11717_sargent_isi_usmntu17cbl041517417 Casey Brooke Lawson/isiphotos.com
Morning update

Ramos visits Sargent, Holmes impresses, and busy night in MLS

The United States U-20 team could be in a strong position to qualify in November as Ramos looks to get his best players. Elsewhere, pay attention to Duane Holmes as he could breakout at Derby soon. Also, a look at Wednesday's busy night in MLS
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
August 29, 2018
5:00 AM
There was some interesting news in American Soccer on Tuesday and here is a brief rundown to start your Wednesday.

Ramos visits Sargent

Tab Ramos was in Germany recently to visit some of the top American youth prospects in Europe. According to Mein Werder, that included a stop to Werder Bremen to visit forward Josh Sargent who is playing with Werder Bremen’s U-23 team.

In the report it says that Sargent is still a candidate for the United States U-20 team although he will be staying in Germany for the upcoming U-20 camp in September which ASN has learned will be at IMG in Florida. If Sargent is staying in Germany, that presumably means he will not be with the full U.S. national team as well.

That might be for the best for everyone because if Sargent can stay and improve his standing at his club, he will be better served for U.S. Soccer as well.

But the report also suggests that Sargent could take part with the U.S. U-20 team for World Cup qualifying in November and, if the team is successful there, then also at the U-20 World Cup which starts in late May in Poland.

If this is true, it is a massive boost for the U.S. U-20 team by way of qualifying. So many of the top age-eligible players have genuine question marks regarding whether or not they will be released for qualifying. And it’s not just players based abroad like Sargent, Jonathan Amon, Tim Weah, Nick Taitague, Sebastian Soto, Chris Richards, or Brady Scott because there are also players like Tyler Adams, Mark McKenzie, or Chris Durkin who could feature in the MLS playoffs.

But Sargent’s inclusion will mean that Ramos will have his top goal scorer for qualifying.

Holmes impresses in Derby debut

Duane Holmes, 23, is flying under the radar among both American and Derby County fans but that could change quickly.

After joining Derby County on a transfer from Scunthorpe in League One (where he was the team’s player of the season last year), Holmes made his club debut on Tuesday in a League Cup match against Hull City. Holmes’ debut had been delayed due to injury but the Georgia-born attacker is now ready to play.

Holmes came into the game in the 71st minute with Derby County up 2-0. He promptly was the creative force that led to an own goal in the 73rd minute and then picked up an assist in the 89th minute.

Derby County is now managed by Frank Lampard and the former English great will soon have no choice but to get Holmes onto the field.

Busy Wednesday in MLS

There are four games on the docket tonight in MLS:

New York Red Bulls – Houston Dynamo
DC United – Philadelphia Union
Portland Timbers – Toronto FC
San Jose Earthquakes – FC Dallas

There are a few interesting storylines in this games.

New Red Bulls boss Chris Armas has tough decisions to make due to the tough schedule congestion which will see his team play five games in 15 days. Players like Bradley Wright-Phillips, Aaron Long, and Tyler Adams could be maxed out if they continue to start every game in this stretch. Still, does he rest them in a game where starting them could be an easy three points at home? Tough call.

The DC United – Philadelphia Union game is between two teams exceeding expectations with both really needing the points to boost their chances for the playoffs. DC United returns home after a tough loss against the Red Bulls on Saturday and needs the points even more than Philadelphia but Philadelphia’s defense and goalkeeping has kept the team afloat all season.

The Portland Timbers and Toronto FC sees a sinking Portland team facing a Toronto team that needs to build on its 3-1 win over Montreal to get into playoff contention.

The San Jose Earthquakes are deflated and miserable and Dallas should be in good shape to collect another three points as it aims for a first place finish in the Western Conference.

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