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Sargent, Carleton propel U.S. U-17s to lopsided win over Portugal

Photo via U.S. Soccer.

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team got off to a hot start at the Nike International Friendlies.

Josh Sargent scored a hat-trick and Andrew Carleton had a brace as the U.S. U-17s destroyed Portugal, 7-1, on Wednesday night.

Carleton opened the scoring on eight minutes on a penalty, with Sargent doubling the advantage shortly thereafter. Portugal’s Umaro Embalo halved his team’s deficit almost right after the Americans’ second goal, but Carleton’s thunderous half-volley gave the U.S. a 3-1 lead at halftime.

Sargent made it 4-1 to begin the second interval before he completed his hat trick with a nifty back heel in the 82nd minute. Ayo Akinola and Rayshaun McGann each struck to seal the mammoth 7-1 victory.

The U.S. is now at the top of table, edging out Brazil on goal difference. The U-17s will face Turkey in their next match on Friday.


  1. I really liked what I saw from the US especially that almost all of the players seemed comfortable and capable of attacking and exploiting space, something that is somewhat lacking at our senior level. Carleton and Akinola were particularly good at penetrating to the next level and opening up all sorts of space and passing lanes. They reminded me of the way Pulisic plays (not that they’re that good or will be) and hopefully that’s a sign that the youth system in the US is starting to consistently produce skilled players not just find the best athletes.

    BTW, you can still watch the game on US Soccers youtube channel.

  2. With this score line, I have to wonder if Portugal sent a C team. It is amazing if our youth team, at any level, could be that much better than a first line youth team from Portugal.

    • In the stream the announcer said Portugal was very late to the match. They were supposed to get there at 6 but due to driving distance and traffic did not get there until 6:45 with the game starting at 7. As the announcer said, not sure it would have changed who won but it may have influenced why it was such a blowout.

      Who knows tho. MAYBE WE ARE JUST THAT GOOD!

  3. I have got to believe that SC St. Louis is trying to become a solvent team in MLS as soon as possible so that they can make Josh Sargent a homegrown signing before he gets poached by another league. I think he has a very similar skill set to Haji Wright, but with leadership qualities that can will a team to victory (i.e. Clint Dempsey).

    • I was thinking, just based on region, that Sporting KC or FC Dallas would be potential destinations for Sargent (that’s just opinion based on zero facts). As for overseas, German clubs seem to be scouting and signing a fair number of ‘elite’ U.S. youth talent, and I doubt that would suddenly stop.

    • He played for St. Louis Scott Gallagher, which will be purchased by SC St. Louis as part of their MLS bid. I think that would designate him as a homegrown for SC St. Louis, that is if SC St. Louis actually happens(find out more in a couple weeks after MLS board of Governors meeting). Regarding the bundesliga, I wouldnt be surprised by RB Leipzig interest. They have a young team and seem very interested in the American market based on the heavy interest in Pulisic. I would also imagine heavy interest from many Premier League teams.

  4. Any rumors on Sargent’s pro plans (or college plans, if that be the case)? Also, Ayo Akinola is a name to watch from this group. From what I have seen, he rips defenses apart with his passing in the final third.


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