Top Stories

Werder Bremen will not release Sargent for USMNT duty


Josh Sargent was set to join Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. Men’s National Team squad for November friendlies, but now looks ready to stay with Werder Bremen.

The Bundesliga side announced Thursday that it will only be releasing two players for international duty due to COVID-19 travel regulations. Jiri Pavlenka and Jean-Manuel Mbom will be taking part in respective matches in Germany and will not be traveling out of the country.

Due to a regulation from the Bremen health authority, players who are returning from international risk areas must quarantine for five days. Sargent would be heading to both Swansea for a November 12th friendly against host Wales before facing Panama in Austria on November 16th. It would then see him miss out on Bremen’s November 21st Bundesliga trip to Bayern Munich.

“We spoke with our players and with the various associations. FIFA are releasing clubs from their obligation to make players available for international duty if they have to quarantine upon their return,” said Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann. “We know that the players would like to join up with their teams, but we cannot take that risk this time, given the overall situation.”

Sargent, 20, has scored two goals and added one assist in seven Bremen appearances so far this season. He has scored five goals in 12 appearances for the USMNT, but now looks set to not feature for his country until 2021.

With Sargent’s absence, the USMNT could add another player to the mix if it wants, with Aron Johannsson, Julian Green, and Emmanuel Sabbi all as potential candidates. There are four attacking players on the USMNT roster seeking its first senior caps with Giovanni Reyna and Sebastian Soto both representing at the youth level.


  1. Things just never fall right for young Sargent. Between having to deal with the “coach” that seems to rate MLS players over him to Corona virus travel rules to injuries…. its always something for him.

  2. If this was a series of consequential matches (i.e. tournament, etc.) then I’d be cross about it, but this makes plenty of sense given these are friendlies.

  3. Considering it’s a FIFA window, do they have that authority? If anything it should be up to the player knowing the stakes. Plus as pointed out, why not just join up with camp for the first match and then leave afterwards? Keep all parties happy.

    • Maybe you missed the paragraph where it said Fifa waived that clubs had to release players if there was a quarantine in place upon their return.

    • I’m sure Sargent is disappointed and I feel for him but… no conspiracy here or anyone being hard-done- it is a simple matter of the club adhering to local travel/quarantine restrictions.

  4. not only is GB a questionable judge of talent/selection, the way Pulisic and Sargent have turned out suggests he didn’t do his basic administrative or tracking work. he called up one player turned down for release and another who picked up a knock over the weekend. normally this gets sorted before we see a list so you don’t embarrass yourself and have to redo the list and swap people last minute. i mean the whole point to this klinsi-trend of calling people late after a weekend is supposed to be to know how the weekend went injury and form wise, and have coordinated everything. i get someone picks up a knock on wednesday practice after the list is out. maybe it’s one of the few ironclad excuses for refusing a release, under normal circumstances, is club injury. and no one with a brain calls and risks a first team injured player for a friendly. most teams wouldn’t even do it for a qualifier unless it decided advancement.

      • Used to love the comments section here on SBI. The (over)presence of one commenter has essentially ruined it for me.

    • Or maybe Bremen should have told Berhalter and USSF about the protocols that were in place before allowing them to name him to the roster, so in my opinion its Bremen who screwed this up, not GB and Co.! There are things you can criticize GB for but this isn’t one of them…shame on you for such pettiness!

  5. Why can’t he just play the first game, then return to his club for the 5-day quarantine, and still be ready for the next Bundesliga game? That’s what John Brooks does. He always plays the first game then goes back to Germany for the second.

  6. welcome to the new reality. all the more reason we should be identifying several players deep per position in case someone else gets nasty. i’m not going to lose too much sleep over this for a friendly. call someone else. we have several midcareer 9s with history scoring NT goals and/or on a hot streak.


Leave a Comment