After a positive preseason with Werder Bremen, Josh Sargent is ready for a bigger role with the club.
Sargent scored twice in 10 Bundesliga appearances for Bremen in 2018-19, and after being omitted from the U.S. Men’s National Team Gold Cup roster, he looks to be putting all of his energy into a strong domestic campaign.
“His hard work now appears to be paying off. “I’m very happy with him,” Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt said after his side’s recent friendly win over Eibar.
“His interplay with Yuya [Osako] was great and they alternated who would go deep and who would drop in between the lines. And he’s getting chances. Josh is doing really well.”
Sargent struggled for consistent minutes with Bremen after scoring on his senior debut, but now could have a better chance of finding appearances. Max Kruse’s departure leaves Bremen one striker short from last season’s squad, while Niclas Fullkrug is returning from injury.
The 19-year-old may still need things to work on overall as a player, but his impressive preseason is giving Kohfeldt plenty to be excited about.
“He’s now started two consecutive matches for the first team at a time when we’re trying to find our rhythm. Those starts weren’t just handed to him; he’s earned it in training. I think Josh will play a bigger role for us this season than he did last year,” Kohfeldt said.
Sargent’s omission from the USMNT surely was a surprising one, after he appeared several times in 2018 under then-interim head coach Dave Sarachan. He also was not included in the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster, giving him the chance to jump right back in with Bremen.
“I’m now more familiar with how the coach wants to play,” Sargent said.
“The coach has sometimes told me after a good finish that you cannot teach it. I think I have a nose for goal in the box. Scoring goals is my favorite pastime, it happens instinctively. That’s why playing as a centre-forward suits me best, but I play wherever the coach wants me to.”
“The main thing is that I have more playing time. I hope to make my breakthrough soon. If it happens in the new season, it would be great.”
Bremen will look to build off last season’s eighth place finish in the Bundesliga while trying to claim a spot in European competition. Even though Sargent has provided a nice spark this preseason, Kohfeldt isn’t putting crazy expectations on him just yet.
“Please don’t expect him to score 15 times and to play in every game,” Kohfeldt said. “He’s still a very young player who needs to get into his stride, but we’ll also give him breaks every so often. I know he’s able to have an impact at a very high level.”
Bremen open the Bundesliga season on Aug. 17th against Fortuna Düsseldorf.