Add news
March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022August 2022September 2022October 2022November 2022
News Every Day |

The USMNT’s Door Stayed Open for Josh Sargent

The USMNT’s Door Stayed Open for Josh Sargent

The striker went a year between call-ups, but he’s in form at the right time and could wind up leading the line for the U.S. at the World Cup.

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — The door is never completely closed, Gregg Berhalter likes to say. 

Rejection is just about that particular roster, and time away from the U.S. national team could always wind up being temporary. Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind.

Josh Sargent’s absence probably felt more permanent as the months dragged by, as the goals dried up and as Norwich City plummeted toward relegation last spring. He seemed to be very much a part of Berhalter’s immediate plans back in the summer of 2021. Sargent started both the Concacaf Nations League semifinal and final that June and then appeared in each of the three World Cup qualifiers contested three months later. But his dream move to England quickly soured, and the promising St. Louis product soon had little choice but to hope the international door would remain ajar.

“That was obviously a very tough time when I wasn't being called in. I felt like I was doing everything I could,” Sargent said Tuesday. “But as a player, that's all you can really do—is just work as hard as you can at your club, do what you can and it's [Berhalter’s] decision. And so if you're doing everything you can, you don't really have any time to hang your head about anything. I definitely felt like the whole time that there was still a chance to get called in.”

Sargent had fallen out of the U.S. picture for a year, but he’s back in form and back in frame in time for the World Cup.

ANP/Imago Images

The fact that Sargent was speaking here in Qatar following a pre-World Cup training session at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium is ironclad evidence that there was still a chance. It surely felt slim at times, and it may have been boosted by variables beyond Sargent’s control. But the 22-year-old persevered, which positioned him to benefit from a transfer that started out looking like a poisoned chalice.

Fortunes can fluctuate quickly amid the turbulence of soccer at the highest level, especially for young men trying to find their footing abroad. The roulette wheel spins and then spins again. Sargent was in Berhalter’s favor, then he fell out of it. Shortly after the U.S. secured World Cup qualification in March, the manager discussed his effort to nail down a starting striker. He’d fielded five across 14 qualifiers, and they combined to score just four times. Ricardo Pepi had three goals early in the Octagonal campaign, and Jesús Ferreira connected in the 5-1 demolition of Panama last March.

Berhalter was waiting for someone, anyone, to step up and seize the role.

“The last thing would be just a No. 9, hoping that the No.. 9 gets in good form and continues to push,” he said just before the draw. “Whether that’s Ricardo or Daryl [Dike] or Gyasi [Zardes] or Jordan [Pefok] or Jesús, whoever that may be—or Josh Sargent, even—we’re hoping that one of our 9s gets into good form by the time the World Cup comes around.”

“Or Josh Sargent, even.”

At that point, Sargent was the afterthought. He’d been forced to Norwich’s right wing by a system that left Finland’s Teemu Pukki as the Canaries’ lone frontrunner. Sargent had tallied just four goals since arriving from Werder Bremen in August 2021 (his two Premier League goals came in one game at Watford), and before injuring his ankle in March ‘22. Norwich’s relegation was sealed with four games to go in the Premier League campaign.

“We were in a league that we knew we were going to struggle in,” Sargent said. “It wasn't going to be easy. I was playing right wing the whole season, so it was just kind of keeping my head down and working hard. But it wasn't a season where I really had the opportunity to get [going].”

But the drop, plus the World Cup draw at the end of March, helped set the stage for his international rebirth.

England and Wales landed in the Americans’ group. Among the 52 men on those two World Cup squads, 46 play in the English system. Sargent had spent a year going up against players like those, and he’d have an additional three months experience this fall. None of the other potential U.S. No. 9s had that sort of sustained exposure or opportunity. He’d also be competing in the Championship, where the quality of opposition was lower. The chance to find an attacking groove, and to do it against players similar to those the Americans might see in Qatar, gave Sargent a crack he could climb through.

“Going down a league to the Championship obviously helps. I'm not going to act like that doesn't have anything to do with it. But at the same time, being able to get off to a good start with a couple of goals and get my confidence going, I think my mentality has definitely changed a lot,” he explained.

