'I thought football was boring!' - USMNT's Sargent admits he was most inspired by LeBron as a youngster

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Sargent Bremen 2020
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The forward says that he preferred basketball and American football as a kid, but is now ready to assume a key role with Werder Bremen

U.S. men's national team forward Josh Sargent admits that he wasn't a huge football fan as a kid as he revealed that LeBron James was his biggest role model growing up.

Sargent has scored five goals in 12 appearances for the USMNT, and the Werder Bremen striker is expected to be a major part of the team going forward.

He is one of several young stars rising through the ranks with the U.S., joining the likes of Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Sergino Dest, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams.

However, while Sargent is expected to be a key figure for the USMNT, the Werder Bremen forward admits he wasn't much of a football fan growing up as he preferred watching basketball and American football.

“It’s hard not to admire LeBron James," Sargent told the Bundesliga's official site. "I know he’s probably a lot of people’s go-to person but the example he sets for the younger generation is amazing with his work rate but also how he is off the field, he’s just a great guy.”

He added: “To be honest, when I was young I didn’t watch much football. I think I thought it was pretty boring actually! I played a lot of different sports, I preferred watching American football and basketball the most! That’s how it was.” 

Sargent has scored one goal in three appearances for Bremen this season, having been held to four goals in 34 games last season as the club narrowly avoided relegation.

He's already emerged as a favourite of manager Florian Kohfeldt, who said that he “can’t imagine a starting XI that doesn’t include” the 20-year-old forward.

And Sargent says he's feeling more confident knowing that he has Kohfeldt's belief as he aims to take his game to the next level this season.

“Of course having the manager's confidence makes me more confident in how I can play," he said.

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"At the same time, I know it’s not guaranteed that I’ll be in the starting XI, I know I have to work as hard as I can, and anything can happen. If I don’t play a good game, I’m sure his mindset can change very quickly. I just have to keep working hard."

“It should be any striker’s goal to be the top goalscorer, whatever team you’re in," he added. "If you’re not shooting for the highest then there’s not really any point, that’s just how my mindset is.”

Bremen have won two of their first three games and will visit Freiburg following the international break.

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