Soccer in the entire CONCACAF region will suffer if Mexico misses out on 2014 World Cup qualifying, said U.S. team forward Herculez Gomez, who plays for the Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles in the Mexican league.
"It’s tough. I don't think it is in anyone’s best interests that Mexico is in this spot," Gomez told ESPN Deportes. "As a player you want to be able to say that you play in the toughest league in the CONCACAF region and on one of the strongest national teams as well."
Gomez scored three goals in his return for the Xolos on Sept. 26 in the CONCACAF champions league vs. Honduras’ Club Deportivo Victoria after having missed the preseason and most of the Apertura 2013 tournament due to a knee injury.
Gomez, 31, said he has regular communication with U.S. team coach Jurgen Klinsmann and said he was not picked for the U.S. team’s final two CONCACAF qualifying matches vs. Jamaica and Panama because he is not at the level of his U.S. teammates.
"I am doing everything possible and doing extra work because I have fallen behind the others, I can help the team but I have to work hard," Gomez said.
Despite playing for the United States, Gomez said he understands the impact Mexico’s failure to qualify might have on soccer in that country and the repercussions for everyone in the league.
"If Mexico doesn't make it (to the World Cup) it will be a failure and all of us at the club level will suffer," Gomez said. "The big losers here would be the clubs."