Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Nigeria calls up Oklahoma product Dike
by Ridge Mahoney, February 13th, 2014 7:31PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  mexico, mls, toronto fc, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

[WORLD CUP 2014 COUNTDOWN] Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen may have one more international player’s schedule to manage this season. Forward Bright Dike, acquired by TFC last September in exchange for Maximiliano Urruti, has been called up by Nigeria for its March 5 friendly against Mexico in Atlanta.

Though he would earn just his third cap by playing, Dike greatly strengthened his case for a spot on the World Cup squad by scoring in his last appearance, a 2-2 tie with Italy in November.

Dike’s first goal for his country against Italy marked an important milestone in his career: he scored just one goal in five MLS appearances last year after suffering a torn left ACL during preseason.

”I was fortunate enough to get my first official goal against Italy so that brings great confidence going into this season,” Dike, 27, told MLSSoccer.com. “[Keshi] said the last camp went well for me and hopefully I keep getting called up and eventually make the team for the World Cup.”

Dike grew up in Edmond, Okla., and attended at Notre Dame. A successful run with the Timbers in their pre-MLS days earned him a spot on their MLS team in 2011. He bounced back and forth between MLS and USL PRO in 2012.

The knee injury set him back considerably from his solid contributions in 2012: five goals in 12 MLS games for Portland. He faces a tough battle for playing time with a drastically overhauled TFC, which in addition to USA midfielder Michael Bradley has added England international striker Jermaine Defoeand Brazilian forward Gilberto.

Yet gone from last year’s team are forwards Justin Braun,Robbie Earnshaw and Danny Koevermans, so along with challenge comes opportunity. Not many MLS defenders can handle this 6-foot-1, 220-pounder by themselves. What Dike seeks this season is the guile and savvy to match his physical prowess.

“You know, Defoe is a world-class player and any time you play alongside a player like that, it’s a good person to pick his brain and learn from,” added Dike, who trained with Glasgow Celtic as well as Nigeria during the offseason. “I’m looking forward to that. All you can do is keep playing your best and make sure you’re getting better every day.”

Coach Stephen Keshi's squad included Norwich City's Joseph Yobo, who has not played for Nigeria since the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He will also look at uncapped players Imoh Ezekiel, Ramon Azeez and Michael Uchebo.

Nigeria Roster:
GOALKEEPERS:Vincent Enyeama (Lille, France); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel).
Defenders:Elderson Echiejile (Monaco, France); Efe Ambrose (Celtic, Scotland); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor, Turkey); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough, England); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC, Israel); Joseph Yobo (Norwich City, England); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars).
Midfielders:John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England); Ramon Azeez (Almeria, Spain); Ogenyi Onazi (Lazio, Italy); Victor Moses (Liverpool, England); Shehu Abdullahi (Kano Pillars); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers).
Forwards:Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United, England); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce, Turkey); Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona, Italy); Bright Dike (Toronto FC), Imoh Ezekiel (Standard Liege, Belgium); Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge, Belgium).


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Countdown: Vanney gives TFC reminder    
Toronto FC waited through many seasons and head coaches before finally reaching the playoffs last year. ...
Bundesliga 2016-17: Half the teams have a U.S. player    
From age 17 to 28, from newly promoted RB Leipzig to four-time defending champion Bayern Munich, ...
WCQ Callups: USA battles injuries and suspensions    
The roster for the U.S. national team's World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent & the ...
NWSL: Olympians back in fold, mostly    
Off for 26 days because of the Olympics -- except for one make-up game -- the ...
What They're Saying: Laura Harvey    
"It's about someone’s livelihood. It’s about their career. Irrelevant of what the decision is and who ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"The players don't control any of the consequences that happen, that are enforced by U.S. Soccer. ...
TV Report: MLS and NFL to air joint lineup    
On Sept. 18, Fox Sports will air two live MLS matches -- Sporting Kansas City-LA Galaxy ...
MLS Countdown: Timbers' health improving    
Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle and Portland meet Sunday at Providence Park for the second time in ...
WCQ Callups: T&T goes heavy on U.S.-based players    
Nine U.S.-based players -- five in MLS, three in the USL and one in the NASL ...
Video Pick: And the winner is ... Messi    
Add 2015-16 UEFA Goal of the Season to Lionel Messi's large collection of honors. His goal ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives