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Virginia soccer alum Daryl Dike to join West Bromwich Albion

The former Cavalier and current striker for the U.S. National Team is the latest addition to the EFL Championship club

<p>While at Virginia, Dike registered 15 goals and nine assists in 36 games.</p>

While at Virginia, Dike registered 15 goals and nine assists in 36 games.

Former Virginia soccer player Daryl Dike will be taking his talents to England as the English Football League Championship club, West Bromwich Albion, announced his acquisition on Jan. 1. West Bromwich signed the 21-year old striker to a four-and-a-half year deal while also paying $9.5 million to Dike’s former club, Orlando City SC.

“[I’m] excited for the new adventure and opportunity to fulfill my dreams,” Dike captioned a recent Instagram post.

West Bromwich plays in the second tier of English soccer and currently sits fourth in the table. If the Albion manage to finish the season either first or second, they will automatically be promoted to the Premier League — England’s top soccer division. Alternatively, if the team places in the top six, they will be entered in a knockout tournament with the winner. 

Dike will hope to improve West Bromwich’s attack as the group searches to return to England’s top flight division. During his time with Orlando City last season, Dike had a huge impact by registering 11 goals in 19 appearances. One of his goals was in the MLS playoffs against Nashville SC. 

Making a move to a European club signifies a massive step in a player's career, as European play is much more competitive, fast and aggressive. With this being the case, it is not uncommon for a player to quickly lose confidence or struggle in such an environment. Luckily, Dike has already proved that he is capable of performing in Europe. 

During his time at Orlando, Dike was loaned out to Barnsley Football Club, another Championship club, from January to May. Dike had a major impact, scoring nine goals in 22 appearances. Though the club did not achieve promotion, they finished fifth in the table, qualifying them for the promotion playoffs. 

Before being drafted fifth overall by Orlando, Dike registered 10 goals and eight assists for the Cavaliers in his second season. He was listed as a Third Team All-American by United Soccer Coaches and his contributions helped Virginia win the ACC Championship in 2019. In addition, Dike was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the NCAA College Cup for scoring three goals in two games.

As a freshman, Dike was named to the All-ACC Freshman Team when he recorded five goals, one assist and tied for second on the team in points with 11. 

Due to his impressive resume, Dike has made eight appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team. In eight games, Dike has scored three goals with two of them coming against Martinique in the Gold Cup group stage. Additionally, Dike was a member of the 2021 Gold Cup squad that defeated Mexico 1-0 in the final to win the tournament. 

If Dike can have an exceptional year in England, it will increase his chances of being selected by U.S. Head Coach Gregg Berhalter for the 2022 World Cup squad in Qatar.