Feb 13, 2014, 8:46 PM EST
It’s a question that at first blush feels wild, almost absurd: could Toronto FC forward Bright Dike make his way onto the Nigeria roster for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil?
Could a player whose played for three American clubs in four years — and didn’t make his Nigerian senior team bow until he was 25 — be in Stephen Keshi’s plans for the Super Eagles time on the world’s biggest stage?
He’s cleared another hurdle, making the roster for Nigeria’s March 5 friendly on American soil against Mexico. Dike, he of the seven strikes in 30 MLS appereances, is one of eight listed forwards on the roster but one of only a select few true strikers.
Of those forwards, several have a more pronounced pedigree than Dike. Newcastle United veteran Shola Ameobi has broken back into the Keshi’s squad, while Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona) and Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce) have shown well. Michael Uchebo and Imoh Ezekiel have yet to play for the senior team.
Some usual suspects are outside the squad: Obafemi Martins and his 18 international goals won’t be there, nor will Dynamo Kyiv’s Brown Ideye.
So it seems this is a legit opportunity for Dike to impress and not just a cursory look. Dike scored against Italy in November and has one goal in two official caps. He also scored in an unofficial match against Catalonia.
- Italy head coach Antonio Conte supports Sebastian Giovinco’s move to MLS 7
- USMNT U-20s defeat El Salvador, 2-0, qualify for 2015 U-20 World Cup 1
- Jurgen Klinsmann names 23-man roster for USMNT friendlies vs. Chile, Panama 0
- Africa Cup of Nations roundup: Ivory Coast, Cameroon in 1-1 draws as Group D up for grabs 0
- Mourinho on loss: “Me and the players must feel ashamed” 0
- FA Cup roundup: Top-three Premier League teams all eliminated at home 2