USMNT’s Sargent in ‘fantastic shape,’ says Werder Bremen boss

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There is some good news at United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter’s perplexing decision to deny Josh Sargent a spot on the U-20 World Cup roster and then cut him from the final roster at the Gold Cup.

Sargent, 19, is fresh as a daisy for Werder Bremen’s preseason, and coach Florian Kohfeldt is seeing good things from the striker.

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“I’d have welcomed it if he’d have played at the finals because that kind of thing is always a good experience, but we also see the positives of him not being involved,” Kohfeldt said to the Bundesliga site.

Sargent scored twice in 10 appearances for Bremen’s first team last season, making one start. He was a menace for Bremen’s second team, scoring seven times with two assists in 12 appearances.

And Sargent hasn’t been sitting around stewing at his omission from the Gold Cup, even returning to his Bundesliga home earlier than required by Kohfeldt.

“I gave him the chance to spend some time with his family because he’s a long way from home here in Bremen, and can’t fly back to the US very often, but he didn’t want to. He told me that his full focus is on Werder Bremen. Now he’s come back in fantastic shape, which is really important for him.”

Bremen’s forward corps is a funny one this year, and Sargent has a chance to seize playing time alongside or ahead of 40-year-old Claudio Pizarro, returning striker Niklas Fullkrug.