Premier League

USMNT striker search ahead of Copa America 2024

Folarin Balogun

The US men’s national team will hope to nail down their starting striker position ahead of this summer’s all-important Copa America tournament on home soil.

The USMNT will be expected to go far into the upcoming competition with Gregg Berhalter at the helm for the Stars and Stripes. While the US’ midfield and defense have improved over the years, many players have found it difficult to make the center-forward position their own to partner Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah in the attack.

Even though Weah and Pulisic have been involved in most of the goals up front for the USMNT, Berhalter’s side won’t be able to go as far as they’d like in Copa America without an out-and-out striker to lead the line. Berhalter himself has struggled to stick with one striker since his initial appointment back in 2018.

At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Berhalter went back-and-forth between Josh Sargent and Haji Wright in the Group Stage before throwing FC Dallas talisman Jesus Ferreira into the lineup in the US’ 3-1 Round of 16 defeat to the Netherlands.

While the bulk of the players on the Striker Search list will be players currently in Europe, don’t be surprised to see a few Major League Soccer strikers that could be on their way across the pond in the near future.

USMNT Strikers:

Folarin Balogun

Balogun joined AS Monaco last summer / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Shockwaves were sent around the international soccer world when Folarin Balogun decided to make the one-time FIFA approved switch from England to the USMNT last spring.

The former Arsenal player hasn’t exactly found the same form that saw him net 22 goals for Stade de Reims in 2022/2023, but he’s still netted seven goals and four assists in Ligue 1 action this term and is presumably the favorite to start up front on June 27 against Panama.

In just 10 appearances for the US, Balogun has bagged three goals that incudes a key strike in the 2023 CONCACAF Nations League final victory over Canada.

Ricardo Pepi

Pepi has struggled to earn starts at PSV / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Ricardo Pepi is another well-known USMNT striker that isn’t too far behind Balogun in the center-forward pecking order.

Pepi has made the most of his limited minutes in his first season with Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven, recording seven goals and two assists in just one start — 416 minutes played in 25 appearances.

The 21-year-old has proven to be efficient up front for the US when given the chance as he’s bagged 10 goals in 23 appearances.

Josh Sargent

Sargent has enjoyed a breakout year…

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