity. At the very least, the club has now added a definite upgrade over Robbie Findley, and arguably a more effective forward than Luke Moore.
Most TFC fans, puzzled as they may be, are excited to see what Gomez has left in the tank, how Vanney is planning to deploy him, and just how effective the former TFC killer can be for the Reds.