Barnsley is on a roll, and the English League Championship side can thank its newest player for playing a big part in the club’s red-hot streak.
American striker Daryl Dike scored his second goal for Barnsley on Wednesday, netting the opener in a 3-1 road victory over Queens Park Rangers. The U.S. Men’s National Team player broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute, hitting a snap header from in close at the near post to direct home a corner kick whipped in from the right.
Barnsley’s victory is the club’s sixth in a row, a run that began when Dike arrived on his loan from Orlando City at the start of February.
The run has Barnsley in seventh place in the League Championship, just one point behind Bournemouth in the race for promotion playoff places.
— El Thorn (@El_MThornhill) March 3, 2021
The finish was Dike’s second in his last four matches in the English Championship and first as a starter. The 20-year-old forward found the back of the net previously in a 2-0 victory vs. Stoke City on Feb. 24.
Dike has made four starts in six appearances so far this season for Barnsley, with three of those lineup inclusions coming in the club’s last four games. He has totaled 332 minutes, including 56 in Wednesday’s encounter.
Orlando City loaned the American to Barnsley at the start of last month for the remainder of the English second division’s season. The loan includes an option to buy, but the purchase price is one that Barnsley would be highly unlikely to pay unless it was in order to turn around and sell him to a Premier League team.
Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja made it clear Dike is expected to return to Orlando City.
“Daryl’s spot is here in Orlando,” Pareja told the Orlando Sentinel. “I think he has done great in his career so far and we’re waiting on Daryl to compete with us this year.
“If something exceptional happens, if some door gets opened for him, then we’ll have to just accept it and put that as a good path for others,” Pareja said. “Especially youngsters here in the club.”
Dike is in his second year as a professional player. He featured 22 times and recorded 17 starts and eight goals for an improved Lions team in the regular season in 2020, emerging as the best rookie in MLS in 2020.