- Dike scores twice early
- Fourth and fifth goals of season
- Both players looking to play way back into USMNT
WHAT HAPPENED? Dike scored in the eighth minute and then again in the 10th, leaving Steffen frustrated as Middlesbrough found themselves down a pair of goals before they could blink. The goals were Dike's fourth and fifth goals of the Championship season.
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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Both Dike and Steffen were left off the U.S. men's national team's World Cup squad last fall, but both could very much be in the picture for 2026. Dike, who is just 22, could prove to be an answer for the ongoing striker question, while Steffen is finally getting consistent minutes at Middlesbrough after spending several season on the bench for Manchester City (and recently had a spectacular game).
WHAT NEXT FOR USMNT? Both Dike and Steffen could be involved in March when the U.S. face Grenada and El Salvador in the Nations League.