Americans Abroad: Beasley, Gomez enjoy resurgent season in Mexico
The renaissance months for DaMarcus Beasley and Herculez Gomez have come to an abrupt halt.
Both in-form players had their clubs fall short of qualifying for the Mexican Apertura Liguilla -- the country's eight-team playoff tournament -- meaning that for the next two months the pair of resurgent 29-year-old Americans will be out of commission.
For Beasley, he at least has the upcoming U.S. national team matches against France and Slovenia to look forward to before figuring out his immediate plans. Gomez, meanwhile, was passed over again by Jurgen Klinsmann despite his recent run of goal-scoring form and will have to find other ways to stay sharp until the first weekend in January when the Torneo Clausura begins.
Despite their clubs not making it to the playoffs, Beasley and Gomez both had their respective summer transfer moves pay off from a personal standpoint. Beasley took a risk by uprooting his club career and moving to Mexico, but after months and months of stagnation and toiling away on the bench in Europe, he got the playing time and rhythm necessary at Puebla to recapture his form as a dangerous, speedy wing threat. Gomez came to life as both a reserve and starter at Estudiantes Tecos and finished the Apertura season with seven goals, four behind Toluca's Golden Boot winner Ivan Alonso.
While Beasley and Gomez were the top American performers out of the contingent competing in Mexico's top flight, the only ones to have their clubs reach the Apertura playoffs were Jose Francisco Torres' Pachuca, Jonathan Bornstein's Tigres UANL and Adrian Ruelas' Jaguares; however, Torres is out injured, and neither Bornstein nor Ruelas has featured all season and don't figure to play any role in the postseason.
Joining Beasley and Gomez on the outside of the playoff picture are Tijuana's Joe Corona, San Luis' Michael Orozco Fiscal, America's Edgar Castillo and Atlante's Sonny Guadarrama, who secured his first start and first goal in his club's season finale.
Corona didn't have much time to sulk about Tijuana's disappointment, as he headed off to the combined U.S. Under-23/Under-20 training camp that's currently being held in Germany for his first occasion in a U.S. kit. Orozco Fiscal also received a consolation prize after his team's elimination, as he will join Beasley for the senior national team's two November friendlies. Despite standing out mostly for the wrong reasons in his past U.S. showings during the Klinsmann era and having other candidates chomping at the bit, the center back earned a repeat call-up to try and prove his international worth yet again.
Aside from those finishing up their seasons in Mexico, here is how all of the Americans playing abroad -- highlighted by the goal-scoring Jozy Altidore and the ageless Brad Friedel -- fared over the past week (season statistics encompass all competitions):