Cologne, Germany – One of the striker’s more important attributes is his sense of timing. A forward needs to know when to make a run in order to get to the perfect moment to shake off a defender and go for the goal.
Since the start of the season in the English Championship, United States international and Norwich City forward Josh Sargent has taken his characterization to another level. Not only is he scoring regularly in his clip (in 10 league games he’s scored six goals), but he’s less than two months away from the start of his campaign in the American World Cup. , his run pushed him to perfection. It’s time to build the final roster for manager Greg Berhalter and possibly record a lot of time in Qatar.
“I’ve never really had a season like this,” Sargent said at a roundtable with reporters on Wednesday. So far my confidence is the best it’s ever been at the moment, I’m just trying to keep the momentum going.” Keep going as long as you can and keep scoring goals. ”
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It’s been just over a year since Sargent last appeared in the United States, but he played no role in a second-half comeback as he came off at half-time in a 4-1 victory over Honduras in World Cup qualifiers. did not. Important to the US team’s qualification efforts. His form at club level was not good. When Norwich struggled in a season that ended in relegation, Sargent was often cast as a winger, and despite playing that position occasionally at his former club Werder Bremen, he was well out of his comfort zone and attacking. I struggled to contribute. The season ended even more disappointing as he picked up two injuries towards the end of the season.
“I think it was a frustrating time,” he said. But the U.S. forward doesn’t resent the time he spent wide, even as he admits it didn’t play to his strengths.
“I think of myself as a team player. I’m not someone who says, ‘No, I’m not going to play a winger if the coach wants me to play there,'” he said. I learned a new position, not where I felt most comfortable, but at the same time I got the time to play in that position. [Premier League] And the best league in the world. So I didn’t mean to complain too much. But when I play as a striker, I think I have the most freedom and confidence.”
Continuing difficulties in securing minutes in ninth place forced Berhalter to look for another solution, with Ricardo Pepi and Jesús Ferreira taking most of the reps for the remainder of qualifying. That meant that the player once considered the next big thing in US strikers became something of an afterthought.
Fast forward to this season and Sargent’s patience and willingness to do the dirty work for the team has paid off. Time spent in the weight room meant he entered the season stronger and fitter than ever.
”I don’t want to brag, but when I got hurt late in the season, I was targeting myself and Norwich athletics,” he said. “I know these guys are pretty big and strong in Prem, so I made it a goal to hit the gym a little more and work on that.”
Sargent spent more time in his original position thanks to Teem Pukki’s injury, and although his return to his favorite position felt a little unfamiliar, the American found himself in goal again. .
“Of course, in my heart, I wanted to play a striker,” he said. “When I got the opportunity, I knew I had to take it. I got the chance and it came back to me.”
Now that Pukki is healthy again, Sargent has been put back on the wing, but his back-to-back goals have seen him used differently than before. He is allowed to hide inside and play as a second striker, rather than playing near the touchline. That allowed him to continue contributing offensively.
Sargent also has additional experience with how to get through tough times and how to find ways to create confidence in the moment. Did. The focus was on the details at first.
“I think it’s the little things that just take little things from the game and take into the game what you want to achieve, and not necessarily just win the game in general, but set your own benchmark in the game as a whole,” he said. “And if you’re completing these little tasks, you’ll keep getting better and better and keep trying to improve yourself.”
The second is spending time with my wife and daughter.
Sargent said of his family time, “It definitely helps me forget about football for a little while.” “As a single guy, when I get home and my mind is full of things like training, it can be useful to learn from that. increase.”
At this point, Sargent’s focus is on solidifying his place on the final roster. It is now well known that Berhalter prefers this position. Mobility is key as the US manager expects a central striker to lead the press and return to midfield to build offense. And oh yeah, score a goal – which might not be as important as the first two considering the red-hot Jordan Pefok was left off the roster. That gives him the ability to score brute-force goals in a way that perhaps no other forward in the US pool can.
“I think one of the most important things in football is to be as confident as you can be and to believe in yourself even when things go wrong.” We’re scoring goals to keep the momentum going as long as possible.”