United States men’s national team forward Josh Sargent inked a new multi-year contract extension with Werder Bremen, the German Bundesliga club announced on Tuesday.
— SV Werder Bremen EN (@werderbremen_en) February 26, 2019
Sargent, who turned 19 last week, originally joined Bremen on his 18th birthday, the earliest allowed under FIFA rules, although he was not eligible to play during the final months of the 2017-18 season.
The Missouri native has made a significant impact in limited minutes this season, however, mostly off the bench. He scored on his December debut – with his first touch of the ball, no less—and added another two weeks later.
“The contract extension shows the club’s trust in me,” Sargent told Werder’s official website. “I’ve felt at home from day one at Werder and in Bremen and I’m looking forward to the coming years.”
Sargent, who starred for the U.S. at the under-17 and U-20 FIFA World Cups before moving to Europe, is still looking for his first goal of 2019. But his stock has continued to rise; earlier this month, he drew the free kick that led to Bremen’s equalizer in a last-gasp, 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin. Manager Florian Kohfeldt gave Sargent his first start last weekend in another 1-1 tie, this time against Stuttgart.
“You see someone who wants to watch and learn, not just a very talented young footballer,” Kohfeldt said. “I’m sure that Josh will become a very important part of the squad.”
Before being promoted to the senior squad late last year, the rangy striker had seven goals in 12 games for Werder’s U-23 side. A lethal finisher inside the box, Sargent has also displayed silky passing skills and the ability to hold off more experienced defenders with his back to the opposing goal for both club and country.
Sargent scored in his USMNT debut last May, against Bolivia, and added his second international strike vs. 2018 World Cup participant Peru in October. He is one of several young Americans who have excelled in the Bundesliga over the past few seasons, a list that includes U.S. teammates Tyler Adams of RB Leipzig, Schalke’s Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic, who will swap Borussia Dortmund for English giant Chelsea this summer.
U.S. men’s coach Gregg Berhalter has plenty of rising talent at his disposal, and expressed his excitement over Sargent’s new deal.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to continue to grow in an environment that is used to developing players and overall, I think a great opportunity for him to continue on his pathway,” Berhalter told U.S. Soccer’s official site. “He has the potential to be a top player and it’s going to be up to his development. Now it’s about a collaboration between Werder Bremen and the U.S. National Team to get him in that position. He certainly has the potential to do so.”
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