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Former USMNT star, now ESPN analyst, Gomez revisits “Snow Game” on OTL

Hannah Storm, Taylor Twellman, Herculez Gomez and Max Bretos on the set of SportsCenter on the Road prior to the 2017 El Clásico in July.(Rodrigo Varela/ESPN Images)

The last time the U.S. Men’s National Team hosted Costa Rica in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match, the game was played in a snowstorm that dropped some six inches at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

ESPN analyst Herculez Gomez played for the U.S. in that key 1-0 victory. This afternoon, he joins host Bob Ley and fellow ESPN soccer commentators Taylor Twellman, Ian Darke and Kasey Kellerall of whom covered that match – to recap the infamous “Snow Game” on Outside the Lines (ESPN, 1 p.m. ET), live from Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

The special edition of Outside the Lines kicks off ESPN’s expansive, two-day coverage of the USA-Costa Rica match tomorrow at 6:55 p.m. (ESPN and ESPN3).

Gomez shares his memories of the 2013 USA-Costa Rica match and discusses his analyst role with Front Row.

What stands out most to you about that “Snow Game”?
Besides the obvious blizzard-like conditions, I would say it has to be the enormous pressure we were under. We had lost our Hex opener versus Honduras and were facing a Costa Rica side that was unbeaten in their last five games against us [the U.S. team].

What are the most important things you’ve learned since joining ESPN as an analyst in January?
I’ve learned to really dig deep into interviews, and to not conform with everyone else’s ideas. ESPN has given me the freedom to talk about what I feel is important and relevant in today’s game.

My ESPN podcast with Max Bretos, Max & Herc, is one platform where I get to share a different side of me and delve deeper into my thinking and insight on the sport.

What are your thoughts on the U.S. team’s upcoming qualifying matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
I don’t think the USMNT is in any real jeopardy of missing the World Cup. [Head coach] Bruce Arena has proven that he still knows the CONCACAF region, he still knows the American player, and how to get the most out of that player. I have no doubt they will qualify, most likely, on Oct. 6 [versus Panama on ESPN].