USMNT youngster Josh Sargent earned a rare start at striker for Werder Bremen over the weekend and scored an early goal, but at the end of the match he found himself criticized for his performance.
Werder Bremen head coach Florian Kohfeldt was unhappy with Sargent’s over-exuberance in the 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin, preferring the striker sit back and maintain his defensive duties as assigned.
“It worked so well in the beginning that Hertha played every ball along the line and we were able to walk the one behind,” said Kohfeldt after the match, “but after 25 minutes I can see Josh Sargent suddenly attacking the central defender with pace because he wants to put pressure on. This means that the eight has to go out, then the wing is free, then the six goes out, and [Hertha winger Matheus] Cunha comes into the danger area.”
“It has nothing to do with the head, but with the fact that we do not do things that are clearly discussed and that work well as a solution. And that sometimes drives me crazy. Why do you get away from it?”
Sargent had started the match in place of regular striker Davie Selke who was ineligible to face his parent club.
“He has to learn that he focuses on completing the little things,” said Kohfeldt. “He has the ball, he secures it, he does it much better now, but he often loses the ball with the second touch because it doesn’t stay clean and wants to go away again.”
Back in October, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter hinted about Sargent’s mindset needing to be carefully developed, saying “For Josh it’s just a matter of two things: him getting rest, him being fresh in his mind and then him attacking. Him saying ‘O.K., I want something. How am I going to go about getting it.’ I really liked his mindset going into preseason, and I think he was ready to attack and go for a position in the team.”