After a year filled with success at various levels of the U.S. Youth setup, 17-year-old forward Josh Sargent is taking his talents to Germany, like many young Americans before him. The move won’t be official until he turns 18 but, in the meantime, Sargent is feeling at home with his new club.
Most recently, Sargent has been with Werder’s U-23 team for training camp as he prepared to officially join the team when he turns 18 in February.
“I’m really very excited about the new challenge. Werder are a big club with fantastic support,” he said in an interview posted to the club website on Monday. “I’ve already met lots of new people and hope to continue making new friends. I also took this step, however, to win as many games as possible.”
The highlight of his 2017 could be his four goals in the U-20 World Cup back in May. He scored two goals in the team’s opening match against Ecuador, becoming the youngest American to ever score at that tournament. He had four goals overall as the team fell in the quarterfinals to Venezuela.
Sargent also captained the U.S. U-17 National Team side at last spring’s U-17 World Cup in India, leading the Americans to another quarterfinal berth, where they fell to eventual champions England. He scored three times in that tournament, including once in that quarterfinal.
He also got his first call into the U.S. Men’s National Team, although he didn’t appear in November’s friendly against Portugal. He’s the first American ever to receive calls into the U-17, U-20, and senior teams all in the same calendar year.
Those accolades helped seal a move to Werder Bremen, and, thus far, Sargent has felt comfortable with his decision.
“I felt welcome immediately,” he said. “In the end, this feeling was the reason for my decision to join Werder Bremen. I was a long way from home back in the U.S. as well, but that was just a different state. Now I’m in a different country with a different culture, so it’s really nice to feel so at home so many miles away from actual home.”
“Moving to a new country isn’t easy,” he said. “It includes having to learn a new language, but I see it all as a challenge which will help me grow as an individual.”
Many Americans have made that transition before, however.
Sargent is joining the ranks of many young American players in Germany. Christian Pulisic is already a star at Borussia Dortmund, but Sargent’s U-20 World Cup teammate Weston McKennie is also making waves at Schalke. Bobby Wood, Julian Green, and many others are also plying their trade in the country.
Perhaps Sargent is the next name on this growing list of American playmakers in the Bundesliga.
“I keep having this thought,” Sargent said. “When I think about my first game, I hope I score a goal and make the fans happy.”