The United States Men’s National Team has plenty of reasons to be excited with a plethora of developing talent all over the pitch.
Zack Steffen is still grown into his peak self as he settles in with Premier League Giants Manchester City, Sergino Dest and Chris Richards are still establishing themselves in the first teams of FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich and are set to be defensive mainstays for the Stars and Stripes. The midfield trio of Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams, and Weston McKennie is interchangeable with each player complementing the other perfectly and could be American poetry in the middle for the next decade. The wings can be patrolled by Dortmund starlet Gio Reyna and Barcelona youngster Konrad De la Fuente, among a number of other youthful, high potential candidates for years to come.
With all this youthful talent blossoming across the globe, Gregg Berhalter’s squad still lacks a crucial component for its future success: a striker.
Berhalter does have many options to choose from and isn’t suffering from a lack of depth at the spot, he just needs one man to take the reigns as the United States’ go-to striker and has a fantastic option in his December camp.
The option is a personal favorite and a young player with an incredible amount of upside that Berhalter himself has said he was looking forward to working with, Orlando City powerhouse Daryl Dike.
Dike, the fifth overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, has exceeded his lofty potential as a rookie en route to his call up to the international level. The former University of Virginia standout scored eight goals in 17 MLS games in his rookie season, ending the year on a hot streak that included five goals in his last eight games.
Dike, at 20-years-old is not old enough to buy alcohol after one of his games, yet is already one of the league’s most clinical goal scorers, flashing an scoring instinct in front of the net on a regular basis.
Dike’s 6-foot-2, 220 pound frame is rare in soccer and is one of the main reasons he’s a pest for center backs, as he uses his frame as a blockade for any defender to strip the ball.
For comparison of how big Dike is in the soccer world, Romelu Lukaku, who is one of the world’s biggest forwards is 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, longtime U.S. National Team striker Jozy Altidore stands at 6-feet-tall, 175 pounds and is considered a bigger striker for the MLS, even Brazilian Hulk, who is known for being one of the bigger framed and muscular players in soccer is only 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds. Dike stands taller or bigger than each and every one of these players, all of whom terrorize defenders because of their physical gifts and Dike is next in line, if he’s not there already.
Dike’s height and speed make him an issue for any coach to gameplan for, take into consideration his age and already natural scoring touch, Dike has a limitless ceiling and can be a reliable national team contributor for years to come and the perfect successor for Altidore at the striker spot if he keeps building upon his natural gifts.
If Dike lives up to expectations during the December camp and performs well in the Dec. 9 friendly against El Salvador do not be surprised if he becomes a regular in Gregg Berhalter’s selections.
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