In the 79th minute, a stillness hit Carrow Road when Josh Sargent fell to the floor and delivered a punch to the grass.
On Wednesday, the 22-year-old Norwich forward was told by USMNT head coach Greg Berhalter that he will be heading to the World Cup.
Norwich’s challenge in stoppage time in their 2–1 defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday left Sargent with a left ankle kick and a cut on the side of his right knee. He was replaced immediately.
But when the final whistle blew, there was no doubt in his mind that it would be a hindrance to the Diary in the coming weeks.
“It’s okay. It[the World Cup]crossed my mind, but at the same time, I think I knew it wasn’t going to be that bad or it wasn’t going,” Sargent said.
“It sure hurt quite a bit. I don’t know what happened. The ankle he came from, that was my concern at first, but when I got up I felt more hurt. But I’m fine.” is.
“I think if I think too much[about injuries]and try to play differently, I’ll probably end up getting hurt, so I thought I’d just play like I always do.”
Once the initial panic subsided, you may have sensed that Sargent began to revel in the idea of traveling to Qatar on Sunday.
In four days we will play England and then Iran.
“I don’t think it’s sunk yet,” said Sargent. “I’m sure it will be when I get there tomorrow, but I’m obviously very excited.
“Scoring goals before the World Cup gives a lot of confidence, so I am very happy to score. It is a fast turnaround and we only have a week to prepare for the first match. So I think we need to prepare for that hot weather.
“I don’t have much time to think about it seriously.
“I’ll do my best to stop and smell the roses while I’m there. Just take a moment and smile and think you’re here. You made it to the World Cup. But at the same time, It’s also about coming back to reality as quickly as possible, knowing there is work to be done.
“It’s a big opportunity. Every club in the world is watching, so everyone wants to show themselves. So it’s going to be pretty cool.”
Sargent’s World Cup dreams began with a heartwarming video of Burhalter delivering the good news to the striker.
‘I couldn’t breathe all day’
— USMNT only (@usmntonly) November 10, 2022
Mr. Sargent confirmed that the video was indeed the moment he realized, received the call and headed to his bedroom to receive the news in private. We had a wonderful time with Kirsten and 11 month old Romy.
‘I didn’t know what was going to happen,’ Sargent said athletic“Some dudes had already called me and asked if I was getting a call, did you know if I was going? And I wasn’t! I wonder if I won’t go
“I was anxious all day, but he called me at night. That’s why I know I’m so happy, because I didn’t know how the call would turn out.”
Equally poignant was his goal-beating of Zach Steffen. The Middlesbrough US goalkeeper missed a place in his team USMNT.
Steffen made an excellent second-half save to prevent Sargent from scoring twice.
“I haven’t seen him in a long time,” said Sargent. “I expected one to come in, but I didn’t get a chance to say hello to him before the game, so I thought it would be a good time to say ‘nice save’. Yes, same.
“I definitely feel for him. I feel sorry for everyone who has been in the qualifiers and national team camps for so long and not being able to go to the World Cup where every player wants to go. It’s heartbreaking and I feel sorry for him.
Steffen may get another chance. Sargent is imminent. He feels that the game against England will probably be the biggest moment of his career so far. When the draw first came out, it certainly stood out for him.
“Half the people (around his club) say they would be happy if I scored against England, half not,” Sargent smiled. “It’s pretty big. I know there’s history between us and it’s going to be a really good match.
“We have a very young group who are very confident in themselves and who are not afraid to play what they want, no matter who they play against. We will deliver a lot of energy.”
Then Sargent disappeared into the corridors of Carrow Road. Next is the World Cup.
(Photo: Getty Images)