Minnesota United midfielder Hassani Dotson wore a "Bangers Only" T-shirt the club distributed two years ago to promote him for MLS Rookie of the Year.
His two-goal game Sunday in Mexico for the under-23 United States national team in a 4-0 victory over the Dominican Republic in the Olympic qualifying tournament proved non-bangers count just the same.
In this case, on such a big stage, they mean even more.
Dotson scored twice in five minutes — his team's second and third goals — as a second-half sub and did so inside the 18-yard penalty box alternately with a quick trigger and considerable poise.
"I'll take any goal I can get," Dotson said by phone from Guadalajara on Tuesday. "It's doesn't have to be a banger."
Neither was a long, powerful strike — a banger — for which he became known as the Loons' versatile second-round draft pick out of Oregon State. Enough so that he got a T-shirt.
"I definitely was gifted one," Dotson said. "I think I still have it."
His U-23 national team coach Jason Kreis calls Dotson a "player coming into his own," and he showed Kreis right with his first two goals scored with that national team.
Djordje Mihailovic, a second-half sub himself, assisted on both of Dotson's goals and scored the final goal in a 4-0 victory that made the Americans 2-0 in Group A play. They enter Wednesday night's game against host Mexico assured they will reach the tournament's semifinals.
Both semifinal winners advance to the Tokyo Olympics in July.
Dotson has played all over the field for the Loons, from multiple midfield positions to defensive full back. He is an attacking "No. 8" position midfielder for the U-23 national team and started the tournament-opening victory over Costa Rica.
Loons coach Adrian Heath praises Dotson for his versatility. Kreis values for his presence at that one spot.
"Some say being versatile is a blessing or a curse," Dotson said. "For me, I'm just trying to win games and play as much as possible, whether it's winning a tackle, if it's tracking back, if it's assisting or scoring. You only get one career, and it's not as long as people think."
Dotson scored his first goal with a one-touch shot, all with his right foot that he delivered within the box before the defense could react.
He scored his second soon after by taking his time after he accepted another Mihailovic pass, side-stepping a defender and from the right side beating the goalkeeper to the far corner.
Both goals lit up his cellphone, including congratulations offered by several Minnesota teammates, and social media accounts. Not a person prone to too many highs or too many lows, Dotson watched those goals once when the team reviewed the game on video Sunday night and Monday when he watched it again by himself after training.
"So just a couple times," Dotson said.
Heath played on Everton's famed English first-division teams in the 1980s, won an F.A. Cup at Wembley Stadium and said there are not many people in soccer of whom he would be jealous.
But if Dotson plays in an Olympics, he would be.
"That's pretty funny," he said. "Obviously, it'd be a dream to play in the Olympics. But right now, the focus is on today, in the present. We've still got a long way to go."