KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Herculez Gomez joined Club Tijuana on Tuesday and his United States teammate Edgar Castillo is thrilled to see another U.S. international at the Mexican club.
"I'm excited and he was excited, too," Castillo told Goal. "It's good for us, we needed a striker. We just let go of [Duvier] Riascos so that's good that Herc is coming to our team."
Gomez's arrival continues a growing trend of Mexican-Americans signing with Tijuana as he joins Castillo, Joe Corona and Greg Garza at the club. There are also a few American players in the Xolos' youth system.
Castillo admits that he had a part in the decision to sign Gomez, revealing that he wanted his national team teammate with the club last year.
"We talked to the owners at Tijuana, they wanted to bring him into the club last season and they couldn't do it," Castillo stated. "But this season, he's going to be on our team and that's good to have four Americans on our team."
Tijuana continues to draw attention as it has embraced its identity as a Liga MX team that wants to draw in fans from America, particularly from neighboring U.S. town San Diego. According to Castillo, the Xolos want to become a destination for Americans in that area.
"I think it's because we're close to border, close to San Diego," Castillo explained. "There are a lot of good players who are Mexican-Americans and that's why our director is bringing all of these Americans to the team."
But the club isn't just stopping at Mexican-Americans as Tijuana is also linked with U.S. international DeMarcus Beasley. Castillo hasn't heard anything recently since joining the national team camp on May 26 but acknowledged that the U.S. winger/fullback is a target.
"Still waiting to hear on that but he came up for the draft," Castillo said. "Hey, more Americans in Tijuana is good."
While Castillo is looking to bring Americans to Tijuana, he says Corona has potential for the U.S. national team. Despite being called up to most of the U.S. camps by Jurgen Klinsmann, Corona has only featured in three caps for the national team. Corona has 10 goals in 93 appearances for Tijuana.
"For us at Xolos, he's a very good player at the midfield," Castillo said. "He is a playmaker who can score goals."
He added: "He's been called up a lot and that's good for him even if he's 23 and not playing. He just has to wait for his time.
While Corona hasn't seen a lot of playing time, Castillo believes that the attacking midfielder isn't taking any call-ups for granted.
"Might get a little comfortable because he's been in all of the camps but hasn't played," Castillo said. "But I don't think that, I think he's worked hard and does well but we have a good team and good players. So we'll have to see."
Corona is on the preliminary roster for the U.S. team participating in this summer's Gold Cup.
Castillo is hoping to see some time at left back after a collarbone injury forced him out of a chance to start when Fabian Johnson was also out. Out of desperation, Klinsmann turned to Beasley to play at left back and the experiment has been mostly successful. Castillo acknowledged that he might have fallen behind Beasley as Johnson's backup but is ready to go if Klinsmann wants to start him on Friday against Jamaica.
"If I get some playing time, I'll be happy but Beasley's been doing a good job. So I just have to wait for my time and do my thing," Castillo stated.
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