Rising U.S. star Josh Sargent signs with German club Werder Bremen: What to know

Tuesday was a big day for rising U.S. Soccer star Josh Sargent. Not only was it his 18th birthday, but it was also the day he signed his professional contract with German club Werder Bremen. Here's what to know about the move.

It's the right move for his development

Look, Major League Soccer is a good option for some players, but Sargent has made tons of noise with his play on the international stage, and this is the move that best suits him. In Europe, he will get superior instruction, his life will be soccer 24-7, and it will greatly boost his development. It's not that he can't get near that quality of training in MLS, but I'm a firm believer in that the way to get better is to play against better players. He could join MLS, tear it up and move to Europe really quickly, but instead he opts to go overseas. 

Bremen is a pretty well-known club as well, one that has produced some fine players over the years (Mesut Ozil's career took over there, as did Rudi Volley's after a good start at 1860 Munich).

It's in a league where Americans have done well 

The Bundesliga has been arguably the best league for Americans to play in overseas. From Christian Pulisic to Jermaine Jones, from Timmy Chandler to Fabian Johnson, Americans have become important figures at Bundesliga clubs for quite a while now. That track record would excite any American who receives interest from a club there. If others can succeed there, why can't he? 

Bremen's a club where he can see the field this year

Bremen is a team that has slipped a bit over the last decade-plus. After winning the league in 2003-04 and finishing top three for the following four seasons, the team finished in the bottom half of the table from 2012 to 2016 before finishing eighth last season. Now in the relegation battle in 15th place, four spots from the bottom, this team has to get something going in attack or face relegation. Five wins in 23 league games and just 21 goals scored, only three teams have a worse scoring record than Bremen. 

No player has more than five goals for the team this season. Joining American Aron Johannsson at the club, Sargent has a really nice opportunity to impress in training, get into the first squad potentially and give this team the spark it needs, but it won't be this year.

Sargent will be available to debut for the club starting with the 2018-19 season, which begins in August. If the team survives the relegation battle, Sargent could be getting regular minutes in the top flight very soon. 

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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