After a couple of drab weeks in the USMNT-related goal department, we have a spicy meatball of a selection for you this week. With a double-match week basically all over Europe there were plenty of Americans getting on the scoresheet. We had two really special goals to choose from. One of which is obvious, while the other comes from a more obscure source. In the end, there could only be one winner.
Goal of the Week: Folarin Balogun doesn’t need your help
A large percentage of our comment section will likely know who Folarin Balogun is. However, if you’re a casual American soccer fan/reader there’s a good chance you don’t. The tl;dr skinny on Balogun is that he’s a dual-national eligible to play for England, USA and Nigeria. He’s represented both England and the USA at the youth levels and is reportedly undecided on his international future. He plays for Arsenal but looks set to leave the club in the summer when his contract expires. Rumors have linked him with a possible move to RB Leipzig. He is undoubtedly at or near the top of the list of dual-nationals that Gregg Berhalter and company are currently recruiting.
Playing for Arsenal’s U23s on Friday he scored a hat trick, including a sensational solo effort that saw him dribble past 3 or 4 different defenders with expert level dribbling and finish brilliantly. No matter the level of competition, the skills required to pull off a goal like this is something you don’t see every day. That’s why I chose it over Josh Sargent’s.
Josh Sargent’s snubbed banger
Please be careful with those pitchforks. Yes, Sargent’s long range strike was a thing of beauty, but how often do you see an American forward score a goal like Balogun’s at any level? Just based on the scarcity of the type of goal and the skills required to execute it, I gave the nod to the kid. Sue me. Also, he’s definitely going to read this blog post and be so happy he’ll immediately commit to the USMNT. You’re welcome, America.
Nico Gioacchini brings the chips
The Caen forward scored this nice little chipped finish at midweek in the French second division. Despite his less-than-prestigious club situation, with the forward pool as flimsy and unknown as it is, Gioacchini has a great chance to keep getting USMNT call-ups in the future if he keeps scoring goals like this.
Weston McKennie does what Weston McKennie does
Wes’ brilliant debut season for Juventus just keeps getting better and better. Not only has he won the admiration of his manager and teammates, but he consistently puts up match-changing performances and even adds some goals to the cause. While this header off a corner won’t ever win any beauty contests it’s as textbook as they come. Sometimes there’s beauty in simplicity and seeing McKennie score these certainly qualifies and will never get old. This is his third Serie A goal of the season and fourth in all competitions.
Julian Green is still around and scoring goals
It’s time for your monthly reminder that Julian Green still exists and is still producing respectable numbers in the German second division with Greuther Furth. The ball over the top to him brought back vague memories of Belgium in 2014 a bit. However, the finish was definitely not as pretty but still effective. He has five goals and two assists so far this season. Good to see him still kicking about and keeping himself relevant.
Matthew Hoppe is basically the American Lewandowski
Yes, Matthew Hoppe scored yet again in midweek action. His fifth goal in his last three matches. There’s really not much to talk about this ‘right place, right time’ goal but you have to credit the kid for doing what strikers are paid to do. Keep on keeping on, Matthew.
American Matthew Hoppe is German Football’s Linsanity. The 19-year old from Orange County, CA has emerged from nowhere to score his 5th goal in 3 games. How many similarly undiscovered raw talents must there be waiting to be found across our nation? pic.twitter.com/HHdflsswJK— roger bennett (@rogbennett) January 20, 2021
Tyler Adams scores his first Bundesliga goal
Feel free to head to the comments and yell at me for my decision.