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State of the Union: Forwards

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Whereas we’ve seen middling returns elsewhere on the field, the forwards have been patiently waiting with goals, goals, and more goals.

Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The striker pool is too thin. We don’t have a consistent goal-scorer. We’re too old. Dempsey causes positional problems.

It’s been gloom and doom around the U.S. striker pool for a while, but it’s amazing how some goals will change all that. Compared to just a few months ago, the forward situation is kind of peachy.

Jozy Altidore - A+

Forget Americans. Jozy’s been the best striker in MLS for the last month. He is the definition of hot right now, scoring five in his last six and adding an assist, with half of those coming in sub appearances as Toronto FC try to manage his minutes in an attempt to prevent any hamstring re-injuring.

Clint Dempsey - B+

Not scoring at the clip Altidore is, but the addition of Nico Lodeiro has worked wonders for Seattle, and Dempsey is fresh off a brace against rivals Portland Timbers. He just keeps finding a way into the net.

Jordan Morris - B

He’s leading rookies with 8 goals and...you know what, forget the stats for a second. Just watch this and let your happy in.

Bobby Wood - B-

Like the others in Germany, Bobby hasn’t had the chance to do much. However, he did start and get a 70 minute run-out in the Pokal. As a new player to Hamburg and a first-timer to top-flight soccer, playing time is going to be a hard-won commodity. Here’s hoping that Cup start was an indicator.

Gyasi Zardes - B-

Has struggled with injury niggles here and there since the Copa America, but did pop up with a goal against Chicago on Wednesday night.

Aron Johannsson - C+

The fact that he’s even getting a grade is a relief at this point. The Iceman is back and healthy again. Let’s see what he can do with Werder Bremen.

Rubio Rubin - C+

Appears to have the faith of the FC Utrecht coaching staff once more, as he’s started several Eredivisie matches already this season. Still has yet to find the net, though. He’ll need to start getting on the scoresheet sooner rather than later if he wants to keep his place in the XI.

Bjorn Maars Johnsen - B-

And now, for something completely different. Johnsen is from North Carolina and has spent the last couple of years in the soccer equivalent of Mars: Bulgaria. However, Johnsen’s play has impressed more than a few teams over the years, and Heart of Midlothian (current employers of Perry Kitchen) signed him this summer. After some FIFA shenanigans involving his transfer, Johnsen finally got his Scottish debut, which he celebrated with a backheel assist belying his 6’4” frame.

No, he won’t make this roster, but yes, that back heel is pretty tasty.

Chris Wondolowski