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Haji Wright scores brace, assists once in Antalyaspor victory


Haji Wright’s strong start to the season for Turkish side Antalyaspor continued Saturday with the U.S. men’s national team striker helping his club knock off the defending league champions.

Wright scored twice and assisted once in a 5-2 home win over Trabzonspor, following suit with fellow USMNT forwards Josh Sargent and Jordan Pefok in an impressive goalscoring weekend. It was Wright’s first multi-goal performance of the new season and a major boost to his call-up chances for September international duty.

Wright’s first goal of the match came in the 40th minute as the USMNT forward slotted home from the penalty spot to double Antalyaspor’s lead to 2-0.

Despite Trabzonspor fighting back to tie the score at 2-2, Antalayspor regained the lead in the 81st minute as Wright set up Gökdeniz Bayrakdar for the game-winning goal. Wright created room in the box before laying off a pass for Bayrakdar to tap into an empty net.

Wright added his second goal of the match in stoppage time to ice the emphatic home victory, fighting in the box to create room for his shot. After deking past two Trabzonspor defenders, Wright capitalized to hand Antalyaspor a first win over Trabzonspor since 2021.

Wright now has three league goals and one assist in three appearances this season, helping Antalyaspor to a current third-place spot. Up next for Nuri Sahin’s side is a trip to Gaziantep on August 26.


  1. Crowded room at center forward right now. Sargent, Pefok, Tillman, Wright, Ferreira and Pepi. Everyone is playing well now other than Pepi. At least Berhalter has choices for the September call ups that’s what Coaches want, tough decisions on who to take.

  2. Wright showed great control on the second goal. all of a sudden we have a log jam at striker, which is a good thing. Who can keep it up in international play?


    Wow, Haji Wright was dominating in this game……..against the Super lig defending Champions Trabzonspor no less. He was a menace all game, looked really fit, ran at the defense when he had the ball, combined well with players around him…..and looked like one of the most dangerous players on the field.

  4. Good to see, but, personally, of the current “hot” 9s, I’m taking Sargent and Pefok. No offense to the man, but Wright strikes me as too slow for international play, doesn’t face Top-5 League competition, and doesn’t press enough for the Grapefruit ball.

      • 2Tone: Fair. Sargent saw that level last year, had a year in Germany as well. In any case, Wright aint it.

    • I’d have an agonizing time of it, myself.

      I’d probably take Ferreira and Sargent right now for sure. They both press, they both combine well with the other players. Their movement is excellent. Not sure I trust Sargent’s current form to stay permanent and I question how much ice water he really has in his veins so I’d keep a suspicious eye peeled his way, but if he’s finally over his yips and has punched through the confidence wall he’s got the tools to be a striker on Champions League team. I’d still definitely wanna see him build on what he’s doing now before I put him on the plane for sure. But if he does, for me: he goes.

      Then I’m left trying to choose between Wright, Pefok, Vasquez, and Pepi for that third guy. Here’s where I’d have an insanely hard time and you can make arguments for any of them. Pepi’s got the most production for the US. The other three are on utter fire and are banging in goals for club left and right. No matter who you take, you’d fret you’re leaving somebody behind who could have helped you because they can all do some really good things though none are perfect players.

      • quozzel: For me, I would take 4 strikers.

        I know that is suspect, and GGG won’t do it… but given that Jesus is arguably more of a false 9 type and less a pure striker… at the moment, I would take Jesus, Pepi, Sargent, and Pefok.

        I just don’t rate Wright, especially after his poor, clean-kit-in-the-mud game. Not enough effort or skill. Happy to be proven wrong.

        I would definitely take Wright, or any of our 9s, over MLS runners, or eyes and vibes.

      • Why Ferreira??? I just don’t get the big deal about him. His only good game came againt a really bad team. Outside of one game he has done nothing for the USMNT as the 9

    • you seem to be diminishing Haji just like some have of Pefok. He’s had one call up, and yes, he didn’t look the part in the only match he started but lets be honest, that game was a slop fest, no one looked great!


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