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Daryl Dike shines in Gold Cup start against Martinique

Dike scores three goals (though credited with two) in 6-1 win.

Martinique v United States: Group B - 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Anyone who watched Daryl Dike play at Virginia knew he’d be a star. Whether or not they knew he’d be this big of a sensation this quickly is another story. The former Cavalier got the start for the US Men’s National Soccer Team on Thursday night as they faced Martinique in the Gold Cup. It was an easy 6-1 win for the USA, due largely in part to Dike’s domination.

He was officially credited with two goals, but contributed in a third that was later changed to an own goal.

Dike got the first goal of the night for the USA on a header in the 14th minute:

It looked like he’d get the brace in the 23rd minute on a wacky play that resulted in a Dike header getting kicked in by a Martinique defender. After being scored an own goal, it was switched to a Dike goal, then back to an own goal.

His final goal was the prettiest of the night. After passing the ball out of some traffic on the left side of the field, Dike continued his run and got the ball back from his teammate. A brilliant first touch gave him space just inside the box, and he got a soft touch on the bounce for a lofted volley over the goalkeeper.

His score would make it 4-0 in the 59th minute, and Dike would be subbed off shortly after. The US scored twice more, and conceded a penalty kick to reach the final score. Thanks to the win, USMNT is moving on to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup. They still have to round out group play against Canada on Sunday, however.

This was Dike’s second start for the national team, and there has been increased discussion online that he might be a good fit to continue getting the starting nod going forward in big matches.

His combination of strength, speed, and touch is a revelation on the pitch, and he’s continued to succeed everywhere he’s played. Dike was drafted by Orlando in the 2020 MLS Draft, and he had eight goals and four assists in 17 games played. He went on loan to Barnsley FC, helping the Tykes climb the standings and play in the playoffs. With Barnsley, Dike had nine goals in 19 games. This season with Orlando, he’s scored two goals in four games.

It’s unclear where Dike might end up in the near future — whether with the MLS or a top club overseas — but we do know is that he’s a certified star.