Josh Sargent could be reaping the rewards of Werder Bremen’s injury crisis.
Ahead of this Saturday’s match at Union Berlin, Werder Bremen is looking at having no less than nine first-team players out injured, including captain Niklas Moisander. While Moisander is a centerback, injuries up top has given Sargent another chance to make his second start of the season.
“(Yuya) Osako and Sargent have already completed a jet lag program with their national teams and are therefore in good shape for Saturday,” Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt said in a press conference. “It’s a lot of fun to find different solutions with the guys and to puzzle them a bit (about who will start).”
At just 19-years old, Sargent is quickly learning the rigors of playing club football in Europe while representing a national team across the pond. It’s unclear exactly what Werder’s jet lag program consists of, but Sargent has just four days from Tuesday through Saturday to adjust seven time zones between St. Louis and Germany (central European time). Normally, it’s recommended to take one day for as many time zones to adjust, but of course these days there’s sleep methods and other ways to quickly adjust your body clock.
Sargent made his first start of the club season on September 1, scoring in his side’s 3-2 win over lowly Augsburg. It was an incredible display of skill, beating the offside trap, controlling a long-ball over the top, and then chipping the goalkeeper before slotting home into an empty net.
That goal alone should have secured Sargent another start, but the injury woes across the squad won’t hurt either. Plus, the more – and better – he plays, his teammates may have a tough time getting back into the squad.
Bundesliga wrap: Davies scores in Bayern rout; BVB upset in Berlin
That’s an understatement for Borussia Dortmund after newly-promoted Union Berlin used a pair of Marius Bulter goals to pick up a massive home win.
Bulter’s first goal was quickly answered by Paco Alcacer, but he added a second after halftime and Union put it to bed in the 75th minute. Dortmund drops from first to fifth.
Schalke 3-0 Hertha Berlin
Everton loanee Jonjoe Kenny scored his first Bundesliga goal after Hertha conceded a pair of own goals on either side of halftime.
USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie again went 90 minutes for Schalke, again covering the most ground of any player on his squad (12.32 km).
Bayern Munich 6-1 Mainz
Niko Kovac’s men have now posted a pair of resounding wins following an Opening Day draw, and Saturday was an onslaught.
Highlighted by a late goal for Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies, Bayern waxed Mainz behind goals from Benjamin Pavard, David Alaba, Ivan Perisic, Kingsley Coman, and Robert Lewandowski in addition to the ex-Vancouver scorer.
Both of Davies’ Bundesliga goals have come against Mainz.
Bayern Munich’s got another fight on its hands when it comes to the Bundesliga.
Sounds insane, we know; The eight-time defending league champions have seen five teams finish runner-up in Germany’s top flight, and shook off a quality challenge from Borussia Dortmund — the last team to win the league — last season to claim its 29th title.
Niko Kovac is back in the fold, as are the top stars of the team, but it’s still going to be feel a bit different with Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, and Mats Hummels leaving town and a pair of World Cup winners — Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard — arriving at the Allianz Arena.
Robert Lewandowski is still there, as is Joshua Kimmich, and most of the club’s top minute eaters from last season’s title run. Serge Gnabry, Leon Goretzka, and Kinglsey Coman will play even bigger roles, the club has quality young hotshots like Canadian teen Alphonso Davies, and Thiago Alcantara will be the straw that stirs the drink for young and old alike.
Dortmund has only lost Christian Pulisic, who’s headed “back” to Chelsea, and has again claimed an impressive summer haul (even if we knew a lot of the names prior to the end of the season).
Hummels is back, and Paco Alcacer’s loan has been made permanent. Oddly enough, those two moves might be the least impactful of the handful, with Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt and Gladbach’s Thorgan Hazard true difference makers in the midfield and Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim) a true hope for the back line.
Dortmund also added U.S. youth wunderkind Giovanni Reyna, though it’ll take time for the 16-year-old to run through the ranks.
The bookies think BVB is the only club with a prayer of claiming the title in place of Bayern, as reflected by 3/10 odds to the holders and 4/1 to the runners-up.
Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig are 33/1 odds, but that feels a little too much considering the additions of Ademola Lookman and Christopher Nkunku to go with Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu and Red Bull Salzburg star Hannes Wolf.
Bayer is a distant fourth, and has to hope that Kerem Demirbay’s move from Hoffenheim helps offset the loss of Brandt to BVB.
From Bayer on-down there’s a lot of uncertainty, as seemingly everyone lost a star of three. Eintracht Frankfurt sold Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller and is hoping Dejan Jovelijc turns out to be their next big capture from Serbia. Hoffenheim sold Demirbay, Schulz and Joelinton (Newcastle) and is yet to really address the goals aside from lower league scorer Sargis Adamyan.
Gladbach sold Hazard and is betting on a breakthrough from Schalke purchase and former next big thing Breel Embolo. Speaking of Schalke, they could be in trouble again and will need a big show from U.S. international Weston McKennie.
All of this stands to claim the following: Though surprises are possible, the league is downright unpredictable heading into the season aside from spots 1, 2, and maybe 3.
Americans Abroad: John Brooks will lead Wolfsburg’s back line, the aformentioned McKennie is going to be terribly important to Schalke’s hopes, and Tyler Adams returns for a first full season at RB Leipzig.
Josh Sargent is hopeful to make himself a league mainstay with Werder Bremen, and
Timothy Chandler’s still on the books at Eintracht Frankfurt, Fabian Johnson remains at ‘Gladbach, and Alfredo Morales is still at Fortuna Dusseldorf along with Man City loanee and USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen.
German born U.S. U-20 defender Lennard Maloney has been promoted with FC Union Berlin, while former NYCFC striker Khiry Shelton is with fellow new boys Paderborn.
And there’s an MLS connection to join Adams, Davies and Shelton: Augsburg has added FC Dallas playmaker Carlos Gruezo.
The new boys: Union Berlin has bought enough talent to rise up the table a bit, while Paderborn and Koln have more questions than Union but still some guile in their ranks. Koln in particular might have the best shot to stay up on pedigree alone.