Stade Rennais dramatically took down LOSC Lille, 2-1, in the Coupe de France Round of 16 Wednesday evening. Theoson-Jordan Siebatcheu scored both goals for Rennes at Roazhon Park, leading the club to its first quarter-final appearance since 2014.
The French-Cameroonian-American entered the match as a 72nd minute substitute. He made an immediate impact, heading in a cross from Benjamin Bourigeaud in the 72nd minute. In stoppage time, Siebatcheu fought off two physical defenders to head a deflected cross into the back of the net.
In the quarterfinals, Les Rouges et Noirs face off against second division side US Orléans, who advanced with a 1-0 victory over Metz. The match will be played on February 26th or 27th.
It’s been a minor renaissance for both the club and Siebatcheu after a disastrous start to the season. Rennes clawed back to the middle of Ligue 1 and into the knockout rounds of the Europa League (with an upcoming series against Real Betis) following manager Sabri Lamouchi’s replacement by newcomer Julien Stéphan.
Siebatcheu has spent this season rotating with M’Baye Niang (on loan from Torino) at the striker position, after transferring in from Reims for 12 million euros. After failing to score until November, the 22-year-old has seven goals in 22 league and cup appearances, good for second most at the club.
Siebatcheu remains eligible to play for France, Cameroon, or the United States, but appears to be in no hurry to make a commitment. His last international appearance was with the France U-21 national team in June of 2017, and, according to a report from The Athletic, he turned down a call-up from the USMNT in 2018. Siebatcheu is attempting to play his way into France’s elite rotation, which isn’t implausible considering his continued upward trajectory. Even if he never breaks through, he has two interested parties that would benefit from his presence and abilities as a target striker. While the 2022 World Cup is a long way off, it’s likely that US Soccer and Cameroon would prefer he pledges his international future and attempts to integrate into their respective set-ups sooner rather than later.