“Playing against these type of players every three days in the Championship definitely helps give me a little bit of knowledge of how those type of players like to play,” Sargent continued. “It’s a very physical league. The defenders especially—big guys, very physical.”

Sargent is tied atop the scoring charts in England’s second-tier Championship with nine goals this season.

Cover-Images/Imago Images

Sargent seized his chance this August. With Pukki sidelined briefly, the American scored four goals in three Championship games up front, then two more in early September from the wing. He told reporters later that month that Norwich manager Dean Smith had tweaked the setup to allow Sargent to play “a little bit more as a second striker and tucking more on the inside,” when he was deployed on the right. That got Berhalter’s attention, and for the first time in a year, Sargent was invited to national team camp. The U.S. played their final pre-World Cup friendlies in Europe against Japan and Saudi Arabia.

The long year away sort of dissolved once Sargent reunited with his compatriots.

“I remember going into [September’s] camp and being like, ‘Oh, it's been a year already,’” he recalled. “I was surprised that it was so long. It didn't feel like that. But getting back into camp, I knew all the guys really well. So it wasn't hard to get back into the group.”

Sargent got just one half of playing time in the 2-0 loss to Japan, but it was clear that he had his foot back in the door. And the roulette wheel continued to spin. Pefok, who started the 2022-23 Bundesliga season so brightly at Union Berlin, stopped scoring in mid September. Pepi left Augsburg on loan to Groningen and rediscovered his scoring touch, but Berhalter took notice of the drop in level. The likes of Zardes, Dike, Matthew Hoppe and others had long since fallen out of contention. And Sargent did his part, scoring twice more in October (and then again, for good measure, last weekend).

“You definitely want to see what your competition is doing,” Sargent said of the race for World Cup roster spots. "Obviously, I'm focusing on myself and trying to score goals. But it's always there in the back of your mind, of course, what the other guys are doing.”

He’d done enough. When the wheel stopped and the 26-man World Cup squad was announced last week, Sargent was in, joined by fellow strikers Ferreira and Haji Wright, who had hit a vein of form with Turkey’s Antalyaspor.

Sargent helped the USMNT beat Mexico in the 2021 Concacaf Nations League final.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports

“Josh is an example of—he does a lot of things well. He’s also competing against these guys from England and Wales every single week. He’ll have familiarity with the opponent, which we think will be valuable, and I think he gives a physical presence with his aerial duels and his competitive nature that's going to help this group,” Berhalter said following the roster reveal.

“With [Pepi], we were judging him against Josh and Jesús, And we felt it was valuable that Josh was playing in that competition where two out of our three opponents are coming from,” the manager continued. “We think that brings value—the physicality of the league. The Dutch league I think is a great league, but it doesn't bring the same physicality that the Premier League brings and the Championship brings, and that was something that went into our decision.”

England looked like it might be the obstacle that would bar Sargent from the World Cup. Then he turned it into his launch pad to Qatar. Ferreira has been out of action since FC Dallas’s season ended on Oct. 23 (about a month before the U.S. meets Wales next Monday). Wright has only three senior caps and will be far less familiar with the opposition. So it’s quite possible that Sargent overcomes a year-long international exile to become a World Cup starter (assuming he’s fully healed from a recent calf strain). That’s a dizzying journey. But he’s confident in his form (Sargent is tied atop the Championship golden boot race), his grasp of Berhalter’s system and his ability to thrive there.

“I think being able to drop down and combine with the team, as a false nine almost, is important to [Berhalter] as well as scoring goals, obviously, for any striker.” Sargent said. “So it’s just picking the right moments to do either one, and then defensively at the same time, I think you have a big role in being the front line of the press and winning the ball back. I feel like I have all those qualities and I've been doing the same things with Norwich.”

Sargent has spoken recently about how important his family has been to his ability to navigate the early ups and downs of his career, from his parents back in St. Louis to his wife, who he’s known since they were each 14, and their baby. Family won’t be joining him in Qatar. He said Tuesday that his wife, Kirsten, would take their daughter back to the U.S. to spend time with family there. 

