Josh Sargent has loved loads of optimistic moments over the previous few months with Norwich City, however now after incomes his first-ever World Cup call-up to the U.S. males’s nationwide workforce roster, the in-form ahead is in search of a clean transition from membership play to the most important event on the earth.
Sargent earned the nod in Gregg Berhalter’s 26-player ultimate roster final week and is busy getting ready for the Americans’ opening match of the World Cup, a Monday showdown with Wales at Al Rayyan Stadium. After struggling English Premier League relegation with Norwich City final May, Sargent has picked himself again up within the English Football League Championship in the course of the first half of the season.
Sargent is tied for the Championship lead with 9 targets in 19 appearances for Dean Smith’s squad, a serious step up from his two tallies within the Premier League final season. The 22-year-old is flying excessive forward of his first World Cup look with the USMNT, and credit the Championship for serving to him enhance.
“I think going down one league to the Championship definitely helps,” Sargent stated at a media roundtable in Qatar. “I’m not going to act like it doesn’t have anything to do with my form, but being able to get off to a good start with a couple of goals has helped get my confidence going. I think my mentality has changed a lot.
“Obviously playing against these types of players, every three days in the Championship helps give me a bit of knowledge of how those players like to play,” he added concerning the familiarity the Championship supplies to the Wales squad. “It’s a very physical league. The defenders especially – big guys, very physical.”
Sargent’s impressive start to life in the Championship earned him a call-up to the USMNT’s September camp for friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia, but his form did not carry over to international play. Sargent only played 45 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Japan before being an unused substitute in a goal-less draw with Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain.
After not being selected for majority of the USMNT’s World Cup Qualifying schedule over the past 12 months, Sargent has returned with a vengeance and brought everything he’s learned at Norwich City with him to Qatar.
“It was obviously a very tough time when I wasn’t being called in,” Sargent stated. “I felt like I was doing everything I could, but as a player, that’s all you can really do, is just work as hard as you can at your club. It’s his [USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter’s] decision. So if you’re doing everything you can, you don’t really have any time to hang your head.”
“I think being able to drop down and combine with the team as a false No. 9 is important, as well as scoring goals,” he added. “You’ve got to find the balance because you can’t come to the ball every time because you’ve got to get behind the backline as well. I think you have a big role of being able to pressure the backline too. I think I have all of those qualities and I have been doing the same things at Norwich.”
Both Wales and England will present some familiarity to Sargent because of his involvement within the Premier League and Championship over the previous yr. Sargent has featured in opposition to gamers from each World Cup squads throughout his time with Norwich City, experiences that would profit him within the upcoming matches.
Wales performed with 5 defenders on the again throughout its struggling UEFA Nations League marketing campaign, conceding 11 targets in six matches and ending backside of its group. Although there are a number of skilled gamers in Robert Page’s defensive unit, Sargent’s versatility might play a serious function in an necessary first match of the group.
“Josh is an instance of—he does quite a lot of issues effectively,” Berhalter stated about Sargent following the USMNT roster reveal. “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.”
“I played with a few of them and I think opposite movements will be good for us,” Sargent stated. “Drawing their defenders out will be our goal, they play five in the back so it gets pretty tight. As soon as we see one of their defenders jump in to try and make a challenge, we have to try and find ways to get behind them and break them down.”