The best American strikers in MLS

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Attacker; you can not win much without them, but damn, they are hard to find …

The United States men’s national team has felt that pain in recent years and has struggled to find a real successor to Jozy Altidore as his career declines due to injury.

But things seem to be changing. Right now in Major League Soccer, there are a couple of options that have already caught the eye at the club and international level. The future is starting to look bright for USMNT No.9s.

With that in mind, let’s rank the best American strikers in MLS right now:

Just like it’s 3-1 #FCCincy

Brandon Vazquez scores in his third straight game to restore the two-goal lead. pic.twitter.com/Mwvaeecn06

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 28, 2021

A surprise inclusion from off. A few months ago, you would have laughed at the thought of Brandon Vazquez climbing this list.

However, the 23-year-old has come up with four goals and two assists in his last eight games, and if teams that pump five or six goals past the orange and blue will get “Cincy-treasure” waved in the face, of course the same applies to those who actually manages to score for the league’s worst team.

In truth, Vazquez is simply taking advantage of the talent he has always had. He has a good physical profile, is good at holding the ball and is smart with his runs. A potential clinical MLS striker is finally starting to show up.

We should add that Vazquez’s goal per 90 is now at a law-abiding 0.5 – 0.2 higher than Brenner who, politely put, cost a few dollars extra.

Stop, Mason Toye! #NSHvMTL pic.twitter.com/OFFiS7LERG

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 24, 2021

A shoulder injury has kept him out since August, but before that Mason Toye had been on an absolute tear for CF Montreal. The 23-year-old scored seven goals in just 895 minutes at the start of the season, enough to keep him second on the list of goals for Wilfried Nancy’s team, even at this stage.

Toye is a powerful runner and big in the air, but most importantly, he seems to have refined the decision-making and finishing that frustrated so much before. He can hit you from all angles.

Swapping Minnesota for Montreal was the best thing he ever did.

San Jose have made some bad choices with their acquisitions, but getting a proven American forward in Jeremy Ebobisse seems to fit well. Quakes is probably playing well tonight pic.twitter.com/r5R0o51IRo

– Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 21, 2021

Given his general importance to the team and his four goals at the start of the season, it was a huge shock when the Timbers let Jeremy Ebobisse go to the San Jose Earthquakes.

Injuries have disrupted his start in life somewhat, but we are all aware of his qualities already. Ebobisse is a fantastic presser and is excellent at holding up the ball. He really only lacks the ruthless streak that distinguishes good strikers from big strikers.

WHAT A GOAL! RUBIO RUBIN! ? #RSLvSJ pic.twitter.com/ZB5Cdo60DK

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 8, 2021

There is a good chance that Rubio Rubin will be a Guatemala international soon, but at the moment he has only trained with Los Chapines and is still a seven-time US national team player.

After some tough periods in Europe and Mexico, Rubin has had something of a career renaissance with Real Salt Lake this season, scoring eight goals in 23 starts while adding five more assists.

It’s unlikely he will ever get a new call from Gregg Berhalter, but Rubin’s pace and movement make him at least an effective MLS striker.

Brian White can not be stopped. ?

His 11th goal in 14 games makes it a 2-0 lead @WhitecapsFC. pic.twitter.com/pkpGpQuTsP

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 28, 2021

There has been absolutely no stopping Brian White since joining the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this season, with his return now on 12 goals and three assists in 25 games.

Like Vazquez but on a larger scale, it feels like White is simply reaching the levels he should be when you consider his talent.

He has really always been good in the air, has always connected the game well and has always been a willing worker without a ball. Now, with the likes of Ryan Gauld and Cristian Dajome around him, he has started getting the service he needs to score more goals. Goals that can finally push “Caps” back to the playoffs.

At the age of 25, there is still time for White to impress Berhalter in some capacity, even if it just enters one of the MLS heavyweights for friendly matches.

CJ Sapong seals the win for @NashvilleSC. pic.twitter.com/RjeQlmK0ge

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 28, 2021

Although he has been inconsistent over the years, CJ Sapong has that important proven ability to score at MLS level without the huge budget cost usually required for a striker.

Nashville has benefited greatly from it in 2021, with Sapong 12 times in 32 games so far – a good sum to congratulate MVP candidate Hany Mukhtar.

Sapong is good both in the air and on the ground and although he will not get any more looks with USMNT, he is a good alternative in MLS.

Hi @Raptors, can we call this a buzzer? @JozyAltidore | #TFCLIVE pic.twitter.com/S6Px48fsfi

– Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) October 24, 2021

As mentioned, Altidore’s career has been ruined by injuries in recent years, which has completely removed him from the national team picture.

But when he’s on it, there are not many strikers in MLS who can tear you apart more ruthlessly or effectively than he.

Altidore have already scored two goals since returning to action in mid-October and if TFC can keep him in shape in 2022, there is absolutely no chance they will be so close to the bottom of the East again. He is so individually important.

Gyasi Zardes from outside the box! ? pic.twitter.com/bpexQd43H0

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 26, 2021

Gyasi Zardes has taken a lot of stabs from national team supporters over the years and, yes, his strike rate for USMNT is not the best.

But when it comes to a penalty area striker who simply knows how to drop a defender and put the ball in the net, there are few better in MLS. In addition, he has a nice habit of coming out with the odd screamer as well.

Given Altidore’s fitness, Zardes remains the best American option among the established veterans and he will still have a part to play in the demanding surroundings of the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers.

No. 18 in the 18th minute. @ DarylDike gives #OrlandoCity the lead on his ninth goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/lVEz0SskmO

– Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 31, 2021

Daryl Dike came out of nowhere to lead Orlando City’s victory to the playoffs last year and he did not give up in 2021, repeating the exact same feat with Barnsley in the EFL Championship. Nine goals in 21 games in the English second division from a player who has barely been a professional in one year is a remarkable achievement.

Dike suffered some persistent injuries when he returned to Orlando, but he is back in shape now and has scored nine times in just 1,238 minutes. Dike, who is only 21, is expected to fight with another young American striker for the No. 9 jersey in the coming years …

Pre-order your Ricardo Pepi – Real Madrid shirt now! ? @ Ricardo_Pepi9 told @Yael_Averbuch about his dream to represent Los Blancos for ???????? ???????? …

– 90 min (@ 90min_Football) October 29, 2021

That man is the one everyone’s talking about right now: Ricardo Pepi.

Just 18 years old, Pepi has already caught the eye with 13 MLS goals for a really awful FC Dallas outfit, and he has translated it to the international level with three goals and two assists in his first four USMNT internationals.

As revealed by 90min, Pepi attracts a huge amount of attention from Europe, with Wolfsburg agreeing on personal terms, Sampdoria placing a bid and those like Bayern Munich and Inter in the mix. Pepi has himself submitted a transfer request to speed things up.

He is fast, can finish, is good at pairing games and is already tough enough to mix it with senior professionals despite his young age. Ricardo Pepi goes places.

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