After Clint Dempsey retired from international soccer, there were many questions as to who would be the next great striker for the United States Men’s National Team.
The initial consensus was Jozy Altidore would be that guy, but he has grown older and can sometimes be injury-prone. He also missed a key chance in the Gold Cup final that could have helped the United States win versus Mexico.
Greg Berhalter, the head coach of the United States National Men’s team, has given several opportunities to several guys to become the next number 9 for the United States. From guys like his former player at Columbus Crew Gyasi Zardes to one of the brightest young players in Josh Sargent. Both players have done good jobs, but none have taken the opportunity and claimed it for good.
One of the guys that have taken advantage of that opportunity is Daryl Dike. Daryl Dike is only 21 years old, but he plays like someone who has been playing the beautiful game for a long time.
He started his career for the Oklahoma FC and played for them from 2013-2015. Next, he played for the University of Virginia Soccer team, scoring 15 goals in 36 appearances. On January 9, 2020, Dike was selected as the 5th pick in the first round of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City, SC. He played well for them, scoring 10 goals in 20 appearances.
However, his big breakthrough came when he was sent out on loan to play for Barnsley FC in the Championship in England. He was absolutely sensational for them, scoring 9 goals in 19 appearances and helped lead them to the Championship’s semifinals, where they lost to Swansea.
Greg Berhalter had a tough decision to make when deciding to bring Dike for the Concacaf Nation’s League or the 2021 Gold Cup. Ultimately, he chose to bring for the Gold Cup. He had an interesting explanation for why he made that decision.
“It was tough; it really was. Daryl’s here in camp with us, and he’ll be here for the duration of the camp. And, unfortunately, you have to name 23 guys,” explained Berhalter.
Dike has scored 2 goals in 3 appearances in the Gold Cup against the subpar competition so far, but he has taken advantage of this great opportunity. If he continues to play well, especially against better competition, Berhalter will have no choice but to select him as the starting striker for the beginning of World Cup Qualifying in September.
Photo courtesy of the streakingthelawn.com
Could Daryl Dike be the answer for USMNT?
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