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Stonks: Buy or sell USMNT strikers

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A Twitter user asks how’d you invest $100 in USMNT strikers: Sargent, Altidore, Zardes, Soto, Hoppe and more

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Are you buying or selling Jozy Altidore and Gyasi Zardes for the next four years
Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

It’s not bankrupting a hedge fund with GameStop stock, but U.S. Soccer fan @tutulismyname created a fun Twitter game, so we’re going to play it: if you had $100 to invest in a stock market made of US-eligible strikers how would you invest it?

Even better, would you buy or sell stock in the potential USMNT number 9s at the market prices?

Factors to Consider

Time: Consider the next four years. Not just the Qatar World Cup. Will players like Jozy Altidore and Gyasi Zardes be involved after the 2022 World Cup? Is the next four years too soon for 18-year-old Ricardo Pepi?

Competitions: This is the Gold Cup in addition to World Cup qualifiers and the World Cup.

Eligibility: Are you watching YouTube clips of Folarin Balogun? Here’s your chance to look into a future where he declares for the United States Men’s National Team.

Position: Tim Weah is a winger. But he could be a striker. Jordan Morris is a winger. But he could be a striker. You get the idea.

My Investments

Ok. Ok. I know I put Niko Gioacchini twice. My second one was meant to be $1 for Jeremy Ebobisse.

So let’s hit my list...

Josh Sargent, $35 — We’ve seen enough of Sargent to know he has the potential to be this generation’s first team striker. We’ve also seen enough of him for you to comically ask why he doesn’t just score every game like Matthew Hoppe does. I answer both thoughts with one phrase: “He’s 20 years old.” The trajectory points up for Sargent, and the dam will break on Bundesliga goals soon. Let’s call the most recent goal the first of many sledgehammer blows. I probably went over by $5-10 here just because Weston McKennie’s transition from bottom of the Bundesliga to most impactful midfielder on Juventus has me projecting the same for Sargent.

Sebastian Soto, $20 — Yup. Yup. I’m high here, but I’m ok with that. I think this stock has the best chance of going over $20 of any listed beneath Sargent. So I’d put it right at $20. Partly because Soto’s been highly rated for years. Partly because I feel like he’s on a rapid but respectful journey of paying his dues in Europe. Partly because I haven’t seen enough of Soto. This valuation may be more on par with how NBA teams value draft picks then actual players. Oh, he also has a goals to caps ratio of 1:1 (it’s only two games and goals, but how often do you get to write this).

Jozy Altidore, $18 — Why did I do this? On review, I tweeted from the hip on this one. Perhaps I was influenced by looking at other valuations. My memory tells me I said to myself something like, “Jozy will get run in the next two years because of his experience and presence in a domestic league.” I think that’s right, but not to the tune of $18 and third on the list. But also,in a COVID world any domestic player probably will play more than they woul...I’ll stop. Stopping now.

Gyasi Zardes, $12 — This is Gregg Berhalter’s guy, right? Not like his number one. But maybe the text message with something about an unexpected travel limitation and “I need you in Kansas City tomorrow.” Don’t you see Zardes getting minutes in most non-WCQ or World Cup games? Anytime you can’t bring the squad from Europe, Zardes is on the beat. And since I can’t read Gregg Berhalter’s mind, I refuse to rule him out until it happens.

Matthew Hoppe, $4 — Here’s what I know about Hoppe. He’s fearless. He’s amazing at seizing his moment. He’s the only ray of sunlight in the campaign for Schalke 04 to stave off elimination. The level of performance he’s achieved over a short span in the past month is mind blowing and has me watching Schalke. The only thing I knew about Hoppe in December was his surname and club. Now, I can tell you about his family and upbringing. I think this properly reflects a player we’re not ready to commit to 4 years yet, but also infinitely higher then where it would have been last month.

Ricardo Pepi, $2
Florian Balogun, $2
Nico Gioacchini, $2
Tim Weah, $2

No surprises here. I think you could put a higher price on Balogun and Gioacchini. There’s a world where Weah plays some forward minutes. It seems like a lock that he’ll get minutes on either wing depending on player availability. But, you’d put $2 on player availability, and a thin #9 roster causes Weah to go up top in some games. The USMNT has a long history of shifting midfielders up top.

Jeremy Ebobisse, $1
Ayo Akinola, $1
Daryl Dike, $1

This MLS trio will either need to lead the MLS in scoring or go to Europe to increase in price. None has garnered serious European transfer rumors. But in a world with a decline in international travel, you’d put a $1 on domestic players like this in the event bigger names have difficulty being available for the Gold Cup.

My rankings are not right. Even looking at them now, I wondered what I was thinking between Zoom meetings while furiously listing players and stonk values.

Tear this to parts. But also let us know. Who would you include and what stonk values would you assign?