Between the Concacaf Nations League finals and the Gold Cup, all in the lead up to the start of World Cup qualifying in the fall, a very busy summer is quickly approaching for the US men's national team.
It also marks an important stretch of matches for the long list of forwards hovering around the team, as Gregg Berhalter will have to answer what now feels like an age-old question: Who starts up top for the US, and can that person become the team's primary starter going forward?
On the latest Club and Country, retired USMNT forward Charlie Davies took a stab at answering that question and picked out his top five strikers in the pool.
Davies' top choice is Orlando City's Daryl Dike, who is currently on loan at Barnsley. He's probably in the best form of any forward in the pool, having scored nine goals in 17 league games for Barnsley and recentlyy winning player of the month honors.
"He's performing in the English Championship," Davies said. "Yes, people will say 'it's not a top division in Europe.' Well, it's a very difficult division to play and have success in and he's doing it in a variety of different ways. ... I think his hold up play, his runs, just being able to understand different tactics and formations, I really love what I've seen from him."
Davies' second choice was Werder Bremen's Josh Sargent, who has five goals in 29 Bundesliga matches this season.
"You know what you're going to get from him," he said. "Hard worker, consistent. I think he still needs to find the right club for him that plays a good brand of football, that he can really kind of show what he's about."
Columbus Crew's Gyasi Zardes ranks third for Davies, after enjoying a 15-goal season in 2020. Zardes is someone who has developed a strong working relationship with Berhalter after the coach's time at Columbus, and Davies thinks of it as a strong point for him.
"You know what you're going to get from Gyasi," Davies said. "Hard worker, good hold up play. I think he's starting to develop different parts of his game that is needed in an international match, as far as knowing everything going into these matches. ... understanding the way that Gregg Berhalter wants the team to play, I think, is massive."
Young Boys' Jordan Siebatcheu ranks fairly high on Davies' list despite having only two caps for the national team. He has 11 goals in 27 league matches this season, though, and three Europa League goals in nine games.
"He's a big target striker," Davies said. "I'd like to see more of him. I think he obviously has all the potential to move up the list. ... He's 24 years old, a lot of upside."
Davies rounded out his list with Lille's Timothy Weah, despite primarily rating him as a winger. He has some experience playing as the No. 9, and has been a big part of Lille's push for the Ligue 1 title with three goals in 27 matches this season.
"He's competing with Jonathan David, so it's a very difficult position for him," Davies said, "but he's young and he's still playing really important minutes for a top club in France."
Notably, Davies did not have Toronto FC's Jozy Altidore in his top five. The forward has carved out a specific place in the pool as the lone holdover as a new generation of talent has emerged, and, though Davies says Altidore needs a special run of form to really work himself into the fold, he isn't ruling out the possibility of the veteran again being the main man up front for the US.
"We need to see what you're doing now, so stay healthy and also banging goals left and right," Davies said. "Being the goalscorer that the US men's national team needs him to be and as well as Toronto. If he can do that and play his way back to the national team, which is what you want."