Don’t look now but Daryl Dike is heating up at the right time for both West Bromwich Albion and the U.S. men’s national team.
Dike played the hero for Carlos Corberan’s squad on Tuesday, delivering the lone goal in a 1-0 English Football League Championship home victory over Wigan Athletic. The goal marked Dike’s sixth overall for the Baggies this season and his fifth in 2023.
After delivering two goals in a recent 2-0 win over Middlesbrough, Dike needed only 27 minutes to score the breakthrough goal for West Brom at the Hawthorns. Jayson Molumby’s shot from a tight angle was denied by Ben Amos and the crossbar, but Dike headed home the rebound for first goal of March.
Josh Griffiths made two saves to preserve the clean sheet for West Brom, while Dike finished the match with two shots on goal, three fouls drawn, and one clearance. The 22-year-old’s winner helped West Brom move to ninth place in the Championship standings, sitting four points back of sixth place Norwich City for the final promotion playoff spot.
Dike will have to final opportunities ahead of potential USMNT duty later this month as West Brom hosts Huddersfield Town and visits Cardiff City. The USMNT takes on Grenada and El Salvador in its final Concacaf Nations League group stage matches of the 2022-23 edition.
Daryl Dike…lol (min 1:20). The power the strength…….Keep doing what you’re doing kid wow.
I disagree IV. Copa America & Olympic tournament aren’t tryouts or dry rehearsals?!! What if you use a player, who you think is going to be productive for you at the ‘26 WC, and they get hurt in ‘25 or the beginning of ‘26? What if the CF who plays the most in the cycle goes cold in the ‘25-‘26 season? Morris & Long got hurt in the 1st 2 years of the cycle (after the ‘19 GC). Miles & Dike got hurt (after ‘21 GC), the year of the ‘22 WC. Remember, Miles logged top 3 in minutes played for the US in ‘21, and would’ve started over Ream in the WC. For this reason alone, I want to see the 70-20, 60-30 split on most players, especially the CFs in the US pool. 3 to 4 CFs called in every camp or competition; that way the same midfielders have a chance to play with all the CFs who are available. Realistically, we don’t know what’s going to happen in 3 years. Then there’s Balogun, what if he decides he’s committed to play for the US? This time last cycle, there was a player by the name of Seabatcheu, who hadn’t decided to play for the US but was eligible. Though, he wasn’t top 3 in scoring in the Ligue 1. I don’t think Balogun would put in any effort against countries like Grenada, Panama, Honduras, T&T. Sarachan also brought in a little known player by the name of Novakovich. Imperative, have we seen him in a U.S. jersey lately?
my theory is a winnowing. spend the first 2 years trialing players. narrow down to a list that prove themselves. worry about gel the last 2 years. i think you have it backwards whose ideas result in our current situation. if you pick the winners up front — before the games — off stats or form or reputation — then that’s when you may settle on the wrong or injured players, and have to circle back around and start over at the end. if you instead stay loose at the start, the performers move to the surface and you can rank who you like based on how they played as opposed to theories. if you have injuries you call on the 4th or 5th guy you liked.
i don’t mind at all if some trialists are a blip and gone. that’s what happens with winnowing. put up or shut up. what i am concerned about is accurate talent ID and recognition of performance. as it stands i think the games barely matter. the coaches have their theories who they like and it doesn’t seem to affect them if they play poorly unless it’s consistent for like a half year.
history is the best players used to sit out the tournaments and some friendlies, and we got to see how the marginal ones or noobs held up under pressure. we seem to insist on reproving pulisic and weah can play. and to me i am not interested in trading a gold cup for getting deeper in world cup. history shows regional champions rarely win the succeeding world cup.
History: like when Berhalter picked an almost entire B team and they won the GC. But you complained because first choice guys like Richards and Reyna didn’t play.
The problem with your winnowing theory is if guys aren’t ready 4 years out and you delete them you are missing on guys that could help. I noticed you didn’t comment on my list of forwards below. All who were not ready for NT in 2019 and you would have screamed “cut them, cut them” too. Let’s not forget you wanted Brenden Aaronson off the NT pool after 2 friendlies. A balanced approach for NL is the most sound bring in 4 or 5 new guys each camp. You can use the GC to test the new MLS based guys, mixed in with guys like Zim and Morris to give them competitive experience. Then back in fall with mostly first choice guys plus some new guys so that we qualify for Copa America. Next summer you have to go all in on Copa America. Sorry what 8 teams in the world have ever won a WC? So if you’re using winning the WC as your only thing that matters you will be continually disappointed.
