Of all the offseason departures from Toronto FC, Herculez Gomez was perhaps the most puzzling. The 33-year-old forward had just signed with the team in the summer. While he had not played much for the club, only 223 minutes in total, Gomez had shown well in his limited time on the field.
He even scored the goal that put Toronto FC in the playoffs. Yes, Sebastian Giovinco's incredible effort will be remembered as the moment a dream was realized, but all Toronto needed from that match was a point to make the postseason. Herculez Gomez scored the first goal of that match, his only with Toronto FC.
All of this made it surprising when Toronto announced prior to the 2016 season that they had parted ways with the veteran forward. Having found a new club with the Seattle Sounders, Gomez has made it clear that he didn't think the way Toronto treated him was fair.
"The situation with Toronto was difficult," Gomez told Seattle media today. "It put me in a situation that was unfair. I think they're great people but poor management from the front office put me in a very hard spot."
It was originally thought that Toronto FC were moving on from Gomez for salary cap reasons, however that does not appear to be true. Seattle's signing of Gomez reportedly only gives Toronto minimal cap relief, and the club will still be paying a chunk of the striker's salary.
Instead, it is likely that Gomez was moved in order to open up a roster spot for Mo Babouli. Gomez's departure has left a hole in Toronto's attack, however, and since they have been looked for a replacement number 9.
Nine is also the number that Gomez will wear for the Sounders in his second go round with the club. He went on loan to Seattle in 2004 while a member of LA Galaxy, scoring 1 goal in 17 games. He had been on loan with the team for a week prior to signing a deal. The terms of the agreement were not released.