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Ayo Akinola


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1 hour ago, Ivan said:

^ Good analysis and welcome to the board Canadian Chuck.  Do you really think Ayo is an automatic choice in the 23 for the Canadian NT?  David, Cavallini and Larin are ahead of him right now.  Unless you were referring to the U23s, in which case I completely agree.

Thank you. Fair point, not a true automatic choice, but he would be a good inclusion. That may make him lean further to the US. Cavallini and Larin are more proven than most of the US options too, not just David. What has Sargent ever done in the Bundesliga? He's not producing there. The others are in lower European leagues or in MLS, some potential but unproven. Hoppe may be better than the other options but needs to keep it up, and he may be benched by Huntelaar who Schalke just brought back. No current US striker has done what Larin is doing at Besiktas or David at Gent.

It is just unfortunate that of the three positions the USA does not have a good starter in a Top 5 European League, one of them is striker. The other two are goalkeeper (Steffen #2 at Man City) and right central defense (Miazga starting at Anderlecht in Belgium, Chris Richards with sub minutes at Bayern) but those probably look better than striker too.

Akinola might not start for the USA but he has a chance because their strikers aren't on the same level as their other positions. With his fifty US youth caps and senior friendly debut, and that Canada as of today has better options at his position than the US, it just doesn't seem likely he leaves them. Would be glad to be wrong.

Edited by Canadian Chuck
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Very interesting read, Canadian Chuck! Thanks.  I wonder, given the very large player pool in the US, if Ayo woul take on a real risk similar to that taken on by Teal Bunbury. As we all know, Bunbury played in a handful of games for the USMNT, then was dropped an never played international football again. He was simply crowded out by the large number of established and emerging US players.

With Canada, Ayo would be a roster guy automatically, and a starter soon enough on the full CMNT. And, like Davies and David, Ayo would become a terrific role model for young Canadian players, especially in Ontario, aspiring to play for TFC and the CMNT.

Furthermore, given that WCQ for Canada could take 20 matches, Ayo would certainly get his chances, even beginning in March.  I really encourage Ayo to put on the red and white. We were all sorry that he was injured before Camp Poutine started, wish him all the best, and look forward to seeing him with CMNT soon! Besides, what an opportunity it would be to form a trio of Ayo, Davis, and Davies!

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3 hours ago, canadianbacons said:

For the US Senior team he will also have to compete with established MLS strikers like Zardes, Altidore, Morris, and maybe even guys like Ebobisse and Bobby Wood. With a much deeper pool it will be more difficult for Ayo to become an automatic selection in the 23. 

With the rate they’re churning out talent, with Dallas, Philadelphia and Red Bulls having their academies on point, it’s a matter of time until one of them produces a striker. If either LA team gets it together or Miami... long term it doesn’t make sense.

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I think Altidore is near-done with his age, injury history, and mediocre 2020.

Zardes is serviceable but about to turn 30.

Wood is all but done as a pro let alone internationally. He has almost no playing time in the 2nd Bundesliga over the last two years.

Ebobisse is about to turn 24 and is not a regular starter in MLS.

Morris is solid and we will see how he does at Swansea City but he is almost always a winger.

Sargent isn't producing. It is possible Akinola would do better in the same circumstances. And other striker names have been playing in lower European leagues below MLS.

I will say Matthew Hoppe looks good and might be their top choice long-term. Interestingly Hoppe is not an MLS product, it appears he played for non-MLS academies in the southwest US before moving to Schalke. Needs to sustain his form, of course.

I certainly hope Ayo goes with the nation of his upbringing and he would be a Canadian player for a long time but, at least IMO, I think we are underestimating the odds he would be good enough to be a US contributor. It is possible he is the next Bunbury but he may be better than that. And their strikers aren't that good at least compared to their other positions. Larin and David would be the top two US strikers today if eligible, and Larin is still 25 and David is just 21.

Edited by Canadian Chuck
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3 minutes ago, Canadian Chuck said:

I think Altidore is near-done with his age, injury history, and mediocre 2020.

Zardes is serviceable but about to turn 30.

Wood is all but done as a pro let alone internationally. He has almost no playing time in the 2nd Bundesliga over the last two years.

Ebobisse is about to turn 24 and is not a regular starter in MLS.

Morris is solid and we will see how he does at Swansea City but he is almost always a winger.

Sargent isn't producing. It is possible Akinola would do better in the same circumstances. And other striker names have been playing in lower European leagues below MLS.

I will say Matthew Hoppe looks good and might be their top choice long-term. Interestingly Hoppe is not an MLS product, it appears he played for non-MLS academies in the southwest US before moving to Schalke. Needs to sustain his form, of course.

I certainly hope Ayo goes with the nation of his upbringing and he would be a Canadian player for a long time but, at least IMO, I think we are underestimating the odds he would be good enough to be a US contributor. It is possible he is the next Bunbury but he may be better than that. And their strikers aren't that good at least compared to their other positions. Larin and David would be the top two US strikers today if eligible, and Larin is still 25 and David is just 21.

Yeah, we don't really appreciate the depth we have sometimes. David and Larin are probably the 2nd and 3rd top strikers in CONCACAF, and Cav's probably like... 6th ish? Someone should make a list.

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10 minutes ago, PiedPilko said:

Yeah, we don't really appreciate the depth we have sometimes. David and Larin are probably the 2nd and 3rd top strikers in CONCACAF, and Cav's probably like... 6th ish? Someone should make a list.

Exactly And those two are still young. Even Cavallini is better than nearly all of the US striker options. Hopefully Akinola picks CMNT but you can at least see his reasons, from a football perspective, to consider the USMNT. They seem to be good or very good almost everywhere *except* striker.

