Backheeled Staff

Born in Washington D.C., Jordan Pefok grew up in France and played in their youth national team system before deciding to play for the U.S. men’s national team at the senior level. Pefok is your classic, get in the box and put the ball in the back of the net No. 9. He’s tall, moves well off the ball in the box, and exploits the small spaces left behind by opposing defenders. After some time pl

Sergino Dest was born in the sauce. He still lives in the sauce. Well, actually, that’s not true. Dest was born in the Netherlands and he lives in Barcelona. As a dual-national, his decision to play for the U.S. men’s national team instead of the Netherlands was one of the biggest moments of Gregg Berhalter’s tenure. When you watch Dest play, the first thing you’ll notice is how much he lo

FC Dallas academy? Check. Moving up through the FC Dallas system? Check. Signing for FC Dallas? Check. Moving over to Europe? Check. Ricardo Pepi is just one of a handful of former Dallas players who moved up through the ranks in the USL and MLS before moving abroad. Pepi, who is from El Paso, was eligible to play for both the United States and Mexico, but ultimately chose to represent the U.S. me

We know, we know, that clip up above is more than one play. But by watching just a few seconds of the video, you can get a pretty strong idea of how Erik Palmer-Brown plays. He’s a capable passer and has solid defensive mobility that allows him to slide over and snuff out opposition attacks. After leaving Sporting Kansas City and spending some time on loan with Porto, Palmer-Brown became a part

Haji Wright has been everywhere. Okay, not really, but it certainly feels that way. Wright went from the New York Cosmos in the NASL to Schalke in Germany to Sandhausen to VVV-Venlo in the Netherlands to SønderjyskE in Denmark to Antalyaspor in Turkey. That’s quite the list of clubs, isn’t it? Outside of Schalke, where he struggled to truly break into the team, Wright hasn’t played for a to

Reggie Cannon isn’t the flashiest player, but he’s been a useful presence in the backline at every level of his professional career. Cannon was a Homegrown Player with FC Dallas in Major League Soccer before he moved over to Europe with Boavista in the Portuguese first division in 2020. In possession, Cannon doesn’t fly forward on the overlap (although he can get forward). Instead, he often

Daryl Dike didn’t take a traditional path to professional soccer. Dike, who grew up in Oklahoma, played high school soccer before moving to Virginia to play college soccer for the Virginia Cavaliers. From Virginia, Dike was drafted by Orlando City in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. Dike scored a bunch of goals for Orlando City, went out on loan to Barnsley in the English Championship, and eventually si

Joe Scally might not have a lot of European experience - he made his Bundesliga debut for Gladbach in the 2021-2022 season - but for a teenager, he’s already proven himself to be a flexible player. So far in his young career, Scally has played as a right back, a right wingback, a left back, and a left wingback. With a strong right foot and a better-than-average weak foot, Scally can be a valuabl

In modern soccer, classic, through ball-threading attacking midfielders are getting harder and harder to find. Richy Ledezma is one of those players. After moving from Phoenix, Arizona to Real Salt Lake’s United Soccer League affiliate, Ledezma signed for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands. He’s a technical, exciting player with real attacking quality in the final third. Ledezma is eligible for

You probably know the name. Not only does Christian Pulisic play for Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, but he's also the talisman for the United States men's national team. When Pulisic moved to Borussia Dortmund back in 2015, he inspired other young Americans to follow his development pathway, and years later there's an entire crop of talented USMNT players plying their trade at hig