JR: buzz. fib. my concerns were not about reyna, who got to play in NL and played well. that’s fake. my concerns re the summer rosters were about richards and reynolds, who he let skip the whole summer to “bed in.” the net effect was richards was not called to WCQ until the second window and not played until the 5th game in. reynolds has 2 total caps despite being fairly talented at a position where we are unsettled and he’s in europe. scally basically “passed him up.”
the funny thing is after all that effort to have them compete for time at new clubs neither guy is playing for the teams we left them with. reynolds is being serially loaned by roma. richards ended up at palace. wow, glad we deferred to roma and hoffenheim that summer……
anyhow, my point is that if you trial these kind of players faster then maybe richards is identified and integrated sooner and reynolds and vazquez compete for roster slots.
if you go back and look at GC 21, specifically the final, it’s amusing how little it mattered to what followed. we discovered turner, who is the sort of player i would like to see found in winnowing, which we would do instead of handing steffen the job as GB did — only to leave him off come 2022. no, if you look at the final list most of that team is gone, didn’t make 2022.
i mean surely you realize you’re holding up the summer tournament and ignoring that we finished 3rd in WCQ right after — a truer showing of how we rate. this is MY WHOLE POINT. you adore winning tournaments. i am more concerned with do we extract new useful players from our process. beyond “turner,” what does gold cup matter? we won a trophy that didn’t reflect our actual regional standing. we tried a bunch of people we just as quickly forgot about. and then at the end it was like whoops who do we start at back or 9, etc. maybe focus more on extended talent ID and less on the 2019 and 2021 tournaments.
JR: and i am NOT against trialing individual discovery players the last 2 years. what i am against is being so obsessed with small tournament trophies or winning friendlies in 2019 that the team barely changes — despite poor results — and that when 2021-22 arrive you’re still not sure who your guys are. i think we start picking winners too soon, start setting system too soon, and as a result the cart goes before the horse. GB was bad at picking winners and often circled back to use players previously used by sarachan that he had dumped to U23.
memory serves you folks resisted bringing reyna in when i was singing his praises. don’t pretend like you’re the ones out there finding the next generation and ushering them in late in the cycle. you’re the ones fighting their rise early on and then saying late that they don’t have the caps to play in qatar. my whole point. give people their shot. the time to give shots is the first half of the cycle. the second cycle is when we should switch to system obsession that seems to dominate from day 1.
It’s a pretty telling stat of the US striker pool when we get excited about guys scoring in second division or in Holland. Hopefully before 2026 we will find a striker or 2 that consistently gets in the top 10 scorers in first divisions in top tier leagues. Until we do round of 16 or quarterfinals is our most ambitious hope. We need big game difference makers like teams in the final 4 of WC have or really we will again have unrealistic expectations.
Hmmm… plenty of top strikers have come from the Eredivisie and or played in the Championship at some point in their careers. Way to many to make a list.
@2tone – sure, but I don’t think fans started overhyping until they actually moved on from the weaker leagues and become top strikers. I’ll curb my enthusiasm on Dike, Pepi, etc until I see them move and score for a strong team in a top league playing Champions League every year. Because let’s be honest with ourselves, for the moment no matter how excited we are about our US guys playing in Europe, we don’t yet havr one single player that could objectively be considered a money time game changer. Our “best” prospects are currently warming the bench on strong clubs (Pulisic, Reyna) or playing relegation battles on mediocre teams (Adams, Mckennie). Or playing decently in second divisons or inferior leagues like Scotland, Belgium, Holland, etc. (CCV, Pepi, etc). One could argue our only real good performer and best player is Ream, playing strongly on a well placed team in the best league. Musah might be another bright spot though he has been playing off the bench more. Does that make them bad players certainly not. But we should mellow down about USMNT expectations for 2026. Again let’s take an honest look at the player pool at ask ourselves: is there one single Amercian player who is currently a real game changer? Because that’s what ALL the teams who have real success at the world cup possess (and those teams usually have 4-5 world class game changers). Just the hard truth we need to accept. So I’ll support out boys with all my heart but also will not lay on them absurd expectations.
