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Jordan Pefok joins Union Berlin on permanent transfer


Jordan Pefok enjoyed a career-best season in Switzerland with Young Boys and now is on his way to the German Bundesliga.

Union Berlin has signed Pefok on a permanent transfer from Young Boys, the club announced on Friday. The Bundesliga club reportedly paid between €6-8 million ($6.27-$8.36) for Pefok’s services, which would include a four-year contract in Berlin.

Pefok scored 22 goals for Young Boys last season, winning the Swiss Pro League’s Golden Boot. The 26-year-old has totaled 88 appearances for the Bern-based club, scoring 42 goals and adding nine assists.

He also helped Young Boys win the Pro League title in 2020-21.

Pefok has earned nine caps with the U.S. men’s national team to date, with his lone goal coming against Honduras in the 2021 Concacaf Nations League semifinals.

Union Berlin manager Urs Fischer was seeking a new striker following the summer departure of Taiwo Awoniyi to Nottingham Forest. Awoniyi led Union Berlin with 15 league goals in 31 appearances last season as the Bundesliga club finished fifth in the league standings.

Pefok will now have the opportunity to feature in the UEFA Europa League group stage this September after competing in the UEFA Champions League with Young Boys last season.

What do you think of the move? See Pefok succeeding in the Bundesliga? Think he still has a chance to make the USMNT World Cup squad?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Im a little worried about this move. Young strikers sometimes struggle in new leagues and need the absolute confidence of the coach to give them the belief that they deserve to be there and in order for them to succeed. I wonder if Urs Fischer will have that amount of patience to groom and motivate Petok to perform at his best. One good thing though is that he played in the swiss league also and understands what it takes to be in the Bundesliga….sooooooo maybe that’s why he is intrigued picked Petok.
    Either way, let’s see what happens…..”ALL THE BEST PETOK!!!!!!!”

    • He’s 26 not really young anymore. He looks like the 2nd most expensive signing at least in recent history (probably ever) so he’ll get chances.

  2. Pefok hold up play vs ES in the ‘72 led to a McKennie header in the 1st WCQ match. Held onto the ball long enough to suck in 3 ES players, and got it to Captain Adams leaving space for the midfield to move the ball up the pitch. 2nd match of WCQ v Canada. CP gets fouled in the ‘53, free kick goes to Pefok from Adams. Pefok back to goal turns quickly and gives it to Acosta. Leads to BA’s goal. If someone says, Pefok’s has no hold up play, these instances prove otherwise. Bundesliga values that style of CF. Another thing I noticed (re-watch of WCQ). CP getting fouled leads to goals. Canada home WCQ, BA’s goal. Panama home WCQ, Arriola scores a header while Captain America is in pain outside the ‘18. I’m starting to believe CP getting fouled leads to chances created w/ the ref allowing advantage that is. CP could easily have a higher chance created number if those are counted.

    • Left out the part about Pefok receiving a pass from Yedlin. He dropped into space to receive the ball. Pefok passed it to CP before CP got fouled.

    • I don’t think Pefok is any worse at hold up play than any of the other choices. He probably gets some undo criticism because of his size at not being a better hold up player. I also think the plays you’re highlighting he does the bare minimum expected and kind of tries twice to mess up the Aaronson goal by not weighting either of his passes in the sequence well. To me his area for improvement is off ball movement. In around the 40th minute against Canada he’s so slow to recognize the near post run so Pulisic tries to make that run Jordan decides late to go and ends up knocking CP off balance and sending his shot just wide. Later in the game he does make a good run to clear the space for the runner behind who is played in but Tyler was whistled for dumping Kaye behind the play.
      I get you want him to succeed because you’ve been on the Pefok Train for years but he’s a power I fullback in a Spread offense, a post up Center in a 5 Out game. He doesn’t fit the way the rest of the team is set up to play and the tactical changes he forces might be too much to make his change of pace worth it for the NT. If this was 1998 he’d start every match but it’s 2022. I don’t know how Union play but I don’t see any reason why he won’t be successful. If they allow him to be the poacher that he is.

