Looking for depth for its back line, the Riverhounds today announced they have received defender Shannon Gomez on loan from New York City FC of MLS.
Gomez, who recently became a permanent acquisition of NYCFC after originally signing on loan in 2016, is expected to compete for the Hounds for the remainder of the 2017 campaign, including Tuesday’s July 4 match at home against Charlotte Independence.
The 20-year old intriguing NYCFC prospect who has two career caps with Trinidad and Tobago’s national team, will be an option for the Hounds at right back or on the wing.
Head coach Dave Brandt said he expects Gomez to bring much needed depth and talent to a depleted Hounds back four, which has suffered a variety of injuries, including losing right back Rich Balchan in April to a season-ending Achilles injury.
“This was an opportunity for us to acquire a really sharp, quick, experienced young player from a top organization like New York City FC,” Brandt said. “We’ve obviously dealt with some injuries in the back and having a young, talented player like Shannon, who can play right back, will help us moving forward this season.”
Since Balchan’s injury, the Hounds have rotated a number of players at the right back spot, including fill-in veterans Jack Thompson and Mike Green and youngsters, Ben Fitzgerald and Ritchie Duffie.
Prior to joining NYCFC, Gomez, played at W Connection of the Trinidad and Tobago League, where he began his professional career in 2014. He played every minute of the club’s four-game run in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League appearance, including a 2-1 victory over Costa Rican side Saprissa.
Gomez was initially added by NYCFC as a Discovery Signing on loan in 2016, before officially signing a permanent contract this past offseason. He has yet to make his first team debut for NYCFC, dressing once in 2016 as a bench player for a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire on April 11.
MLS has entered into a 2017 Standard USL Loan Agreement for Gomez. This agreement contains a right of recall for MLS, which enables Gomez to play for a USL club and an MLS club throughout the duration of the loan period (through the end of 2017), subject to roster rules and compliance.
A native of Chaguanas, Trinidad & Tobago, Gomez also has extensive experience in international competition, beginning in the T&T youth ranks in 2012. The defender’s most notable playing time with The Soca Warriors came in 2015, as he made two appearances for the national team and played in all five games at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championships.
Despite this announcement, the Hounds continue to hold off on announcing who will be filling in for goalkeeper Keasel Broome, who will miss Tuesday’s match as he’s with his international side, Barbados, at a tournament in Grenada. This leaves the Hounds with one hobbled goalkeeper currently on their roster, Trey Mitchell, who has started 12 of the Hounds 15 games this season. Mitchell was sidelined with a shoulder separation prior to the team’s 2-0 win last Thursday against Tampa Bay, but has said he’s expecting to return on Tuesday as he’s been doing some light training this week.