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Second senior goal adds to Sargent’s confidence, experience


East Hartford, Conn. — During this time of transition for the U.S. Men’s National Team, players may not be given consistent looks in camps. It’s just the way that professional sports goes, especially if the USMNT want to get back to being relevant on a national stage.

One player hoping to continue receiving those calls is striker Josh Sargent who made his fifth senior appearance in Tuesday’s 1-1 friendly draw against Peru. The 18-year-old scored his second goal career goal for the USMNT after a quiet first-half which didn’t see him on the ball very much. Sargent headlined a front three which also saw 19-year-old Jonathan Amon earn his first cap and 18-year-old Timothy Weah continue to blossom as a professional.

“We have a lot of guys trying to fight for a spot and it’s only my fifth cap for the team,” Sargent said. “It’s going to take time to try and get better as a group, we know we have things to work on and we just have to continue to work together to improve.”

“I loved playing soccer my whole life, playing here has been a dream come true. Tim and I have been playing together for a while now and now Jonathan is coming in so hopefully we can continue to get better together in these camps, hopefully we get called in and can continue to grow.”

The first half saw the U.S. go into halftime scoreless, but getting pressured numerous times defensively meant Sargent had to wait for his chance. Sometimes the Werder Bremen product had to drop deeper than expected to receive a pass or hold up possession to allow some pressure off of the backline.

As the teams went out in the second-half, Sargent broke the deadlock with a clinical finish from a set piece play. Kellyn Acosta’s low-driven cross found Sargent, whose right-footed effort deflected into the bottom-left corner. It was a lead that the U.S. would hold onto until the 86th minute, before Peru equalized to earn a draw.

“I think the U.S. still needs an identity and needs to be ready for when a new coach comes in,” Sargent said. “Obviously Dave has done a great job over these camps, but once we get a new coach and learns how he wants us to play I think we will get better together.”

Sargent still has room to grow as a player, despite earning consistent playing time with Werder Bremen’s U-23 side. His six goals has shown he has an eye for goal and that he has the ability to score consistently. Also, being able to learn from a vast number of first-team players has been a huge help as he now seeks better overall play from himself.

“Being on a professional level, your mind has to be a lot quicker,” Sargent said. “My movement has to be good, I can’t just stand around waiting for the ball I need to be active and make myself known on the field. I hope the goals I score here will help me at club level.”

Interim head coach Dave Sarachan was in charge for his 10th match on Tuesday night, becoming the 10th coach to do with the USMNT. He knows he may not be here long-term but his goal is to continue getting these players ready for the next phase of the process. Even with room to grow, Sarachan can see the potential in Sargent and continues to see him moving in the right path.

“The kid is moving in the right direction,” Sarachan said. “As a lone striker he didn’t have a lot of play, but when he was able to make an impact he did well. He made some clever movements in terms of keeping possession, while also being strong. He had a good night and getting the goal was the cherry on the sundae.”


  1. Sargent proved he is the real deal. He played intelligently and brought other players into the attack, providing great passes to Acosta and Weah that each should have finished.

    That said, it is very likely that Sargent, Weah, Amon, Pulisic, McKennie and Adams will very rarely see the field together simply due to injury. Every one of them seems willing to put himself in harms way to make a play. While that makes for exciting soccer it also makes them subject to injuries. (They could do a better job of avoiding injury, but would they be the same players if they did?) Right now, I think the replacements are a step down in quality.

    At CB, it looks to me like the new coach will have a tough time to decide which of Miazga, Carter-Vickers, Long, Brooks, Zimmerman and Parker will be the starting pair and which will be bsckups (playing 3 in back could change that picture, but no clue what the new coach will have in mind).

    Outside backs are thin in any case so players’ abilities may dictate the formation. We haven’t seen a LB do well enough for the USMNT for some time and the first choice on the right made a bad error in only a short time on the field.

    Young keepers, there are some prospects but who knows which will finally make an impact? Stephan is good, but a team needs a nearly equal back-up.

  2. That’s the key! Finding players who can keep the ball and out other in good positions. For this reason i don’t see why players like Nagbe and Delgado don’t get much PT. Possession is what they do best and Nagbe is the king of the hockey assist.

    I don’t see a situation where Mckennie Adams and Pulisic all play together. I think will see either Mckennie or Adams in the CDM role. Worth noting, Morales is having a good season in Germany.

    • “I don’t see a situation where Mckennie Adams and Pulisic all play together…”

      This lineup solves that riddle (assuming we’re projecting over the next several months):

      Acosta–Brooks–Carter Vickers–Adams

      Reserves: Weah, Altidore, Cannon, Yedlin, Miazga, Amon, Wright, Nguyen, Pomykal

      • Nguyen? Lee Nguyen is 32 I don’t see a situation where Pomykal and Carleton are ready and Lee Nguyen is serviceable.

