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Soto remains confident after first USMNT experience


Sebastian Soto was one of several players to make their senior debuts for the U.S. Men’s National Team in November and the young striker did not disappoint in limited time of a friendly win.

Soto played the final 13 minutes of the USMNT’s 6-2 victory over Concacaf rivals Panama on Monday, scoring his first two senior goals in the process. Despite not getting start at striker, the Norwich City loanee made the most of time on the field in Austria and ended his first senior camp in style.

“I looked at the clock and thought it was just enough to score a goal,” Soto said in an interview with NoordHolland. The fact that it became two also exceeded my expectations.”

“It was certainly a dream to make my debut and score,” said Soto. “I’ve worked for that from a very young age. But it’s crazy how my brain works. When I have made a goal, I immediately focus on the next.”

Soto was an unused substitute in a scoreless draw with Wales earlier in camp, but got his first taste of senior action against an opponent he is likely to see more of down the road. After making the move to Norwich City this summer, the 20-year-old has impressed on loan with Dutch second tier club Telstar, scoring five goals in his first eight appearances.

He returned to action with Telstar on Thursday, playing 80 minutes in a 2-0 win over FC Dordrecht. Even though he got to relish his first senior camp with the USMNT, Soto did make sure to keep tabs on his club who unfortunately lost to both Go Ahead Eagles and NAC Breda in league play.

“I tried to find a stream from Telstar – NAC on Saturday evening, unfortunately that didn’t work,” Soto said. “I sat updating live scores all the time to get something out of it.”

Soto’s next opportunity to represent the USMNT will likely be in March, the next international fixture window that will involve European-based players.


    • I’m not sure two goals where the opponents had literally stopped marking or pressuring the ball proves where he is on the depth chart. It might help with his work permit in England but I don’t think we learned much. Sandwiched between Soto’s headed goals was a lovely header from Lletget should he get more time as a CF?

      • (a) we weren’t scoring again until we made subs and (b) every single header goal second half is contested. not sure what you mean, not marking. every guy scoring has a man on his back and just beats him to the header. whether they stepped fast to ledezma doesn’t change the finishers earning their supper. and you’re implying inaccurately that the scorers — not the crosser — shouldn’t get credit because Panama wasn’t trying….

      • rico po- he got in late because they started the french kid and then both games subbed late like it was league play and not a friendly. but you could have given both kids 90′ (or at least as long as their fitness held out) just by not playing lletget out of position game 1. kind of like you could also play richards serious minutes to contest miazga and ream, or use reyna and musah in both spots to see who is actually better inside or wide. i actually think soto got his 10′ — an afterthought in a friendly — you can see how JR dismisses getting late minutes (even with goals) as making any case — primarily to ward off chile and mexico. he promised he would cap him if he chose us over them. in a narrow sense, he did. but it comes across like the coach is not a fan so i am glad he put a couple in and made him look silly. soto, nico, and sargent, when one cuts through the bull, are all at an early career stage to judge their pro stats, 2 of the 3 had similar U20 production, and they are all the same exact age because sargent got promoted a cycle earlier. this is where i get into we are systematically biased in favor of the player to make the team first. i like sargent and think all 3 of the kids are better than zardes or old jozy at this point, but i don’t think anyone “owns” that 9 spot on performance the way, say, Pulisic or Steffen own their spots. so i don’t get favoring one kid the same age over another when it’s kind of a “who turns into a real adult player” question for all of them still.

      • @JOHNNYRAZOR, Let’s rewind the tape. Soto was subbed in for Gioacchini at the 77th minute. José Fajardo of Panama scored at the 79th minute to make the score at 3-2 US. The game was back on & competitive again (As a matter of fact, Panama actually played well & dominated part of the 2nd half before Fajardo scored his second in the game) after Fajardo scored at the 79th minute. Your statement “the opponents had literally stopped marking or pressuring the ball” was unfortunately misleading and took things out of context. The USMNT then rebounded and scored 3 consecutive goals, Sebastian Soto (83′, 90’+1′)Sebastian Lletget (87′). Those were the facts.

    • He Played the majority of the whole match yesterday for Telstar 80 mind he played. I watched the whole game he was sort of invisible.

      • he has 5 goals in 8 club games once he settled in on loan. then another 2 goals in 10′ for the NT in 1 cap. some people have not playing confused with playing poorly is my point. people ever consider hannover’s coach might be wrong? if you’re good for U20, good for hannver youth, good for telstar, good for the NT, and hannover senior is the only glitch….

      • The short turn around is likely why he didn’t play more minutes against Panama. Rumor before camp is Norwich is trying to find a higher level loan for him in January to boost his work permit chances.

    • Fake news being somewhat in the area is not marking. Panama quit playing. Soto did get two goals kudos to him but it doesn’t prove he’s better than anyone. Nor does it prove he was better than someone 8 months ago when his club in the middle of a promotional battle didn’t seem him good enough to get on the field. It is good to see his positive comments about his experience after his “I don’t know it’s 50-50 a few weeks ago, Chile or the US.”

      • either you don’t read or you’re intentionally misrepresenting why Soto didn’t play in Germany. At least try to approach these conversations with, you know, actual facts.

    • Gabe: your implying that a club that literally stands to gain tens of millions would purposely put out an inferior team because a prospect hurt their feelings about wanting to leave. If he was better than the players they used he would have played, because getting back to the Bundesliga is far more important than “teaching a 19 year old a lesson.” People kept selling the idea it was contract that kept Hyndman off the field at Fulham. Now he’s been a slightly above average player in MLS. If Soto was good enough he would have played.

    • Simon as inexplicable as that is go back and watch all fight and fire that had kept them in the game goes out after their 2nd goal. It was literally like they said “Well that’s good enough.” I didn’t notice it when I watched it first either, but they talked about it on the Scuffed podcast so I went back and watched again. The US has the ball just outside the 18 Soto twice is standing inside the six and the defenders just move away. Soto times his runs well, hits the headers well but Panama wasn’t defending at all. By the time they realize it they do jump but it’s just for show they know they’re beaten.

    • I think some of you are not understanding. Soto took what was given to him, it’s not his fault the goals were easy. Wondo proved to us nothing is a sure thing, but I can think of at least ten US strikers that could have easily made those runs and finishes those crosses. I’m not trying to diminish his quality, I’m just saying it shouldn’t move him up the ladder any either.

      • Unfortunately our striker-ladder has very few rungs.

        Call me crazy- I’m secretly wishfully hoping that Dike springs up the depths charts. Looking forward to hopefully seeing him get some time next month. His explosiveness certainly makes him stand apart the times I’ve seen him play.

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