Flying across time zones and continents is an inescapable part of life during the international break and as such Werder Bremen have adopted special measures with USA international Josh Sargent to ensure he avoids jetlag and fatigue upon his return to the club.
The 19-year-old has featured in six of Bremen’s Bundesliga outings so far this season, scoring once, and played the full 90 minutes in both of the USA’s fixtures this past week, against Cuba in Washington DC and against Canada in Toronto.
Werder head coach Florian Kohfeldt will have been delighted to see his young forward score in the first game and was unconcerned about the physical strain the two matches might have put on the teenager.
Watch: Sargent's stunning goal against Augsburg on Matchday 3
“With him it’s the time difference that’s more of a problem,” said the 37-year-old, citing the six-hour difference between Germany and the US east coast.
“You have to bear in mind that Josh doesn’t have 10 years of experience in dealing with this. Once you get into a routine, you know what’s best for your body.”
In order to help Sargent in that regard – and to be in peak shape for Bremen’s upcoming Matchday 8 clash at home to Hertha Berlin on Saturday – the club left nothing to chance, especially as fellow forwards Fin Bartels, Yuya Osako and Niclas Füllkrug are all still sidelined with injury.
Watch: Sargent, fast becoming a Werder Bremen hero
“Over the last few weeks we’ve had lots of discussions with the US Soccer federation and adopted measures to get the matter under control,” Kohfeldt said. “It’s something that has to make sense for everyone involved. He’s got a kind of sleep management system. The idea is that he doesn't just get back into his sleeping pattern when he's back in Germany.”
Having played on Tuesday night – German time – against Canada, Sargent was due back in Germany on Thursday and if all goes to plan he will sleep normally in Bremen ahead of the weekend's game.
“I'd happily play him on Saturday," Kohfeldt concluded. "The important thing is that he’s wide awake when the game kicks off at 3.30!”