Josh Sargent: I've always dreamed of MLS being in St. Louis

SHORT HILLS, N.J. — Josh Sargent calls it “a very happy place,” which is almost an all-encompassing definition of his ethos. 

It describes his current mental state after putting behind him the disappointment of being snubbed for the US men’s national team roster for the Concacaf Gold Cup

It also relates to his form for German club Werder Bremen, where he scored a wondergoal in a 3-2 win over Augsburg last weekend, leading into joining the USMNT camp for upcoming friendlies against Mexico Friday (8:30 PM ET | FS1, Univision, TUDN) and Uruguay on Tuesday at Busch Stadium. 

Adding to all the positive vibes was the end of what he calls a “very long process,” for his native St. Louis to get awarded MLS expansion team. 

That ended in late August with the official announcement that St. Louis will begin play in 2022 as the league’s 28th franchise. 

“When I heard the news I thought it was amazing, to be honest,” Sargent, 19, said Wednesday. “I think it’s very good for the city, but for myself, I’ve always dreamed of having a professional soccer team in your own city. It’s really cool.”

Sargent played his club soccer for St. Louis-based Scott Gallagher Missouri and earned an invite to train with Sporting Kansas City, which acquired Sargent’s rights as part of its homegrown territory. 

The forward also trained with PSV Eindhoven and FC Schalke before signing with Werder Bremen on his 18th birthday. 

Sargent, who signed a long-term extension with Werder Bremen in February, is now on the precipice of another possible milestone when the USMNT meet Uruguay at Busch Stadium Tuesday. That’s the home of the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals and right down the road from the proposed MLS stadium site in St. Louis.

“It’s not guaranteed that I’ll even play, of course, but going to my home city will be very cool,” he said. “I think there’s really no better feeling than playing for your country in your home city. I’m excited.”

Sargent said his current mental state is in stark contrast to the beginning of the summer when he was left off the Gold Cup roster. That news also came on the heels of a disappointing second half of the season with Bremen. 

He said it took “a few days” to process and calm down from the snub. But he quickly saw the positive, which was getting a needed break via a family vacation and being with Bremen for the entirety of preseason.

Now Sargent is back in the USMNT mix and soon to be back home in St. Louis. 

A happy place, indeed.