Who do you bring in for the March games? Sargent is hurt, but may get a game or two in before the break. Pefok has been quiet, not sure what Wright is up to, and Tillman is coming back from an injury. Dike and Pepi seem to be the hottest strikers right now. Maybe Ferreira as well.
We are playing for 2026 – gotta play kids like Pepi to get them ready – what a huge tandem of Dike and Pepi.
IMO, too early to be looking at 2026. Who can help us this summer. So much will change between 2023-2026. Not saying that isn’t Pepi and Dike, but need to pick guys for this year not 3 years from now.
“too early to be looking 2026?” sorry but the world cup is the sole point every 4 years. everything else is a tryout or dress rehearsal. i think half our problem is we value all these friendlies and minor tournaments too much. even in those games the point is identify people we can use at the end of the cycle. this is half the reason i am like don’t call the O-30s right now. cuz spending 2 years on the equivalent of zardes only to quit at the end wastes time. we then show up to the world cup still not sure who to call at 9 because he dominated 2019 usage and then we didn’t sort it out in the remaining time.
the NT has been using “profile” talk when they leave people off. so how about matching a profile to what we plan to do, positively? if the plan is whack crosses in, get a target 9 in. to me sargent and ferreira are more useful as false 9s, balls to feet. we need to get off the all-star team mentality where we call “form” players or the best stats guys. what are we trying to do, who is best to accomplish that thing. i dislike the lazy crossing but if hudson is coach and that’s the plan, implement it. which to me would be bangers: pefok, vazquez. if dike normally does stuff like this, maybe him.
If only we had planned for the largest global pandemic since the Spanish Flu of 1918. That basically canceled 2020 for the NT. So shortsighted.
Sargent: bench player for Bremen, 200 pro minutes 2g
Pepi: 71 pro minutes 0g
Pefok: 6 Ligue1 goals, coming of 17g season in Ligue2, unwilling to commit to US hoping for French call
Dike: 5g in 13 app for Virginia (not even All-ACC)
Soto: 25 Bundesliga minutes
Weah: 6g 23 app for PSG (going to U20 WC earned him transfer to Lille and winning Ligue1)
Hoppe: just signed with Schalke after leading Development Academy league in goals for 2018/19 season
Wright: 1g in 194 minutes for Schalke (they were openly shopping him, as they had no interest in him going forward).
Vazquez: had 3g in 32 MLS app
It would have been just pure luck to have picked 2 of those guys and gotten it right.
None of those guys were ready in 2019 to take over the cycle. All had huge ups and downs in the three years that followed. All but Sargent and Weah would play for at least 3 different teams. Haji, Josh, and Tim would spend a significant time as wings not strikers. Jozy and Gyasi were place holders with the idea that guys like Sargent, Soto, and Weah would transition thru there first year full years as pros and gradually replace the vets. Covid, injury to Weah, poor decision club decisions, and the loss of most of 2020 with NT put that development on hold. By 2021 injuries to both Gyasi and Jozy forced the hand but also brought reality to Jordan. So you had 5 or 6 guys with moderate success vying for spots 15 months out from the WC.
My picks if Sarg is hurt during NL would be Dike, Pepi, & Pefok. Wright just came back this week and was used as sub. If Wright, Pefok, Dike, Pepi, Vasquez, Ebobisse, Ferreira and Sargent get hot all at the same time, then that would present a bigger challenge. A lot can happen in 3 weeks. True, the scoring for the US, isn’t coming from the CFs, which I think is by product of not using the 4-3-3 correctly. It’s not for a lack of personnel or talent. It’s been 4 players (Zardes, Sargent, Ferreira, Pepi) with the most starts in the last cycle. Hopefully, we can see new faces for the matches in the NL.
Pefok has 1g 1a in his last 21 matches. So if Sargent is out I’d go with your Pepi and Dike but add Vazquez, let’s see what he can do with the first team. I’m sure Ives/Larry will put this out in a few weeks but here’s mine if the roster was do tomorrow
Horvath, Turner Steffen (Slonina U20s) Reynolds, Dest, Scally, Robinson. Richards, Ream, McKenzie, Jedi, Jones- Luca, Musah,Tyler, Wes, Johnny, Tessman-Booth, CP, Weah, Aaronson, Reyna,-Vazquez, Dike, Pepi (I don’t think Hudson picks this group).