17-year-old Josh Sargent a force for US Soccer

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If forward Josh Sargent wasn’t on anybody’s radar before, he certainly is now for U.S. Soccer at the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

[ MORE: USMNT prepares for WCQ with Venezuela friendly ]

Sargent, who turned 17 in February, tied the American scoring record for the event Wednesday night in a 6-0 U.S. victory over New Zealand. The youngest player on the U.S. team, he now has four goals in the tournament and is tied with Venezuela’s Sergio Cordova for the tournament scoring lead.

That production has him in rarefied air. He joins Taylor Twellman (1999), Eddie Johnson (2003) and Jozy Altidore (2007) as the only Americans to score four goals at an Under-20 World Cup.

A native of O’Fallon, Missouri, outside St. Louis, Sargent scored five goals in Panama at CONCACAF qualifying in April and May for the Under-17 World Cup team, then was added to the Under-20 roster – a major step up.

Sargent trained with the U-20s in January and made enough of an imprint to be called up to the U-20 World Cup even though he wasn’t part of the qualification effort. His performance has validated the decision by coach Tab Ramos to add him to the older roster.

Other things to know about Josh Sargent:

GOALS GALORE: Sargent had 14 goals and seven assists in 29 international games before helping the United States qualify for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. He had five goals and two assists there, including two goals against Mexico .

STAYING HOME: According to Goal.com, Sporting Kansas City has his MLS homegrown rights if he decides to stay at home and play professionally in the United States.

EARLY YEARS: According to U.S. Soccer, Sargent first played for the U.S. at a U-14 training camp four years ago and also played in the Nike International Friendlies in 2015.

TRAINING TIME: According to U.S. Soccer, Sargent has trained since the fall with clubs based in the Netherlands and Germany.

HE SAYS: “World Cups are huge. Being able to go with an older age group is really good for me. It’ll push me and help me realize just how good competition around the world is. Playing with these older guys will push me every day, and I think I can take that back with the U-17s to help make us more successful come October.”

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE