USMNT: Soto and Gioacchini performances add intrigue to striker debate

USMNT (Photo by Soccrates/Getty Images)
USMNT (Photo by Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Two goals apiece from Sebastian Soto and Nicholas Gioacchini helped lead the USMNT to victory

The USMNT has been in search of their go-to striker and as World Cup qualifying draws near the debate on who should be the starter will intensify. Against Panama on Monday, two new faces to the senior national team made appearances. These two striker prospects, Sebastian Soto and Nicholas Gioacchini ended up providing fantastic performances that helped give the USMNT a resounding 6-2 victory. Both players registered two goals apiece to help guide Gregg Berhalter’s team to victory.

With their two-goal performances, the pair of strikers have certainly thrown their names into the debate on who could be the future options at striker for the upcoming World Cup qualifying and the possible appearance in the World Cup finals in 2022. This promises to be an intriguing position battle on the road to the World Cup.

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A bright future ahead

Both Soto and Gioacchini currently play in second divisions in the Netherlands and France. They have yet to make their breakthrough with a club in a top division in Europe but that could still happen as they are both just 20.

Soto is off to a great start to the 2020/21 season with Telstar in the Dutch second division and is on loan from Norwich City. If he continues to produce for Telstar then a move back to Norwich is very likely. Gioacchini is performing well for Caen in Ligue 2 with three goals in eight appearances so far this season.

At just 20, a lot could still happen in these players’ careers between now and November of 2022 when the World Cup finals will occur. If they can make a move to a top league and produce there, then they could very well move them up the depth chart when it comes to starting options at striker. Josh Sargent remains the top choice of the European-based players but there’s always the possibility that either Soto or Gioacchini moves ahead of him in the years to come.

A crucial next few seasons

The next World Cup appearance for the USMNT could feature Sargent and either Soto or Gioachhini as the main striker options for Berhalter. It will be very interesting to see what Soto and Gioachhini can accomplish in the current season and the 2021/22 campaign. These will be crucial seasons for the duo as they have what it takes to move up the depth chart.

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If they can make move to bigger clubs and produce at a high-level in top leagues then they should have a very good chance at making the USMNT roster for the World Cup finals. Keep an eye on these two players’ progression in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons.