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- Two 18-year-olds scored for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team in a recent friendly, becoming two of the youngest scorers in team history.
- Both players, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah, are also currently playing for clubs in a top five European soccer league.
- These two players are part of a promising generation of U.S. Soccer talent which could help the program recover from its failure to qualify for the recent World Cup.
The United States missed out on World Cup 2018, but if a friendly match against Bolivia on Sunday is any indication, the program’s future is looking brighter already.
Interim U.S. manager Dave Sarachan rolled out a starting lineup that featured seven players under the age of 24, and gave six players their senior national team debuts, as the U.S. went on to defeat Bolivia, 3-0.
Granted, Bolivia is not the toughest competition, and international friendlies can be tricky to evaluate, but one good sign for the U.S. is that a pair of highly-touted young players scored their first international goals.
Josh Sargent, who signed with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen this past winter, became the second-youngest player to ever score in his debut for the national team at only 18 years old after he was able to steal a pass intended for a Bolivian defender from the team’s goalkeeper thanks in part to a remarkable display of touch.
Later in the match, 18-year-old Tim Weah became the fourth-youngest scorer in U.S. Men’s National Team history. Weah, the son of former FIFA World Player of the Year (and current President of Liberia) George Weah, is one of the most promising young talents in the U.S. player pool, having just recently made his senior debut for French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
You can see both goals here at the 0:42 mark:
Of course, this does not mean that either player is assured of future soccer stardom, after all, Juan Agudelo and Jozy Altidore also both scored for the USMNT as teenagers, and both are currently languishing in MLS.
Still, both Sargent and Weah are but two of an increasing number of young Americans who have signed with European clubs, such as Weston McKennie at Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga or Antonee Robinson at Everton in the Premier League. With such a wealth of young talent out there, enough quality players should emerge to help U.S. soccer turn the page on its recent disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign and propel the program to a better future.