Since the retirement of Clint Dempsey in 2018, the United States Men's National Team has had a hole in the number nine position. Regardless of how much experimenting Head Coach Gregg Berhalter did over the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the squad continues to lack a consistent reliable goal scorer.
The first looks in 2019 and 2020 went to either poacher Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew), or the Premier League’s Josh Sargent (Norwich FC). Then throughout 2021 the US team saw depth increase in strikers, when players like Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion) & Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg FC) came into the picture. These young, powerful, and quick-witted forwards showed a great capacity to find the net and are certainly still contenders for the US striker position. But there remains one player who has been soaring under the radar, Jordan Pefok.
Pefok, a US born footballer but graduate of the Stade de Reims academy in France, declared his American nationality in March, 2021. He currently plays for Swiss club BSC Young Boys and over the past year has shown significant developments as a player. He easily outmuscles his opposition, whilst using his fast pace and attacking IQ to bury goal after goal in the Swiss Super League.
He has had a few scattered moments of fame including his game winning goal against Manchester United in the Champions League this season, but is also showing great consistency in his play.
During the 2021-22 campaign he has 14 domestic goals and 19 goals in all competitions. He is averaging 116 minutes per goal. Not to mention he is doing it at the highest level, the Champions League and Switzerland's first division.
Although only playing 8 matches and scoring 1 goal with the USMNT, Pefok clearly has more to offer than US fans have seen.
If the USMNT can qualify for the World Cup later this year in Qatar, the number nine position, will remain one of the biggest decisions for Berhalter.
Rotation is highly likely with a plethora of high-quality breakout stars, but Pefok can’t be counted out. If he continues his form for the duration of this season, surely US fans can prepare to see much more of him in the future.