Bremen boss says Sargent's days as solely a U-23 player are over

Josh Sargent USMNT 10162018

Josh Sargent's latest performance for the U.S. national team offered evidence that he is ready for a bigger role with the USMNT. It may have also convinced his club coach that it's time for Sargent to start seeing first-team minutes.

Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt watched Sargent's recent national team performances, including his goal-scoring effort in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Peru, and made it clear Sargent has progressed to a point where he is ready for first-team minutes with his club team.

“This period in which [Sargent] plays exclusively in the U23s is over,” Kohfeldt told “He looks to be a long way beyond that now.”

Sargent has been outstanding for Bremen's U-23 team, registering six goals and two assists in 10 matches this season, but has yet to make a first-team appearance.

Werder Bremen's strong start to the Bundesliga season is at least partly to blame. Bremen currently sits in fourth place in the league, as one of the surprises of the early season. He is currently behind starter Max Kruse and Peruvian legend Claudio Pizarro on the Bremen striker depth chart, but after scoring his second USMNT goal on Tuesday against Peru, Sargent has helped his cause even more.

"It was a nice goal,” Kohfeldt said of Sargent's finish against Peru. “I’ll be happy to have him back here.”

Sargent became just the fourth player to score his second USMNT goal as a teenager, joining Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo and Christian Pulisic.

Sargent joined Bremen in January, officially signing with the club when he turned 18 in February. He joined the growing list of Americans moving to Bundesliga clubs during their teenage years after starring in both the Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups in 2017.

Sargent is expected to take part in the U.S. Under-20 national team's upcoming participation in the CONCACAF Under-20 championships in November, part of which is being held during an international fixture period. The U.S. senior side is playing England and Italy in friendlies during that same international break, but Sargent would be more likely to join the U-20s for at least part of the CONCACAF tournament. 

As for Sargent's quest for his first-team debut, his next chance comes on Saturday, when Werder Bremen faces Schalke.