After retaining the rights to former United States international Herculez Gomez for nearly six seasons, Sporting Kansas City no longer has claim to the 33-year-old forward as they traded his rights to Toronto FC in exchange for allocation money.
Sporting Kansas City held the right of first refusal, which meant that if Gomez wanted to return to Major League Soccer, Sporting KC would have the first chance to put him on their roster. This is a result of them making him an offer following the 2009 season and him declining, moving to Liga MX.
He has been open about his displeasure with the MLS rules regarding rights of first refusal and about his tenure in Kansas City, tweeting directly at MLS commissioner Don Garber about Kansas City holding his rights and also expressing his frustration with the way he was treated by Peter Vermes and then the Kansas City Wizards following his signing with Puebla in 2010.
Toronto FC announced the official signing of Gomez about an hour after the news of his rights being traded came out.
Gomez bounced around Liga MX for the past few years with Puebla, Santos Laguna and a three-season tenure with Tijuana. During that time, he reemerged as a contender for the United States national team, playing in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage before being replaced in the knockout stages.
He was traded to Kansas City in 2008 after playing with the Colorado Rapids for two seasons. He played with the Galaxy from 2002-2006, although he went on loan for his first two seasons.
Gomez joins Toronto FC the day before the Reds are poised to host Sporting Kansas City. That match is at 3 p.m. tomorrow and, although it is unlikely Gomez will see minutes, it's interesting the first match his new club plays is against the one he left with a bad taste in his mouth.