Jordan Pefok has made his presence known with his new club Union Berlin. After scoring a bicycle kick in a DFB-Pokal match a week ago he opened his Bundesliga scoring account on Saturday during Union Berlin’s 3-1 victory in the Berlin derby vs. Hertha.
Pefok opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a nicely placed header at the near post. Last season’s Swiss Super League golden boot winner shows no signs of slowing his lust for goals.
Jordan Pefok Goal vs Hertha Berlin
PEFOK! pic.twitter.com/1fvpjIlZHj— USMNT (@USMNT) August 6, 2022
— 1. FC Union Berlin (@fcunion_en) August 6, 2022
It’s no secret that Pefok and Augsburg striker Ricardo Pepi are battling for the starting No. 9 role for the U.S. at the World Cup. Pefok’s goal-scoring tally in the Swiss Super League was impressive, but could he pull off those same stats in a top five European league? He’s sure off to a good start.
His American teammate, Pepi, has had anything but a smooth transition to the Bundesliga. Pepi’s Augsburg was battered 4-0 on Saturday by SC Freiburg. The 19-year-old Texas native sat on the bench for 75 minutes before getting a small taste of action at the end.
Saturday’s game vs. Freiburg was Pepi’s 12th Bundesliga appearance in which he has logged nearly 500 minutes of game time.
He has yet to find the net in a Bundesliga game.
One might argue, “well of course Pefok will score more, Union Berlin finished fifth in the league last season while Augsburg was 14th.”
That argument doesn’t quite hold up as Pefok’s new team is incredibly defensive minded.
Union Berlin is one hell of an underdog story. The minnows play in a stadium with 22,012, nearly four times smaller than their Berlin rivals. Union Berlin earned its first ever promotion to the Bundesliga since German reunification in 2019.
The club’s budget is miniscule compared to the bigger teams and has found its success through being extra defensive and being lethal on counter attacks. Union only scored 11 more goals than Augsburg did last season but finished nine spots higher in the league.
#USMNT 9 updates:Ricardo Pepi still on bench as Augsburg trail 3-0… not great.
Jordan Pefok with a goal on his debut for Union Berlin as they lead 3-0 vs Hertha Berlin
— Stu Holden (@stuholden) August 6, 2022
no way Pefok scored more Bundesliga goals in 31 minutes than Pepi in half a Bundesliga season #USMNT— Sid ⭐️⭐️ (Cucho ANNOUNCED) (@ZelarayanEra) August 6, 2022
Here’s a question, if Pefok and Dike continue to play well, do they play their way onto the WC roster ahead of Ferreira and Pepi?? https://t.co/wssyq5nCJO— Simply Rusty (@auribes37) August 6, 2022
If Pefok keeps this up and Pepi continues to ride the bench, Pefok has to be on plane over him.— TheRealCR7 (@ChrisRohrbach1) August 6, 2022
The American striker that will start for the USMNT at the World Cup in Qatar will be decided between the months of August and November. The most in-form player should get the nod from Gregg Berhalter.
It’s only been one game and one goal for Pefok, but he couldn’t have gotten off to a better start in the Bundesliga.