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Jordan Pefok scores first Bundesliga goal in Berlin Derby victory


Jordan Pefok wasted little time introducing himself to his new fans in Germany with the American striker celebrating his first league goal for Union Berlin.

Pefok scored the opening goal in Union Berlin’s 3-1 rivalry win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday, giving the U.S. men’s national team forward his first-career Bundesliga goal. Pefok scored in Union Berlin’s comeback German Cup win last weekend and followed that up by setting the tone for a dominant day for the hosts.

Pefok started alongside Sheraldo Becker in the Union Berlin attack and broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute. Becker’s cross from the left wing was headed home by Pefok from point-blank range, giving the hosts an early advantage against their biggest rivals.

Becker doubled Union Berlin’s lead in the 50th minute before Robin Knoche added a third goal for the hosts in the 54th minute. Pefok logged 78 minutes in his first Bundesliga start, winning nine duels, registering two shots and making four recoveries.

The 26-year-old now has two goals in his first two competitive appearances for his new club, setting an early standard for the USMNT forward ahead of a busy first-half of the season. Pefok is one of many American forwards pushing for involvement this November at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Union Berlin will travel to Mainz on Matchday 2 in league play on August 14.


  1. The guy really is good with his head, and as we’ve seen, he’s magnificent in the air, better than any of our other strikers.

    The real question is, does he hold the ball up well enough, and is he good enough with his feet, and in particular is he mobile and intelligent enough with his movement, to really do what the US needs him to do in a single-central-striker system? I’m wondering if he’s one of those guys who needs a partner up top to play off of to be effective, and just let him concentrate on being the bully and big man in the box.

    That awful miss and the way he failed to help out Gio’s super-dribble against Mexico still loom large in the mind, but he scored goals for fun with Young Boys and he seems to be doing it again with Union. There are still probably two forward spots left on the plane to Qatar and he’s certainly making an early case for one of them.

    If we want to go to a legit 3-man backline and put another striker on the field he might be the guy I want just because he is such a menacing presence in the air. He might be a situational player in Qatar but I can still see the possible value in bringing him.

    Let’s see if he keeps doing it.

    • But with the roster size being expanded to 26 players Berhalter doesn’t really have to worry if Pefok fits his system, because his 23 players that can do that. If Berhalter decides as a tactical mater that the situation requires a second striker, he now has somebody to fill that role. The same can be said for the additional 2 players. Find people that don’t necessarily fit your plan but have unique skill sets that can be deployed if your plan gets overturned by your opponents.


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