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Josh Sargent stars as Werder Bremen finishes third at U-19 tournament

Josh Sargent had a big week for the Werder Bremen U-19s, who captured third at a youth tournament behind several goals from their American star.

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team forward fired three goals in five games, leading Bremen to a third-place finish at the U-19 Champions Trophy tournament. The tournament culminated in a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town with Sargent scoring the lone goal in the consolation match.

Werder Bremen opened the tournament with a loss to RB Salzburg with Sargent scoring in the 2-1 defeat via a ninth-minute finish. The German youth side earned draws in the next two matches, splitting points with Standard Luttich and a Japan High School Selection team.

Sargent scored again in the final group-stage match, a 2-0 win over Everton, as Bremen sealed second place in the group and a semifinal berth. In the semifinals, the club fell to Borussia Monchengladbach, 4-2, in extra time.


  1. This is cool. Glad the kid is over there getting lots of playing time. Maybe he gets some first team minutes at the end of the season. They’re currently 12th, so they’re not in a relegation fight and not vying for CL or Europa spot. Seems perfect for him to get some playing time.

    • He can’t play any season games because he wasn’t signed until after the transfer window. He can only play in friendlies or tournaments until after the current season is over.

      • I’m sorry, are you saying that the phrase “for the Werder Bremen U19s, who captured third at a youth tournament” makes it clear that he is not eligible to play for the first team later this season? Because it doesn’t. But Johnnyrazor’s post was actually helpful.

      • TFO: your sense of what is helpful is subjective. You were the one suggesting playing time in such a setting was a big deal. I get that this may be a workaround on EU/Germany/Bundesliga rules. I also have played in international tournaments, for a traditional domestic select side, against youth U-19 clubs for name brand foreign teams. So what.
        It is probably useful for him to train with the first team, if that is allowed. But while he bides his time to get there, in terms of game value, it would be more worthwhile to be in MLS or USL playing against adults. Far as I am concerned this has more to do with getting on the books at Werder and protecting their interests, and as of this summer integrating him, than it does with immediately pushing his career along. You seemed to suggest otherwise and I disagree.

      • IV:

        “your sense of what is helpful is subjective.” In other news, your sense of what tastes good is subjective… Way to state the obvious. The point I was making is that one response simply repeated the same information that was in the original article (I can read), while the other post actually provided new information that helped me understand the restrictions, without the snark.

        I’m assuming that your decision to mention your playing resume was not to somehow impress your fellow posters (my guess is that most SBI posters played at a pretty decent level, that’s why we nerd out about some American kid playing in a foreign league), but to say that playing internationally does not guarantee future success. Once again, you are stating the obvious.

        You believe JS would be better served playing against grown men in the US, rather than around other kids in Germany. That may be true. But I think that in the long run, he will benefit from better youth coaching and being groomed by a well established Bundesliga club that will put him in a position to see playing time next season.

      • You are assuming an MLS or USL club would have signed him to a deal that would let him out at the end of June when he could play for Bremen. SKC would have had his rights I believe. With his YNT commitments last year he would have missed almost the entire season of MLS/USL as Carleton, Akinola, Goslin, and Sands. So a club would have had to be willing to bring him in for less than five matches last season and knowing he wanted to go to Europe this Summer two months of matches this season, not sure that would have left many options. I’m not sure what the rules are if he could have signed in USL or if he would have had to play for Swope Park.

      • TFO: it is not snark to respond to “Glad the kid is over there getting lots of playing time” with “….for the Werder Bremen U-19s, who captured third at a youth tournament.” The specifics matter here.

        My point in mentioning playing U-19 pro pyramid teams is just that a mere college player might get similar level games. You could never make MLS yourself and still play MLS or USL teams in the spring via college, or high level U-19 sides in tournaments like Dallas Cup. The US YNT plays teams that level or higher regularly. If he was in MLS or USL he would be playing adults.

        I acknowledged the training might definitely be beneficial but some of the claimed benefits of European signing have to do with the currently unknown question of where they track you to play once eligible. Are you first team. Are you with a II team in the German 3rd division. Are you with an age group team in the system playing similar age kids.

        My point is when people like you are touting PLAYING for the U-19s, so what. Call me when like Pulisic he is dressing and playing for the first team. Otherwise there are a lot of Green/ Hyndman/ Karabisyoon/ Adu/ Cooper/ Aboussamonde/ Gyau stories. Zelalem is the latest one. I find the players interesting — and I wish Sargent well — but it’s all about do they ever find first team playing time and going to Europe makes that harder, not easier.

      • The suggestion a MLS team wouldn’t have signed Sargent holds no water. Teams would jump at the chance to sign a leading U-17 or U-20 prospect. Teams sign 15-16 year olds. Teams sign players headed into U-20 tournaments or the world cup knowing they might get limited appearances.

        I agree MLS wouldn’t sign a half year or year deal. But in terms of MLS versus abroad the honest discussion is would they sign a 4 year MLS deal versus a German or English deal, and at least part of the calculus there, unstated in many of the puff arguments, is where does the foreign team actually use you. If they love you and fast track you into the primary team, you get the top level coaching and game experience. If they take it slower you’re on an age group team in a system with a set of similar signees and they see who turns out, and you train with the youth team and not the brand name coach. Or maybe they loan you out and you’re really at Vitesse or Rangers or whatnot. The specifics matter.

    • It’s kind of confusing since Zlatan just signed but could immediately play because MLS has a March transfer window. Because Josh couldn’t sign until his 18th birthday he missed the German transfer window deadline. He can only play in club friendly matches, which is what the U19 tournament was considered. He won’t have many opportunities for match play until the preseason in July.

    • IV: Although many would have liked to have signed him only SKC would have been able to, they would hold his homegrown rights (Sargent may have seen EPB as a cautionary tale). He basically gave up three months of MLS for a chance to be a regular in Germany starting in the fall. One of the reasons to choose Bremen when he likely had options at higher ranked clubs in Europe, based on reports anyway, would be he wouldn’t be loaned out to a Vitesse or Rangers. Bremen only has two players under age 26 out on loan, far different from Chelsea (37 loanees almost all under 26 stopped counting after 9 out of first ten were 22 or under) or Arsenal (9 of 11 loanees under ages 26).


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