“She's been having a hard time I think in Norwich just by herself a lot,” he said.

It’s difficult to adjust to life abroad, and appealing to imagine returning to familiar surroundings. This young U.S. national team fills that role for many of its members, and it can remain welcoming even after some time apart. Sargent was smiling plenty on Tuesday, lauding even the small details that make a World Cup special, from the welcome the U.S. got from hotel staff when they arrived to the cityscape in Doha. A goal that looked like it was going to be deferred had been realized.

“It’s what any kid dreams of, so it's pretty amazing,” he said.

More World Cup Coverage:

Read also

Lyceum turns back Letran to rule CCE Mobile Legends anew

'Say, you know what? Arrest me': Kari Lake calls for law-breaking to stop election certifications

USC, Ohio State Make College Football Playoff Rankings Top Five

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on

News Every Day

I make $1,000 a month by promoting Amazon products on social media. It only takes 5 hours per week — here's how I set up my side hustle. — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

One of The Greatest Britons in History - Joe Calzaghe

Sports today

Новости тенниса

Феликс Оже - лучший с 2015 года теннисист по числу матчей за сезон в ATP-Туре

Спорт в России и мире

Капитан сборной Мексики по футболу поддержал Месси после угроз Альвареса


All sports news today


Sports in Russia today


Кубок Москвы по джампингу прошёл в ТРЦ «Нора»

Новости России

Game News

Competitive Farming Simulator is like an agriculture Grand Prix


Кубок Москвы по джампингу прошёл в ТРЦ «Нора»

Губернаторы России

Решающий матч в Кубке России. Сегодня ФК «Оренбург» в Москве сыграет с ФК «Динамо»

Сохранив график поездов. Загрутдинов о строительстве подземного перехода

Авиарейсы в Архангельск с 1 мая будут приниматься на запасном аэропорте

Волочкова планирует судиться с петербургскими коммунальщиками из-за протечки в крыше

Заботливые политики помогут предотвратить эпидемии и войны?! Рекомендации проекта Служба общей информационной безопасности, Анатолий Голод

Игорь Бутман провел 101-й за год фестиваль молодых исполнителей "Будущее джаза"

Удовлетворившая зарубежных боссов Нетребко показала мужика между ног

Жена Джигана рассказала, сколько платьев она сменит на своей будущей свадьбе

Стас Садальский рассказал, кем были отец и бабушка Николая Цискаридзе

Феликс Оже - лучший с 2015 года теннисист по числу матчей за сезон в ATP-Туре

Канада впервые выиграла "Кубок Дэвиса", в федерации тенниса Польши скандал. Главные события минувшей недели

Пресс-служба ATP опубликовала подборку лучших матчей сезона-2022 на турнирах "Большого шлема"

Новак Джокович посетил финал "Кубка Дэвиса" и поздравил сборную Канады с победой

Чем сезон холодов опасен для женского здоровья

Баку хочет закрыть Лачинский коридор - омбудсмен Нагорного Карабаха (Арцаха)

Закрытие Азербайджаном Лачинского коридора станет нападением на российских миротворцев - Глава МИД Нагорного Карабаха (Арцаха)

Спектакль псковичей «Что в конверте?» оценили на фестивале в Москве

Титул «Мисс Офис – 2022» и 3 000 000 рублей уехали в Петропавловск-Камчатский

Азербайджан должен помнить о 5 упоминаниях «Нагорный Карабах» в трехстороннем заявлении, подписанном Алиевым: Эдмон Марукян

Дарья Донцова написала мультик для внука

«Не прошло и полгода»: Джей Ло и Бен Аффлек на грани развода

Больше, чем архитектура: участники городской выставки предложили оригинальные идеи по развитию Москвы

Почти половина москвичей сделали прививку от гриппа

Депобр Москвы: Школы должны создавать позитивные условия обучения ребенка

Назван ТОП-10 популярных авианаправлений внутри России в 2022 году

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости


Певица Дэя выпустила дебютный музыкальный альбом «Параллели»

News Every Day

I make $1,000 a month by promoting Amazon products on social media. It only takes 5 hours per week — here's how I set up my side hustle.

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости

Персональные новости