Every match is going to be a different lesson for the U.S. Men’s National Team during its rebuilding process towards competitive fixtures in 2019. The final results at the end of each match may not be the most important thing, but the hope is to grow this group of players and see who will be ready for the next step in the process.
Josh Sargent is an exciting player on the current USMNT squad who has had a terrific campaign so far abroad. Playing for the Werder Bremen U-23 side mostly this season, the 18-year-old has tallied six goals in 10 appearances while also getting some playing time with the senior squad during friendlies in September.
Mainly coming off the bench for the USMNT under interim head coach Dave Sarachan, Sargent has shown some life, but needs consistent minutes to show what he is capable of. Now with Peru on the schedule this Tuesday and Sarachan stating numerous roster changes will be made, Sargent is hoping to prove himself again to the staff.
“Every camp we’re coming closer together and every game is a different lesson for us so now we just want to prove ourselves against Peru,” Sargent said. “My goal coming into these camps is to be a starter, so I just have to work my hardest and see what coach has planned for me.”
“At the end of the day, I don’t think age really matters,” Sargent said. “It’s who is best for the job and I’m really working hard to show that I can play with this team and be a good piece of the puzzle.”
His move to Werder Bremen added another American player to the ever-growing number in Germany. Headlined by Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, Germany has the most U.S. internationals featured in their leagues with most already earning spots in the Bundesliga.
Even though his matches may not be broadcasted on live T.V. here in the U.S., Sargent has continued to rise to the challenge in hopes of making it to the Bremen first-team. Being able to learn from numerous teammates has helped him grow as a professional, and Sargent knows his hard work will hopefully pay off to a first-team appearance someday soon.
“Being a professional you have to have a different mindset, especially in Germany,” Sargent said. “They are very strict about everything so you have to come to work ready to go. I hope to continue working hard and eventually get a spot in the first team for Bremen.”
“I’ve been training with the first team every day at Bremen and a lot of the older players have helped me,” Sargent continued. “Claudio [Pizarro] is a guy in front of me who has been a good mentor towards me, he and the rest of the guys are helping me anyway they can. I think they are doing a good job but I’m also the guy trying to win a spot so it’s good competition as well.”
Like at Bremen, Sargent has had to fight with the USMNT forwards for consistent playing time. Andrija Novakovich, Bobby Wood, and Timothy Weah are a trio of guys who, like Sargent, play in Europe’s top leagues and are also seeking to stamp their name on the roster long term. The competition is going to be tough for Sargent, but some playing time against Peru could help him work his way up the pecking order.
“I still have big time guys like Jozy [Atidore] and Bobby [Wood] in front of me so I have to continue to work hard,” Sargent said. “I also need to learn as much as I can from those guys and translate that over into the games, and hopefully that will lead me to a spot on the field.”