Silence descended on Carrow Road on 79 minutes when Josh Sargent went down and hit the turf.
On Wednesday, the 22-year-old Norwich forward was told by USMNT head coach Greg Berhelter that he would be heading to the World Cup, and there was a momentary fear that his dream might be dashed here.
The challenger was injured in injury time of Norwich’s 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough on Saturday when Sargentina was kicked in the left ankle and the side of his right knee was cut. It was quickly replaced later.
But when the final whistle came, there was no doubt in his mind that it would haunt his diary for the next few weeks.
“it doesn’t matter. It (the World Cup) went into my mind but at the same time I think I knew it wasn’t too bad or that I wasn’t going to go,” Sargent said.
“He’s definitely hurt a little bit. I have no idea what happened. It was the ankle he got on and that was my concern at first, then when I got up I felt the cut more. But I’ll be fine.”
“I think if you think about it (injury) too much and try to play a different way, it’s probably going to cause an injury, so I just went out there and tried to play like I normally do.”
The initial shock over, you can tell Sargent is starting to relish the idea of traveling to Qatar – which happens on Sunday – before joining up with the USMNT squad ahead of their opening Group B game against Wales on November 21.
They then face England four days later, before kicking off against Iran.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,” Sargent said. I’m sure it will be tomorrow when I get there but I’m really excited.
“Scoring before the World Cup will help my confidence so I’m really happy to get the goal. It’s a very quick change and then I only have a week to prepare for the first game, so I have to prepare for that warm weather.
“I really don’t have much time to think. I believe we have a friendly on Thursday but I don’t know who we are playing and don’t ask me!
“I do my best to stop and smell the roses while I’m there. Take a moment and smile, thinking to yourself that you are here. You have reached the World Cup. But at the same time, it’s about knowing that you have a job to do and getting back to reality as soon as possible.
“It’s a big opportunity. Everyone wants to prove themselves because every club in the world is watching. So it’s going to be great.”
Sargent’s World Cup dream began with a touching video of Berhelter telling the forward the good news.
“I couldn’t breathe all day.”
– USMNT Only (@usmntonly) November 10, 2022
Sargent confirmed that the moment he found out about the video, he answered the call and headed to his bedroom to receive the news in person. After the call, he had a lovely time with his wife Kirsten and 11-month-old baby Romy waiting for him downstairs.
“I didn’t know how it was going to go,” Sargent said. The athletics. “Two guys called me already to ask if I got a call and did I know I was going? And I’m like, no! So I guess I won’t go.
“I was worried all day and then he called me at night, and that’s why you can see I’m so happy. Because I don’t know how the call will go.”
In the same way, Zach defeated Stephen by a goal. Middlesbrough’s American goalkeeper has missed out on a place in the USMNT squad.
A good save by Stephen in the second half gave the pair a chance to speak.
“I haven’t seen him in a long time,” said Sargent. “I thought one came in and I didn’t get a chance to say hi to him before the game, so I thought it would be a good time, then we started meeting him after the game. as well as.
“I definitely feel for him. I feel for all the guys who were part of the qualifiers and the national team camps for a long time – and then not going to the World Cup, which every player wants to go to, it’s heartbreaking. I feel for him. “
Stephen may find other opportunities. Sargent’s is close. He feels that facing England will probably be the biggest moment of his career till date. The picture stood out to him when it first came out.
“Half the people[around the club]are saying they’ll be happy if I score against England, and the other half aren’t,” smiled Sargent. “It’s huge. I know there is history between us and it will be a great match.
“We have a lot of young guys who are very confident and we know we can compete with anybody, we’re not going to shy away from how we want to play. We bring a lot of energy,” he said.
With that, Sargent disappeared down the Carrow Road corridor. Next stop, the World Cup.
(Photo: Getty Images)