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Kohfeldt: Sargent to play bigger role for us this season

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.


  1. when Pulisic was being first capped, he had a handful of first team club appearances and was bouncing down to the U19s regularly. we put him right in a qualifier. sarachan had these guys as regulars with consistent caps and 3 goals between them last year. it is complete rubbish to then try and put the genie back in the bottle and play the “they haven’t proven themselves yet” game. so, what, i can watch Roldan and Zardes? pfft.

    • In that match Pulisic played 9 minutes in a match that had been over since the 46 minute. He was sparingly off the bench that Summer and never started. He played 170 minutes in his first 7 appearances. By his first start he had played almost twice as many Bundesliga minutes as Sargent and in a couple Europa League matches. Werder didn’t want Sargent to travel to the US to come off the bench for a friendly in March whereas BvB allowed Pulisic for the qualifiers, that is why Sargent was called in in March. Sargent in his first seven NT appearances played 326 minutes including 4 starts. So maybe your criticism should be about Sarachan rushing Sargent.

    • Or perhaps the month off after his first professional season allowed him to rejuvenate and be ready to start camp when it began. Allowing him to gain confidence against low level opponents in meaningless friendly matches so when the strikers in front of him came down with minor injuries he was ready to take his chance.

      • “rejuvenate?” do you just make up excuses? he played 1200 minutes between their first and youth teams. the equivalent of 13 full games. no, what he needed was more work, fitness and sharpness. to get the rust off. which we had weeks for him to do. and then to be evaluated with the first team and not the scrubs, and a fair shot at the 9 jersey. you don’t seem to care we had no goals from either 9 in the knockout round. you are so in the tank to justify whatever has been done in the past that you lack the perspective to see that with the benefit of hindsight we can pretty much tell it didn’t work. zardes had 2 goals, both in a single game, and jozy had only that overhead goal, also in a single game. our strikers scored in 2 of the 6 games, a total of 3 goals. that’s it.

      • you also ignore that he deliberately left off weah and sargent in march. what happened in june has to be reconciled with march. he simply doesn’t rate them, which is why they go to the YNT, which is garbage.

      • Word out of camp was he was unfocused and his fitness wasn’t up to par. Understandable for someone who just finished his first professional season. Just training for a year with a pro side after having only played at the DA level is a huge adjustment. GGG requires his teams to play a coordinated attack, Sargent has largely just been able to just kind of do his own thing and score because he’s better than guys his age. To be productive overtime for the NT and in Bundesliga he needs to understand that and it sounds like it’s starting to click.

  2. This is pretty similar to the welcome Pulisic had at Dortmund. We will see if Sargent is able to make as much of it as Pulisic did.

    A major difference is that Pulisic was being compared to in the club was Dembele and then Sancho, so the standard he had to reach and maintain was higher than it is for Sargent.

    • sorry, no, buzz, incorrect. CP was first called in — by Jurgen — in March 2016 with like 5 first team appearances. he bounced between U19 and first team that year, including after his first international cap. which, btw, was a qualifier where he played. he then played 2 more friendlies and was on the Copa America roster and playing. sorry, if there is a comparison, it would be to sarachan. berhalter has basically shipped him and Weah down to the YNT. Weah is considered a big prospect on the continent. we have just become risk averse and it’s laughable to suggest continuity.

      • Seems fairly obvious he’s comparing club situations not NT. Given Pulisic broke in at BvB as a reserve with a few starts and then a halftime starter in year two and regular starter year three.

      • seems fairly obvious also that we didn’t bother to wait on dortmund telling us pulisic was ready, and began calling him in for qualifiers and tournaments while he was bouncing between their U19 and the tail end of the bench of the first team. there is no reason for us to defer to club coaches on whether our players are ready for international play. thus pulisic was called in for guatemala qualifier and played 10 minutes, when he had like 5 first team club appearances. like how sarachan treated weah and sargent. no reason to sandbag our own best prospects because they are on stacked club teams. outsourcing our decision making to other teams.

      • Your reply was not about the article or Dennis’s comment. We get it you complain about everything even things no one is talking about.

  3. so for NT purposes “but his club form.” turns into “but his club form!” and we pretend it’s not the same player being run through a development process by a tentative club coach, or that this would be coming out any different if, say, he had signed in holland or something.

    • can you try making your rants make sense bro, you’re all over the place and it’s not legible at that. If i had to guess your criticizing Greg for not bringing Sargent to the GC? Help me out, please!

      • it’s not that hard to follow. we left him off the team “but club form.” now he will be brought back in probably “because club form.” very rarely does the player stuck in the middle of such silliness actually change their abilities. it’s outsourcing our decisions to their club coach, who may be being purposefully conservative in bringing along young players. and the irony is that when pulisic went through the same process of being slowly brought along at first, klinsmann made his own decision and brought him along faster than dortmund did. there is no reason we have to wait on stacked elite club teams finding favor with our young prospects to begin integrating them in the NT. as i said with weah above, it’s absurd to have a highly prized prospect that european press loves, who did very well in the U20 championship when played in the right position, and even played under sarachan, suddenly out of favor like he is an uncapped kid due to his club situation. irony being if people look at the actual club situations of weah and sargent, they are productive at a high level when used.

      • First off, Klinsmann and Berhalter are 2 seperate people with 2 clearly different philophies. Secondly and more importantly, Pulisic was farther along in his development and a more impactful player than Sargent at his age. If people want to continue bitching about Josh being left out of a GC that mostly everyone said means nothing, then have at it, but i think it’s a waste of time and petty to want to hold on to that negativity.

        At the end of the day, Josh not playing in the GC has been heaven sent because it has allowed him get a full preseason in with Werder B which based on his preseason performances has put him in contention to feature regularly with their first team. I don’t understand this rush to judgement on Greg because he hasnt called in a team full of youth players that aren’t ready to fully contribute yet to the senior team. Let the people who get paid to make these decisions make them, with the belief that the right players will be called in when it’s time, instead of this mob mentality that makes no sense given how little time the manager has been in charge and furthered by the time before the next WC

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