      • You had almost a week to respond and this is what you reply? You really enjoy muddy waters, and not the blues guitarist or Redmans 3rd album. Pefok is a CF, not a winger. He was in position. CP didn’t try to make the run, he selfishly did make the run, in which he didn’t have the angle for the shot. Pefok did. JR, It’s a Pefok article!! I’m an advocate for all US players not the the ones I like. Stop this CP gatekeeping! If Jesus is the CF, you hope he is, and Weah is going to be a RW, CP will not be able to keep up with the pressing, which Pefok doesn’t do either. All players have weaknesses and strengths.

      • Sorry It’s Ok I was off the grid on the 29th. I completely agree that all players have strengths and weaknesses. Where we disagree is that I don’t think Pefok’s weaknesses fit with the rest of the groups strengths. If we were playing a 4-4-2 and sitting in a midblock Pefok would be one of my top choices but we aren’t going to do that. This is what happens with depth we will have good players playing on good teams in Europe and they won’t fit with the NT.
        I’m curious what you think Pefok’s strengths and Wes weaknesses are?

      • JRazor,

        “This is what happens with depth we will have good players playing on good teams in Europe and they won’t fit with the NT.”

        That’s not depth.

        Depth is when you have a preferred style of play and have sufficient cover for all the roles required by that style in event of injury or suspension , for whatever reason.

        Liverpool comes to mind. They can afford to let Sadio Mane go because they think they have enough to live well without him.

        Berhalter wants to play a certain way and it seems, when it comes to the striker position, he hasn’t yet found the players to play how he wants convincingly.
        If Ferreira is that guy then the USMNT has no depth because there is no one else to replace him if gets hurt. Same with Tyler. Same with Pulisic

        That’s lack of depth.

        I’m not convinced that Gregg is all that worried about the strikers not scoring goals because the lethality in this team will come from Pulisic, Gio, Weah, and Weston and, if he listens to his brother, Brenden.

        If you have a guy like Pefok who scores a lot but only in a style of play that Berhalter will NOT use then Pefok is useless, is he not?

        Because Berhalter isn’t going to play him no matter how many goals he scores.

        You can argue that Berhalter is incompetent or you can argue that if the USMNT altered their style of play to align with Pefok’s strength’s then they wouldn’t be as good a team as they are.

        It’s an age old debate going back as far as 1966. Jimmy Greaves was a far deadlier striker than Geoff Hurst but Hurst fit Ramsay’s style of play better. Greaves sat, Hurst scored a hat trick in the final and England won the World Cup about a million years ago.

        Is Pefok a fantastic striker, the kind you build a team around the way Poland is built around Lewandowski?

        Unfortunately for all concerned, Pefok, most likely, is just a guy.

        There is an argument to made that if Pefok or any of our impotent strikers gets ultra hot that it’s not too late to consider altering the teams’ shape a bit and taking advantage of that.

        That will happen anyway because Gio and Dest, who both missed a lot of team time lately and whose return could significantly alter how the USMNT plays, will hopefully be back strong in the fall.

        So whatever you think of how the team have played in the last bunch of games, it’s clear that they will probably be capable of playing differently in the fall.

        Those two alone could make this team far more offensively dangerous if Berhalter can figure out how to take advantage of their talents. It could tell you much about just how good a manager he really is.

        That’s why, for this team, it’s too early yet to be definitive about who will be on the plane except that Long, Ariolla and Roldan will be on it.

        And that’s why I continue to maintain that this team could be utter garbage or get on a roll and make a lot of noise. Or anything in between.

        Either way, barring a complete disaster, its looking like Berhalter in 2026. Maybe we’ll still have Long, Ariolla and Roldan in the team then.

      • Not sure what happened there
        “What are his weaknesses?” Not what are Wes’s weaknesses.

  3. A great opportunity for him to show he can play against WC level opponents and make a case for going to Qatar. I hope he is able to break into their starting lineup and shows well.

    • “show he can play against WC level opponents ”

      Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica are “WC level opponents”.

      Pefok has shown what he can do at that level.


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