The USMNT forward’s name was missing from Gregg Berhalter’s squad for this summer’s regional tournament, and he’s now feeling the benefit
United States forward Josh Sargent admitted he was disappointed after being left off the roster for the Concacaf Gold Cup this summer, but is starting to “see the positives” as he uses it to fuel his drive toward the first-team at Werder Bremen.
The 19-year-old was excluded from Gregg Berhalter’s squad ahead of the tournament despite making his Bundesliga breakthrough last season, and conceded his omission came as something of a blow as he believes it could have been a valuable learning experience.
However, after watching his international counterparts reach the final before falling to Mexico, Sargent now admits he has reversed his discontent, and is now using it to boost his first-team chances ahead of the new domestic campaign in Germany.
“It was disappointing at first not to be at the Gold Cup,” he told reporters after his club’s pre-season match against Cologne.
“I could have learned a lot there and needed a while to get my ahead around not being called up.
“Now I see the positives. I am able to take full part in Werder’s pre-season preparations. Obviously the starting line-up is my goal.”
Those positives included netting the only goal of the game against Cologne in Sunday’s pre-season friendly, with the Missouri-born striker producing a confident finish past Timo Horn.
And such confidence did not go unnoticed on the Werder bench with coach Florian Kohfeldt saying post-match:“Josh is unbelievably clinical when he gets in the opposition box.
“He’s been working really hard and is in fantastic shape, which is great for him and us, but he’s not without competition in attack.”
Sargent’s aforementioned competition at Die Werderaneris is both varied and challenging, with the likes of Milot Rashica, Yuya Osako, Claudio Pizarro and Niclas Fullkrug vying for a place in Kohfeldt’s starting XI.
But after making his debut last December, and finishing the 2018-19 season with two goals in 10 league appearances, the teen is hoping there’ll be more of the same over the coming months.
“I’m happy with how things have been going and with my goal (against Cologne),” he said.
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“We’ve been working hard on things in training, and I’m possibly in the form of my life!
“It’s only been a journey in Germany so far for me. Hopefully it can continue. I want to help us at least qualify for the Europa League.”