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Josh Sargent scores in third-straight Norwich City win

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Norwich City’s surge up the English Football League Championship table continued Saturday with Josh Sargent once again involved in the Canaries victory.

Sargent scored for the third-straight league match as Norwich City defeated Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. It was Sargent’s fourth league goal of the season, continuing a strong run of form for the U.S. men’s national team striker.

Norwich City had first-half opportunities to break the deadlock on Wearside, but Sargent missed a golden chance to give the visitors an advantage. The Canaries picked up their offensive pressure in the second-half as Marcelino Nunez was denied by Anthony Patterson.

Aaron Ramsey’s introduction in the second half helped spark the Canaries into take a late lead with Sargent tapping home a cross from the substitute winger. Sargent made no mistake on the cross from Ramsey, continuing to impress as a starter in Dean Smith’s lineup.

Norwich City held on for its third-consecutive league win, moving up to fourth place in the league standings. Sargent drew the most fouls in the match (3), while also totaling two shots on goal and five duels won.

Sargent’s impressive run of form will boost his stock with the USMNT as Gregg Berhalter prepares to name his roster for a September pair of friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Norwich City next travels to Birmingham City on Tuesday before hosting Coventry City on Sept. 3 at Carrow Road.

Comments

  1. So happy for Sargent. Last season was such a rough one but not on his form but by the fans. Everybody just gave up too quickly on him. In Germany, he always showed the skills. He just needs time like every young player

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  2. 2tone he had one appearance with the USMNT in the first game and nothing since. Tough to say he didn’t perform on that basis. At Norwich played out of position on a shitty team. Tough to judge a kid on that. Since he is playing his preferred position of striker on a better team now. I think it’s fair to say he is finally getting an opportunity to show us what he can do and he is doing it. I’d say right now he is in pole position for the #9.

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  3. Berhalter will have to choose from among Pefok, Sargent, Wright, Ferriera and maybe Pepi and Morris. At one time or another most of those were touted as the answer for the USA at center forward. Because the players are at different clubs and in different leagues with different styles, there is no simple way to compare them fairly.
    GB will have to answer the question of what he needs out of his striker pool and choose the 3(4) who come closest to filling those needs. What is the relative importance to the USMNT, for example, of Hold-up play, Areal presence, Nose for goal, Quickness, Speed for counter attacks, and Ability to effectively press the opposing defense and how that changes depending upon the opponent.
    I do not think any of the potential strikers can check all the boxes, few in the world can.
    The only guarantee is that GB will get criticism no matter who he chooses.

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    • Right now you’ve gotta think it’s Ferreira, Sargent, and Pefok. I could see Gregg pulling a bait-and-switch on us and taking a look at Brandon Vasquez too in September but ultimately you have to think Pefok will be on the plane because he’s on fire and he’s doing it in the Bundesliga. Hard to argue against. Pefok’s also the best of any of our strikers in the air, though I don’t like his movement or dribbling ability, at all. I don’t think he starts for the US at any point, but as a situational player you could make a case he brings a dimension no other US striker has.

      Ferreira hasn’t been tremendous for the USA but he’s been solid. You wish he was bigger and held the ball up better and he’s a zero in the air and he probably needs a little more mustard on his shot but he dribbles well, presses well, combines well with the other players, and his movement is incredibly intelligent and proactive. His first touch is also good. A lot to like there.

      Sargent does everything Ferreira does, but he’s much bigger, much stouter, much bigger in the air, more physical. He’s as close to a “complete” player at forward as we have. The knock on him was he couldn’t score goals to save his own life and would do everything great…right up to the point where he scuffed from three feet in front of the net. If he’s over that – which I’m leery of – he’s not just on the plane but he probably starts.

      A guy I’d personally think hard about bring in over either Vasquez or Pefok is Falorin Balogun. I think he’s as talented as Malik Tillman and that’s saying something, and unlike Tillman he’s a pure striker. He’s on loan from Arsenal and plays for Stade de Reims in Ligue 1 and the dude is a MAJOR talent who has represented the USA for U-18 and England for U-21 and seems to have decided on America…if we call him up. We absolutely should, IMHO. He has three goals his first four games in France.

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      • Where are you getting he seems to have picked the US? There were rumors in early March but he continued to play for England U21 in March and June.
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        In the past we’ve had extended roster camps before WC. I’d be ok if Gregg brought in 30+ in September even if most won’t get in friendlies, just to be sure. I think making roster for uncamped players at this point Vazquez, Balogun, Jones would take an incredible performance in September to make squad.

      • My understanding with Balogun was he wouldn’t turn down a World Cup if it was offered, we just hadn’t. Looking back through the articles they do look a little dated, so it’s definitely possible that’s changed in the last four months or so.

        I’d definitely agree it’d take an incredible performance from somebody on the outside of the squad to make it in, and guys who are already in the mix likely have a big leg up. Coaches don’t usually like to gamble this late unless they have to…and unless the form of Ferreira, Sargent, and Pefok suddenly dips bigly you’d think those guys have the inside track. Especially since I think Gregg ultimately takes two pressing strikers and just one big target man since the use for one of those in Qatar is likely to be trying to overcome a packed box late in games against the likes of Wales or Iran.

        Still really, really like what I’ve seen of Balogun and I think he could possibly help us. He’s an obvious major talent.

