Josh Sargent: Who is USA's 17-year-old rising soccer star?
Josh Sargent has burst onto the mainstream U.S. Soccer scene in recent weeks, leading the USA U-17 national team to World Cup qualification and then jumping up to the U-20s for the World Cup on that age level. He's been more than just a part of Tab Ramos's team–he's been a catalyst for it.
With three goals in his first two games with the U-20s, Sargent has shown he belongs with the older age group and has validated Ramos's choice to call him in despite qualifying for the competition without him. He now has the chance to become the second U.S. men's player–joining Freddy Adu–to compete in the U-17 and U-20 World Cups in the same year.
Naturally, there's a buzz building around the forward. So who is Josh Sargent? Here's more about the latest rising star in U.S. Soccer.
Sargent hails from outside St. Louis, from O'Fallon, Missouri. He played for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Development Academy club, which helped produce the likes of U.S. internationals Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan and Tim Ream, and he is the latest in a line of talent to emerge from the St. Louis area.
U.S. YOUTH HISTORY
According to U.S. Soccer, Sargent first played for the U.S. at a U-14 training camp four years ago, moved to the U-15 level from there and played for in the Nike International Friendlies in 2015 prior to joining the U-17 residency program.
He scored 14 goals and has seven assists in 29 international games before helping the USA qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup this past April, where he scored five goals and had two assists. He scored twice against Mexico, including a highlight-reel effort.
He trained with the U.S. U-20s in January and made enough of an imprint to warrant a call to the U-20 World Cup despite not being part of the qualification effort.
According to Goal.com, Sporting Kansas City has his MLS homegrown rights, should he opt to stay in America when turning pro. That, however, seems unlikely, at least to start his career. Goal is also reporting that Sargent has a deal to sign with Werder Bremen when he turns 18 and is eligible to sign with a club abroad. Since last October, according to U.S. Soccer, he has trained with PSV Eindhoven and Schalke.