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Gomez Staying Put
December 27, 2009, 12:05 PM
Filed under: Emmanuel Gomez, MLS, Toronto FC

Toronto defender Emma Gomez has reflected on his first season as a professional with the Major League Soccer side in an exclusive interview with Gambia Sports Online.

The former Samger defender who moved to the Canada based outfit with fellow Gambian teenager Amadou Sanyang of Real de Banjul said Toronto FC was a good experience for him and is already looking forward to next season.

“For Toronto, it was a very good experience for me. It was difficult for me to get into the team at the beginning but then I was able to manage a consistent run in the team ads the season enfolds.

“I was given my debut for only three minutes before I go my chance later in the season. Amadou Sanyang is just like a brother to me not only a teammate because we helped each other a lot.

“I am not thinking of another club for now because I am just starting and I believed that there are Gambians who are still in the country who can play better than me and I believed they will do well in the MLS.

Source: Click Here

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Gomez chasing a soccer dream
March 20, 2009, 7:17 AM
Filed under: Emmanuel Gomez, Toronto FC

Dressed in its plastic winter bubble, Toronto’s BMO Field practice facility echoes with players’ voices; At midfield, coach John Carver stands with his arms crossed, legs splayed and, when a player falls clutching a shin and writhing in pain, yells: “Play On! Get up. You’ve got to be (bleep, bleep) tough!”

At the other end of the pitch, Emmanuel Gomez watches. And learns. Welcome to the pros, kid. No prisoners taken here.

He smiles. The 18-year-old from Gambia is chasing a dream — and half the battle has been just getting here.

“I’m the happiest man on earth. It has always been my dream to play well enough to join a big club. For me, Toronto FC is a big step up,” Gomez said after just his second day of practice with the Major League Soccer team.

The English is a little broken. So too is his game. But it’s nothing time, patience and hard work won’t fix. He’s got a stubborn streak in him. There had to be to get this far, to cross an ocean, to get on Gambia’s under-20 team, to get noticed as a pro prospect.

Just getting from his home in Gambia — let alone getting “kitted up” in the uniform of his first foreign pro team, was an exercise in perserverance. The first leg of the journey involved “travelling by land for eight hours to Dakar in Senegal. Then there was an airplane to Accra in Ghana. I had to wait there for five days before flying for 15 hours to Germany and then to Toronto.”

The trip and first couple days of practice have left his head spinning. “You can’t compare them,” he says of the soccer in his homeland and the MLS. “Here I’ve come for a bigger challenge. I will have to improve a lot to make the first team. I’m not used to the pace.”

Gomez was born in a what he calls “a village” about 30 minutes from Serrekunda. He lived with two younger brothers and his mother. No father. “He died when I was very young. Mom had to cope with me and my brothers. It was,” he says, a touch wistfully, “a bit difficult.”

He found solace in football. Morning. Noon. Night. His father had left the family some land and his mother wanted him to go to school, become educated, maybe become caretaker of that land. But young Emmanuel had other ideas. “I always dreamed of playing in the Champions League,” he says.

He idolized Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United. “I love tackling … defence. I’ve played there since I was young. I love the game so much.”

Mom? All she saw was a recalcitrant youth. “At the beginning my mom wanted me to concentrate on school. But I was very dedicated to football. This made her very angry at me. Insulting me and doing all sorts of bad things. I just kept my concentration on the game.”

When he was 13 he joined Samger, a First Division giant in Gambia, and earned 20 caps with the national youth team. Toronto scouts noticed him at a qualifying tournament for the under-20 World Cup.

He never had heard of Toronto. “I didn’t even know what country to look for,” Gomez said. “One of the players (on Gambia’s under-20 team) helped me find it on a map.”

Toronto FC signed him and fellow Gambian Amadou Sanyang. “Both are great young talents and have a huge future,” Toronto GM Mo Johnston said. “Gomez has speed (and) is very good in the air … and will be a great asset for many years.”

And, what about his family? One of his brothers has gone off to boarding school; another is studying to become a mechanic “and they’re taking care of my father’s land. The last time I called my mother, she asked me if I was happy. Now she’s okay with it,” Gomez said.

He and Sanyang live with assistant coach Chris Cummins. In Gambia, he played in front of crowds numbering a couple thousand. “My dream now is to play in Toronto. It would be the best football I ever played. That, and to play on my national team.”

Enough, perhaps, to make even a mother proud.