      • And Gregg’s style isn’t to make promises. In fact at least publicly it’s the opposite “here’s what we do, here’s how we think your skills fit, let us know if you want to come hang out.” I think the only way he comes is if it’s just to train in September but then he can’t play with filing so can you earn a spot in practice? I’m not even sure how long it takes to get those approved sometimes it seems to take a long time and others go quick. Supposedly Mighten filed in the summer and there’s been no announcement that went through.

      • Falorun has to make a one time switch to play with the US and its been said he’s not ready to do that yet bc he wants to hold out for England….we move on! Everything else Inagree with you on with regards to our ST situation

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzpop5vkN1g

    Norwich City vs Sunderland …….. Sargent vs Gooch. I love it!!! Two US players looking good and hustling.
    I hope Dean Smith has taken into account that Josh Sargent does not score goals or BETTER YET GET CHANCES the way he is now with the likes of Teemu Pukki and Milot Rashica starting along side him. Sarge has become a whole different player being centered up front, with a Nunez / Gibbs midfield and Pukki /Rashica left off the team. The Sargent / Sinani partnership is producing chances and goals for Norwich City. Pukki was subbed on before his goal but Sarge had several chances and was putting himself in good positions before the goal. Brilliant!!!! Congrats kid!!!

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  5. Give Sargent credit for his consistently hard work rate. Sargent toiled for a Werder Breman team lacking in talent that after demotion they sold one of their most valuable assets newly-promoted Norwich. Another season of toil for Sargent as Norwich was ill-prepared for the EPL and decided to push Sargent to the unfamiliar wing. It looks like Norwich has its act together and and with Pukki’s injury, Sargent took advantage of the opportunity and is peaking at the right time.

    The goal today wasn’t the biggest impression to me. Sargent puts in a lot of effort off the ball and is hard to defend. If one watched the game, he would’ve drawn at least one penalty shot in most cases, and also drew two yellow cards from defenders.

    As for Pefok, he also deserves a lot of credit for peaking at the right time. I sense he realized he had reached his ceiling at Young Boys, and making the transfer to UB was a step up because he could expand and improve his game. The UB coaching staff leverage Pefok and Becker’s strengths as strikers, he has adapted well, and the team is off to a great start.

    As for Wright, at his age he should be pushing himself to move up into more competitive leagues. Fact is he has just bounced around the lower tier leagues in Europe, and likely landed in another low-level league in Turkey due to a lack of interest from teams in more competitive leagues. If the quality was there, he would’ve moved up a tier. Given the recent ascension of Pefok and Sargent, I’d be surprised if he makes the September roster.

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    • Uh, Haji had better options this off season but chise to stay at Antalayspor bc its a world cup year and he didnt want to go to a team and potentially ride the bench while acclimitizing to his new team, which makes sense. He still young enough where he keeps scoring goals like he is he’ll seek the signatures of even better teams after the WC for sure

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      • I don’t think we can say that Wright did or did not have better options for this off season. Many rumors are just “reporters/sites” looking for clicks or agents trying to draw interest or increase value.

      • Really? Better options mean better compensation. A player his age knows his window as a professional athlete is small, and to maximize pay while you can. Sometimes it’s a boost to their career, sometimes not.
        Turner got a big pay bump moving from the stingy Krafts to Arsenal. It remains to be seen how much it helps his career in the long run. Same with Pepi. If Wright got better offers from more competitive teams, then he deserves the Kevin Durant Badge of Coursge for taking the easy path.

  6. I’m glad he is scoring but it amazes me how quickly the US soccer media is pushing Sargent again. The kid has talent, but I want to see him do this consistently for a year. Pefok has been banging in goals for the past 4 seasons… Haji Wright has been scoring goals consistently for the past 2 and half seasons for His Danish team before going to Antalyaspor. Consistency is what I want to see from Sargent. Should he be called in for June? Sure. I firmly believe Greg should get all of these strikers in in the September window and see how they do in training and then see how it works for the friendlies. Vazquez, Sargent, Ferreira, Wright, Pefok. Ferreira is a lock. In fact maybe you leave Ferreira at home to focus on MLS playoffs and take a look at these other guys.

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    • 2tone – Yes, consistency matters and we all want someone at the tip of the spear who is going to be a consistent goal threat. That said when you’ve got a handful of strikers who’ve been consistent at the club level (Wright & Pefolk) who’ve under performed at the international level….than you need to at least consider going with the hot hand. And right now Sargent is one of the most in-form strikers we’ve got.
      Additionally, Sargent does all the other little things that make him a good option for the USMNT. He is a high energy pressing striker. He plays well with his back to goal…holding up and bringing others into the attack. His movements on & off the ball are good (opening space for other attackers). He also has a superior first touch and passing range than many of the others.
      Sargent is superior to all the other guys you mentioned at doing the little things (besides maybe Ferreira) , and if he’s truly gotten his confidence & shooting boots back than I’m all for his inclusion as he’s a more complete modern striker. Pefolk & Dike are throwbacks to the historical big bodied target strikers/poachers. Wright is a slightly more technical version of Dike & Pefolk.

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      • Sargent has underwhelmed at the USMNT level as well. Or did we all forget that? I want Sargent to play well and score goals, but he isn’t the only hot hand right now. I don’t know if I agree Sargent is better at those things you say. Pefok just had three assists today. Wrights ability on the dribble is better and his overall game is really increasing. Sargent has time. I like him, but yet again I need to see consistency from him. Sargent off the ball movement is not great, but it’s improving.

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