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Sargent: I am possibly in the form of my life

Josh Sargent was one player who got a head start on domestic preseason preparations after being left off Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. Men’s National Team roster for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Despite the disappointment of not playing a part for the USMNT this summer, Sargent has made the most of his time with Werder Bremen.

Sunday saw Sargent score in his second-consecutive preseason friendly for Bremen in a 1-0 win over FC Koln. It was a clinical finish from Sargent after never giving up on the play, and fighting his way into the box.

“Definitely not used to playing games like that, but I had to make the most of my opportunity today and I think I did just that,” Sargent said. “I am very happy. It was very physical and hard for us to break through the lines through the game. Luckily we were able to find a goal at the end of the game.”

“Obviously the starting line-up is my goal. I’m happy with how things have been going and with my goal [against Koln]. We’ve been working hard on things in training, and I’m possibly in the form of my life. It’s only been a journey in Germany so far for me. Hopefully it can continue.”

After scoring seven goals in 12 appearances with Bremen II last season, Sargent made his Bundesliga debut and scored 87 seconds after stepping onto the pitch for the first team. He would tally one more goal in nine additional appearances for Bremen, but struggled to find the field in the final months of the season.

The 19-year-old Missouri native is now gearing up for his first full season with Bremen’s first team. Florian Kohfeldt’s side just missed out on European qualification after finishing eighth in the Bundesliga in 2018-19, one point behind Eintracht Frankfurt. Sargent’s strong preseason however is giving Kohfeldt something to be excited about as Bremen are three weeks from their domestic opener, a trip to Atlas Delmenhorst in the German DFB Cup.

“Josh is unbelievably clinical when he gets in the opposition box,” Kohfeldt said postmatch. “He’s been working really hard and is in fantastic shape, which is great for him and us, but he’s not without competition in attack.

“In terms of the goal on Sunday, Josh simply did brilliant.”

Following their German Cup opener, Werder Bremen will host Fortuna Dusseldorf in their Bundesliga opener on Aug. 17th. Sargent will line up opposite of fellow American players, goalkeeper Zack Steffen (currently on-loan from Manchester City) and midfielder Alfredo Morales.


    • I think it was a mistake, but I don’t even have to buy that to think this underlines the unsteady foundation, the vicissitudes, of relying on club form to do your scouting job for you. I leave someone off for supposed club form a month ago who is now playing well. The player may not have changed one bit, actually. I didn’t feel like Jozy at Hull or Dempsey at Spurs suddenly got worse. So maybe selection should be done on a longer term basis.

      • Word out of camp was his fitness was lacking (not surprising considering he wasn’t getting big minutes) and that he was not as focused as was expected. That’s from unnamed sources so take it with a few grains of salt. He wasn’t left off because of his club form he wasn’t in form in camp. Sounds like he got the message and refocused but these are 30 minute half glorified scrimmages so who knows.

      • JR: he is in his offseason. and the idea of leaving off players for fitness when we have a 5 week long camp with endless games is stupid. in 5 weeks a professional can play themselves into form and fitness.

      • you are like the genius of conventional rationalization of a mediocre present. it’s not like we are the undefeated world champs whose every action you think is ok.

  1. I think it was a travesty leaving him off, but I am glad he is in good spirits and if he gets used by the first team and plays well, then our coach won’t be able to ignore him.

    • He wasn’t ignored, and hasn’t been since Greg was hired, matter of fact he’s been in every camp that our euros are capable of being called in to…i really don’t understand the need to keep complaining about him not being involved in a tourney that many on this site whined meant nothing and should be done away with. There is nearly 4 years to the next WC, Sargent will get his chances for sure…..relax

      • we didn’t win the gold cup and obviously aren’t optimized. and i think it’s absurd to leave players off for what the club coach thinks of them. the coach’s job is to have his own two eyes. y’all keep kicking down the road when i am supposed to expect success and correct selection from USMNT.

      • IV he was in camp he wasn’t ignored. You are the one always saying call in guys and let them battle for a spot. Sargent didn’t beat Zardes so he didn’t make the squad.

      • and i am sure you believe that there was an even handed contest between zardes who coming in had 1 goal in 3 years versus sargent with 2 goals last year. do you ever register independent thinking? GB sez it must be right. GB lost 2 friendlies badly and didn’t win gold cup so he didn’t have it that right.

      • no, what i say is call in and roster new people and give them a chance in games. that is different than bring them in for a couple days before a game and then cut them in favor of a mediocre player with plenty of caps this year and meh to show for it. Boyd would be more what i am talking about. an extended runout to show your relative value. A “C” team friendly with lousy service is not a fair estimate of his value. and my whole point is the quickness with which all this form and fitness jabbering flips on its head. why not the more permanent assessment of player quality.

  2. Every young American should do everything they can to go to Europe. Even if you barely play there, MLS will over pay for you to come back and give you far more opportunities. At the same time barely anyone is coming up through the homegrown system. So really there is no down side to giving Europe a chance.

    • If they want to go, I think they should go at 18 like Landon before them, but be just as ready to see if within a couple years the road is leaving them there — Pulisic — or bringing them back. Otherwise the risk is you become Aribiyi, 24 and almost forgotten here, serving out meh loans from Notts Forest. Hyndman was becoming a footnote as well but I was impressed when he played Houston. I think it’s player-specific and there are no formulas. Pope did great and never left. McBride did great both here and there. Sure there are examples of people who did well abroad and never came home.

      • My point is, MLS clubs have more trust in players that have bounced around Europe for a couple years then anyone they are developing in house. Hyndman, Parks, Canouse,just about walk in starting lineups while homegrown player minutes are on a decline. So why not go to Europe, then even if you don’t play it’ll help your MLS prospects.

      • The Red Bull, Dallas and RSL would be counter points to home-grown players not doing well. The Rep Bull in particular have 8 homegrown players on the roster as well as 3 younger guys who grew up in NJ and played professionally only for Red Bull or Red Bull II. Of those 11 players 5 play substantial minutes and it is unsurprising whe 2 others (Etienne and Barlow) get long stretches. Fairly recently Red Bull have seen Tyler Adams, Matt Miazga to Europe and going futher back, Juan Aguadelo, Tim Ream and Jozy Altidore. Etienne was a key player for Haiti in the recent Gold Cup.

        None of the players I mentioned would have received much, if any, playing team on a first team squad in Europe early in their careers, nevermind the very real issue that getting a work permit is not always possible, and not easy for an unknown player. Going to Europe just because someone thinks it would be good for your soccer is simply not always possible.

    • well, the roster for the U-20 WC said differently, or am i confusing the homegrown system with MLS clubs youth teams??

  3. Here comes the should have been at the GC talk.

    His positive form talk now is exactly why it was beneficial for him and the usmnt for him to focus on preseason.

    Needs to secure first team regular status. Werder is a good team and will be a challenge. He starts for them, everything falls into place.

    • I’d say his current form and place on Werder make a good case for him being left out. He’s 19- getting a foothold in the Bundesliga is far more important than Gold Cup. For him and the future of the National team should he continue to prosper. Not often we hear a U.S. striker called clinical in the opposition box by a Euro manager? Actually… I can’t recall even once…… Keep working kid.


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