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1 hour ago, Canadian Chuck said:

es with the nation of his upbringing and he would be a Canadian player for a long time but, at least IMO, I think we are underestimating the odds he would be good enough to be a US contributor. It is possible he is the next Bunbury but he may be better than that. And their strikers aren't that good at least compared to their other positions. Larin and David would be the top two US strikers today if eligible, and Larin is still 25 and David is just 21.

I hope you mean the younger Bunbury!!!  Dont disrespect the legend...6 years in top flight Portugal, retires as the clubs alltime leading premeira scorer, 60+ games for canada and 15 goals. Even Teal has had a solid MLS career, 11 years, 60+ goals, 30 assists.  US is deep and they arent giving away caps...there is interest in him now, when he is young and hot and not committed, but he'll hvae to keep pace with a bunch of those guys you mentioned.  For us, even if he is a solid MLS striker he could get alot of games in a red shirt.  

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I would say you guys are being way too harsh on Sargent. He’s a 20 year old two year starter in the Bundesliga. Sure he only has two goals and two assists in 17 matches this year - isn’t that pretty much the same as David? All the excuses for David should work for Sargent too. WB are an awful team to watch and have only averaged 1.1 goals per match this year. I’ve watched them a few times and Sargent gets zero service at all. He’s also one of their highest rated players on whoscored. I think we would need to see him with a bit of quality around him to really conclude on him.

sure Hoppe has had a good month but before that he couldn’t even score in the 4th tier. We’ll see if he can continue this pace. If so, great for the Americans but if they had a match tomorrow i doubt that Hoppe would be in front of Ayo or Sargent.

Edited by Floortom
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6 hours ago, Bison44 said:

I hope you mean the younger Bunbury!!!  Dont disrespect the legend...6 years in top flight Portugal, retires as the clubs alltime leading premeira scorer, 60+ games for canada and 15 goals. Even Teal has had a solid MLS career, 11 years, 60+ goals, 30 assists.  US is deep and they arent giving away caps...there is interest in him now, when he is young and hot and not committed, but he'll hvae to keep pace with a bunch of those guys you mentioned.  For us, even if he is a solid MLS striker he could get alot of games in a red shirt.  

From the context I am pretty sure he meant the colour, not the legend.

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All it distills down to for me is the US has question marks at striker who are basically all about the same caliber of Akinola and in some cases probably worse, while Canada has the second and third best strikers in the region behind only Raul Jimenez and both are fairly young. We are simply better than the US at the position, not just now but perhaps a while longer too. While I would love for him to pick Canada, we should also be confident in our current players and it would not be surprising if he goes with the US because of this. It's also just not likely that a player with over 50 youth caps and a senior friendly start + goal before the age of 21 chooses a different national team. Hope I'm wrong about this.

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54 minutes ago, Kadenge said:

Larin has been playing out wide for Besiktas this season and David is best playing behind a big striker. There's no reason all 3 could not start for us. 

There's no guarantee this transitions well though. Larin, while playing out wide isn't really playing as a actual winger. He's basically a wide forward supporting Aboubaker. 

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5 hours ago, Floortom said:

I would say you guys are being way too harsh on Sargent. He’s a 20 year old two year starter in the Bundesliga. Sure he only has two goals and two assists in 17 matches this year - isn’t that pretty much the same as David? All the excuses for David should work for Sargent too. WB are an awful team to watch and have only averaged 1.1 goals per match this year. I’ve watched them a few times and Sargent gets zero service at all. He’s also one of their highest rated players on whoscored. I think we would need to see him with a bit of quality around him to really conclude on him.

sure Hoppe has had a good month but before that he couldn’t even score in the 4th tier. We’ll see if he can continue this pace. If so, great for the Americans but if they had a match tomorrow i doubt that Hoppe would be in front of Ayo or Sargent.

I don't think Sargent gets the credit he deserves, but Jonathan David actually has a better strike rate. He has 4 goals in 21 games for Lille, while Sargent has 8 goals in 55 games for Bremen.

Edited by Obinna
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Ayo is still ahead or at least on par with Hoppe (meaning a 3rd or 4th tier American selection). Hoppe barely scored in 4th tier Germany. He knows how to finish but is rough in almost every other facet of his game. He reminds me of an unpolished Wondo.

Sargent is still more valued by American supporters and his manager who just was quoted saying: I know that forwards are always judged by the number of their goals. But that's not fair and it falls short of what a coach needs to look at. Josh always gives everything and he's incredibly important for the whole construct. Now he scored, and therefore public judgement should be that he's a complete forward.

So American first tier or starters are Jozy, Sargent & Zardes. Though Jozy is trending towards being a bench player.

Second tier or bench striker is ligue 2 player Gioachinni and maybe Soto. Then there is a bunch who haven't really shown too much in club action yet but may have had flashes with the USMNT or vice et versa: Dike, Novakovich, Johansson & Hoppe. 

There are a couple of dual nats out there. If they commit, one would be second tier and the other is too young to be called up yet.

Edited by red card
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9 minutes ago, Corazon said:

I hear he is going to Europe.  Not sure if Turkey or Britain but just what I'm hearing.  It makes me think Santos Borre will be signed soon as a new DP for Toronto.

We will see where he lands.  Hopefully he decides to represent us.

I hope he does go. More minutes for Peruzza and hopefully he develops there.

I think we’ll know his decision soon.

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34 minutes ago, Bertuzzi44 said:

I am also tiring of this Akinola talk (and hopes he joins Canada), but when have we had a chance to cap him? Canada never plays any games.

Does he not have to make his one time switch before we can even cap him or has that changed?

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