      • 🙂 Whatever. He fits the profile. How many 34+ year olds did the 2006 Italy team have? I think one 30 something in a group with the average age of about 22 is ok. Also, Weah is my backup keeper since I didn’t list one. What a fun fantasy.

      • I’m a for the youth movement but some of those players listed are a ways down the pecking order. If Dave is still here for November we might see a few more first timers or some who haven’t been in the picture lately like maybe a Gall or an Emo and Nagbe. The 2 latter could really help in the possession department.

      • Gomer – The 6 is the position I’m least convinced about. That’s why I have Durkin as one of four players to fill in at that spot. But yeah, he’s an extremely good passer and has shown that he’s capable as an 18 yo. He has a long way to go, but he’s a huge prospect for me. If you’ll notice, I actually have Keaton Parks ahead of him…

    • What game were you watching Delgado played scared the whole game he made on call good pass the whole game and that was it.Nagbe was awful and was on the team that did not qualify. Lets move on and not recycle. Smh

  3. Do you know who else had two goals at age 19? Jozy Altidore and Juan Agudelo, Eddie Johnson had 8 and Landon Donovan had 4 before turning 20, so there are a lot of directions this could go.

    • Agreed JR but don’t you see a maturity in his game that most of those guys didn’t have. I don’t remember LD at that age but EJ and jozy were advanced physically. Sargeant does the small things right most of the time. He did make that horrible back pass last night. He then chased down the play to block the shot. I watched him cover for sweat a couple of times in the second half when he got caught up field and someone turned it over. It didn’t result in a goal saving play but he was there.
      I know you follow a lot of teams and a lot of guys, and i always appreciate your balanced comments. So yeah it could go sideways. I am just enjoying some of the hopeful things since we still dont have our mls coach yet, because obviously that is more important. There are plenty of things to deride with US Soccer, like another home game for the visitors last night. But CP, McKennie, Weah, Sargeant, etc… are encouraging signs. I need the encouraging signs right now. 🙂

      • Agreed, there are a lot of encouraging signs in Sargent’s game, he seems to be more skilled technically and tactically than EJ or Jozy at 19. I think with both Sargent and Weah the question is can we find midfielders that can get them the ball in good spots or will it just be those two and CP trying to create things on their own. Obviously, with Adams, McKennie, and Pulisic out, this week was going to be challenging on that front. Bremen being in good form right now helps because they aren’t having to rush him in and maybe we’ll get him for the U20 qualifying.

    • Jozy was just as good a prospect at the same age. I think thats part of the reason people are so hard on him today. There was soo much hope placed on his shoulders and he has really fallen short of his potential. MLS debut at 16. 9 goals in 22 games in MLS at 17. 4 goals in 5 games w/ very good performance vs Brazil in the u-20 world cup at 17 years of age. He was a skilled, athletic, big striker who looked like a young Drogba/Diego Costa type.
      Sarg looks great to me. He’s a really clever player with good feet and great technique. I agree we need to be realistic with out expectations of him as a player. He could end up just a decent pro, but I also think he should be part of the US squad moving forward. The potential is clear to see and we don’t exactly have a stable of quality #9s available. He doesn’t necessarily need to be our top guy yet, but he should remain involved. I’m really high on him just as I was for Jozy 10 years ago.

      • To Ronaldinho, Jozy wasn’t at that age and his game never evolved into a complete player. He only has 2-3 moves in his arsenal, he doesn’t think fast enough, gets discouraged if the game is not going his way and he doesn’t hustle to the level of Sargent. Now for those Jozy numbers, he was spoon-fed since he was a 17 y.o. and already 6’1, 185 pounds. Look up his record and you will see his early goals came from…T&T, El Salvador, Cuba etc. In fact, in the T&T game, he was fed the ball so he would get his first hat-trick. You have to go beyond the numbers and see if a player is legit and can score against strong teams on a regular basis.

      • I’m not a fan of Jozy’s current game so not sure why thats part of the discussion at all. The simple fact is Jozy was a very highly rated prospect at 17-19 years old. Why cant’t we admit that? There’s a reason Villareal shelled out a record amount for him. He obviously did not reach his potential as a pro, but the potential was indeed there.
        Sargent is a much different player, but we are still talking about potential here. There have been prospects much better than Jozy or Sargent who have flamed out, so that is not out of the question here. Its also not a knock on Sargent at all to say he is not the finished product. He’s one of the better #9 prospects in the world, but lets not put the crown on his head before he hass even played a professional game for his club team. I feel like thats a very reasonable position and can’t see how anyone could disagree.

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