After starring in two youth World Cups in 2017, it should come as no surprise that Josh Sargent was voted the U.S. Soccer Young Male Player of the Year, it was announced Friday.
Taking part in the Under-17 and U-20 World Cups, Sargent’s standout year saw him tie the U.S. record of seven all-time goals in men’s youth World Cup action. Already a leader with the U-17 MNT, Sargent began a remarkable year when he recorded five goals and two assists while captaining the Americans to a runner-up finish at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.
The O’Fallon, Mo., product tallied twice and added and an assist in a 4-3 comeback win over Mexico in the group stage. Several days later, he was named as the youngest player on the U.S. U-20 World Cup team and proved to be a key part in the U.S.’s run to the 1uarterfinals as he scored two goals in the team’s opening 3-3 draw with Ecuador, the lone strike in a 1-0 win vs. Senegal and a goal and assist in the 6-0 Round of 16 win over New Zealand. The four goals earned him the tournament’s Silver Boot.
Sargent captained the U-17 MNT during their World Cup, connecting for the first goal in a tournament-opening 3-0 victory past host India, before providing a goal and assist in a 5-0 win over Paraguay in the Round of 16. While the U.S. fell 4-1 to eventual champions England in the quarterfinals, Sargent’s goal made more history, tying Freddy Adu for most goals scored by a U.S. player at youth World Cups with seven.
A product of U.S. Soccer Development Academy club St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Missouri, Sargent finished the year with 15 goals and three assists in 17 international matches for the U-17 MNT and 19 goals and four assists in 22 overall youth national team appearances.
His performances led to his first call-up to the U.S. men’s national team for November’s 1-1 draw at Portugal.
Upon turning 18 in February, Sargent will begin his professional career when he signs with German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen.
Sargent earned 55 percent of the vote, followed by Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams (25 percent) and Erik Palmer-Brown (eight percent).
Votes were collected from men’s national team players that earned a cap in 2017, men’s national team and youth men’s national team coaches, Major League Soccer, North American Soccer League and United Soccer League head coaches, as well as select former players, administrators and media members.