[AMERICANS ABROAD] U.S. striker Herculez Gomez has left Santos Laguna for Tijuana Xolos, the Mexican Apertura 2012 league champion and 2013 Copa Libertadores quarterfinalist famous for its contingent of U.S. players.
The 31-year-old Gomez, who started for the USA in its last two World Cup qualifiers, will be joining his fifth Mexican club since leaving MLS for the Mexican league in 2010.
In his first season in Mexico, Gomez scored 10 goals in 15 games for Puebla, sharing the scoring title with Chivas Guadalajara’s Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Johan Fano. It was the first time an American won a foreign league scoring crown and led to Gomez’s appearance for the USA at the 2010 World Cup, after which he joined Pachuca.
Gomez then played for Estudiantes Tecos (7 goals in 16 games) before moving to his current club, Santos Laguna. With Santos, Gomez scored 13 league goals, nine Concacaf Champions League goals, and celebrated the Clausura 2012 title.
At Tijuana, Gomez, a Nevada product, joins Americans Edgar Castillo (New Mexico), Joe Corona (California) and Greg Garza (Texas), who helped the Xolos win the Mexican title 18 months after being promoted from the second division.
San Diego-born Bruno Piceno, 21, saw first-team action for the Xolos in league and Libertadores play last season while fellow Southern Californian Alejandro Guido (19) – a former U.S. U-17 national team player – made his first-team debut in the Mexican Cup.