Josh Sargent scored three first-half goals on his first start since returning to Werder Bremen from USMNT duty. - © imago
Josh Sargent scored three first-half goals on his first start since returning to Werder Bremen from USMNT duty. - © imago
bundesliga

Josh Sargent scores hat-trick as Werder Bremen rout Oberneuland

Werder Bremen's Josh Sargent warmed up for the 2021/22 Bundesliga 2 campaign by scoring a first-half hat-trick in a pre-season friendly against fourth division side Oberneuland.

Sargent, 21, opened the scoring inside two minutes with a cool finish from Maximilian Eggestein's through-ball. He rounded the goalkeeper for Bremen's fourth in the 39th minute, before completing his hat-trick with an emphatic effort 60 seconds later.

The American was substituted off in the 61st minute as relegated Werder extended their unbeaten start to pre-season to five matches. He was making his first start since helping his country win the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League in June.

Sargent will be seen as key to Bremen's hopes of securing an immediate return to the Bundesliga following their relegation to the second tier on the final day of 2020/21.

The Missouri native was the Green-Whites' top scorer last term with a career-best five single-season Bundesliga goals, as well as a further two in five DFB Cup outings. He also contested more challenges and averaged more sprints per 90 minutes than any other Bremen player.

Watch: Josh Sargent came of age in 2020/21

Sargent begins his fourth full season at Bremen with Bundesliga 2 games against Hannover and Fortuna Düsseldorf, against whom he opened his professional account, 86 seconds into his Bundesliga debut in December 2018.

The 16-time US international has produced 13 goals and 19 assists in 81 competitive appearances for the four-time Bundesliga winners, who find themselves in Germany's second tier for only the second time since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963.