I’ve long noticed that American soccer players aren’t necessarily known for their scoring abilities. This is true in the adult leagues I play in and at the pro level.
I wrote about it here when the top scoring American in the MLS was #12.
It hasn’t changed much since then, but the top American comes in at #5 now and that American is the same one that either scored or helped create all of the US goals against Honduras, in his first appearance with the National Team, Ricardo Pepi. The next American in MLS appears at #10.
Now, granted, folks like Christian Pulisic and Josh Sargent don’t play in the MLS, but…
…they haven’t produced consistent goals for the U.S. Men’s team, either. That is their job.
While they have a good touch, can control the ball and can create some separation, their finishing looks like most American attempts at scoring — wooden, predictable and fairly easy to cover by goalies.
Pepi made it look easy. He has creativity — which means he’s a bit more unpredictable — and can use multiple parts of his body to direct the ball.
I just think it’s strange, but it’s not surprising. We don’t emphasize creative goal scoring in the U.S. We don’t have places for kids to practice it. We ban them from shooting practice before their games and while fields aren’t being used, because we want to protect the precious grass!