The legend of 17-year-old Josh Sargent continues to grow and his price tag continues to rise as the St. Louis Scott Gallaghers club man scored the lone goal in today’s 1-0 U.S. victory over Senegal at the U20 World Cup in South Korea.
Senegal came into this match at the top of Group F after defeating Saudi Arabia 2-0 in the first group game while the Americans battled Ecuador to a 3-3 draw in match one. Coach Tab Ramos made two changes to his starting 11 against the Lions, staying with Derrick Jones, who filled in admirably when Gedion Zelalem was injured versus Ecuador and dropping Tommy Redding for Cameron Carter-Vickers.
It was a blow for Redding but the Orlando man was at least partly to blame for both early Ecuador goals before settling well. Ramos stayed with fullback Aaron Herrera, the other culprit on those Ecuador goals, in all likelihood because he did not have a CCV level replacement waiting in the wings to replace the University of New Mexico star.
The other change for the U.S. for game two was visible from the start and that change was the team’s attitude. After conceding in the fifth and seventh minutes against Ecuador the need for a better start was obvious and the Young Yanks were up for Senegal from today’s opening whistle.
Midfielders Brooks Lennon, Luca de la Torre, and striker Sargent were high pressing to good effect early, the center of the park was well covered with Tyler Adams, Eryk Williamson and Jones doing yeoman’s work and the back four was the picture of solidity.
Right fullback Herrera proved worthy of his second chance, Danny Acosta was impressive once again on the left flank and Carter-Vickers and captain Erik Palmer-Brown were imperious for 90 plus minutes in front of Jonathan Klinsmann, as the goalkeeper with the famous father bounced back well after Monday’s difficulties.
It was the type of match where everyone played well for the U.S. and so the Americans fully deserved to go ahead on Sargent’s wonderful goal in the 34th minute. The build-up began with a nice entry pass by Herrera to Adams, who played a deft touch to de la Torre. The Fulham product found Sargent in the center of the box and Sargent did the rest.
The heady youngster received the ball with his back to goal and spun away from a defender before firing a perfect left-footed shot to the back of the Senegal net. Already the youngest American ever to score at a U20 World Cup, Sargent now has three goals in the first two games of the tournament, just one behind Altidore, who he passed for the youngest ever title, Taylor Twellman, and Eddie Johnson, for the most goals at a U20 World Cup by an American.
It has been quite a whirlwind for Sargent, who scored five goals earlier this month to lead the U.S. to qualification for the U17 World Cup this fall in India and to earn a call up to the U20 team. It is safe to say that Sargent can handle the step up as the Americans look ahead to game three Sunday morning against Saudi Arabia.
After playing the first two matches in the city of Incheon, the U.S. makes the short trip south to Daejeon to face the Saudi’s on Sunday, who surprised Ecuador earlier today, beating the Group F favorites 2-1 after dropping the opener to Senegal.
This win puts the U.S. on top of the group and in a strong position to advance as one of the top two teams in the group or, if they falter, as one of the top four third-place finishers.
Sunday, May 28: U.S. vs Saudi Arabia
Daejeon World Cup Stadium; Daejeon, Korea Republic – FS1, Telemundo
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 1 0 1
SEN 0 0 0
USA – Josh Sargent (Luca de la Torre) 34th minute
USA: 1-Jonathan Klinsmann; 3-Danny Acosta, 16-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 5-Erik Palmer-Brown (capt.), 14-Aaron Herrera; 7-Eryk Williamson (6-Justen Glad, 84), 8-Tyler Adams, 18-Derrick Jones; 17-Brooks Lennon, 19-Josh Sargent (15-Jeremy Ebobisse, 90+4), 20-Luca de la Torre (13-Lagos Kunga, 90)
Subs not used: 2-Auston Trusty, 4-Tommy Redding, 9-Emmanuel Sabbi, 11-Sebastian Saucedo, 12-James Marcinkowski, 21-Brady Scott
Head coach: Tab Ramos
SEN: 1-Mouhamed Mbaye; 3-Jean Ndecky, 2-Waly Diouf, 6-Mamadou Diarra (capt.), 4-Souleymane Aw; 5-Cavin Diagne (20-Akhibou Ly, 76), 17-Krepin Diatta, 19-Bamba Kane; 11-Ibrahima Ndiaya, 10-Aliou Badji (12-Habib Gueye, 79), 7-Ibrahima Niane
Subs not used: 8-Moussa Ba, 9-Mouhamed Pouye, 13-Alioune Gueye, 14-Ousseynou Niang, 15-Mamadou Mbaye, 16-Lamine Sarr, 18-Souleye Sarr, 21- Idrissa Ndiaye
Head coach: Joseph Koto
Stats Summary: USA / SEN
Shots on Goal: 3/2
Corner Kicks: 6/8
USA – Aaron Herrera (caution) 7th minute
SEN – Bamba Kane (caution) 60
SEN – Mamadou Diarra (caution) 86
SEN – Ibrahima Ndiaya (caution) 88