Josh Sargent Goal vs Watford was worthy of Puskas

Is it too late for Gregg Berhalter to reconsider his USMNT roster? Just minutes after the US roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers was made public – a roster that did not include Josh Sargent – the Norwich City attacker scored an absurd Premier League goal. Josh Sargent’s goal against Watford is arguably a Puskás Award-worthy goal for its brutality, not to mention the acrobatics and improvisation required to spin the ball into the back of the net. He added a second goal to lift Norwich to a crucial 3-0 win over Watford on Friday.

Berhalter’s 28-man roster was announced Friday at 4 p.m. ET. The USMNT will take on El Salvador, Canada and Honduras in three massive World Cup qualifiers from January 27 through February. 2. While the Americans can’t quite finish a trip to Qatar during this period, a good return could put them within easy reach of qualifying. Unfortunately for Sargent, the 21-year-old Missouri native, his poor form at a club whose form was even worse kept him out of the roster.

This weekend, Sargent had scored two goals all season since joining Norwich in August, both in a 6-0 win over Bournemouth in the EFL Cup. He had only scored in the Premier League on Friday.

Less than 10 minutes after Berhalter’s roster fell, Sargent scored his first Premier League goal in the most incredible way imaginable. Teemu Pukki somehow got away with the ball on the endline and sent a bad cross to no one especially near the six-yard box. The ball was well behind Sargent, but he threw his leg at it for a scorpion kick. Like Olivier Giroud’s 2017 Puskás Award winner, the ball flew into the goal through the woodwork of the top 90.

First goal of Josh Sargent vs Watford

Remarkable. Not a bad way to open your Premier League account.

Sargent doubled his Premier League score with a towering header in the 74th minute.

Second goal by Josh Sargent vs Watford

What a night for Sargent – and the Canaries, who made it 3-0 with an own goal from Juraj Kucka.

Despite Norwich wearing brilliant neon red uniforms, the match was delayed in the second half as some of the Vicarage Road floodlights went out, leading to a 15 minute injury at the end. But it wasn’t enough time for Watford to make a comeback as Emmanuel Dennis was shown red in the 78th minute. Sargent played the full 105 minutes, the first Premier League game he played from start to finish since December 11.

Friday’s impressive performance is too late for Sargent to get a recall in the USMNT in this window. The attacker played seven times for Berhalter in 2021, but has not scored for the national team since 2019. His last call-up came during September’s World Cup qualifiers, when Ricardo Pepi took over as the American striker. If he keeps this up, Sargent could be back in the squad for the last three World Cup qualifiers by the end of March.

The goals were huge for Norwich, who are in the midst of relegation. At the start of the game, the Canaries were in 18th place, one point behind Watford in 17th place. Friday’s win pushed Norwich out of the relegation zone, although Watford has two games in hand. The win could give the Canaries a shot at survival, though it’s likely the relegation battle will last into the final weeks of the season.

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