Source: Click Here



Emmanuel Gomez arrives at BMO Field
March 13, 2009, 3:45 PM
Filed under: Emmanuel Gomez, Toronto FC
Gambian defender Emmanuel Gomez arrived in Toronto this week and has been working in the gym and training with the Academy Senior team as he finalizes immigration documents. Gomez will join the first team players on Monday when they return from the Carolina Cup.The 18 year old was signed by Toronto earlier this month from Samger Football Club of the Gambian National 1st Division. “I’m really happy about the move and it is a dream come true for me,” he told TorontoFC.ca. “I am the happiest man on the earth. Since I joined Samger back in Gambia, it has always been my dream to play well and be good enough to join a big club. I played with Samger for five years before I was scouted by Toronto.”

Before joining Toronto, Gomez was a fixture in his club side and also a regular member of the Gambian U-20 National Team. He was in the squad that competed in qualification for the 2009 African Championship, and has also been selected to train with the senior team. “I now have 9 caps for the Gambia Under-20s and it is my target to get into the Gambia National Team,” he said. “In Gambia soccer is a big game and there is huge talent there. Hopefully playing here will help me to get into the national team.”

Gomez has played most of his career as a central defender and is setting himself high targets. “I have big goals and want to settle in quickly and challenge to be in the first team in two or three months. For me, I always want to be myself, but I love Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United. He is always good at the back and I have learned from him. I love to play defence and have played there since I was a child. With different coaches I have played right back and also midfield, but defence is my favourite position. I love hard tackles and winning balls but I also want to play the ball and move it around,” explained Gomez.

He has spent the last few days acclimatizing to Toronto and recovering from a week of travelling. “The players here are a bit sharper than me right now, but I have been travelling for a week to get here. I started by travelling by land for eight hours to Dakar in Senegal and then flew to Accra in Ghana. I was there for five days before flying for 15 hours to Germany and then to Toronto. I like the city here and all of the people have been very nice to me so far.”

Gomez will see a familiar face when the team arrives back in Toronto on Monday. Fellow Gambian Under-20s defender Amadou Sanyang also signed for Toronto recently. “I know Amadou because I play in the national team Under-20s with him. We spoke about moving to Toronto for a few minutes when I went to his home in the Gambia. Having him here will really help me and push me because he is a nice guy.”

Gomez can’t wait to get on the pitch at BMO Field and experience playing in a Toronto FC home game. “I can see Toronto FC fans are great and are mad supporters of the team. I love playing with a good atmosphere. Before I came here I played in the Super Cup in Gambia in front of 2000 people but the best atmosphere I have played in so far was in Ghana with Gambia in a U-20 World Cup qualifier last year. It was very loud and I couldn’t even hear my teammates talking to me on the pitch,” he said.



Reds sign Gambian defenders
March 3, 2009, 1:57 PM
Filed under: Amadou Sanyang, Emmanuel Gomez, Signing, Toronto FC

Toronto FC announced Tuesday that they have signed defenders Emmanuel Gomez and Amadou Sanyang to MLS contracts. Gomez was acquired from Samger Football Club of the Gambian National 1st Division, while Sanyang arrives from Real de Banjul Football Club in Gambia. As per league and team policy, financial details were not announced.

“Both these players are great young talents and have a huge future ahead of them,” said manager, director of soccer Mo Johnston. “Gomez is very good in the air, has very good speed and is an outstanding young centre back. Amadou has great ability as well; he’s very talented and will be a great asset for many years to come. We are delighted to have them both on board.”

Gomez, 18, has been a fixture in both his club side and a regular member of the Gambian U-20 National Team. He was a member of the squad that competed in qualification for the 2009 African Championship, and has most recently been selected to train with the Senior team.

Sanyang, 17, was a member of the Gambian U-17 squad, and is currently part of the U-20 squad. In 2007, he was honoured as the Best Midfielder in the National League and was part of the winning team that captured the Four Nation Tournament held in Ivory Coast that year. In that tournament he was named MVP runner-up.

Due to his age, Sanyang will not be able to become a full member of the Toronto FC Senior squad until his 18th birthday. Until that time the defender will train with both the senior team and TFC Academy and be able to play matches for the Academy. Sanyang turns 18 August 1, the same day that Toronto FC faces the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium and if selected, could make his debut with the first team on that date.

Both players will arrive in Toronto following the completion of all international transfer and immigration procedures.

Emmanuel Gomez
Position: Defender
Height: 6-3
Weight: 171
Birthdate: December 20, 1990
Hometown:
Nationality: Gambian
Roster Status: International

Amadou Sanyang
Position: Defender
Height: 6-0
Weight: 165
Birthdate: August 1, 1991
Hometown:
Nationality: Gambian
Roster Status: International

Source: Click Here