Sergino Dest was the only American to play on the first day of the
UEFA Champions League group stage, starting in Ajax's 3-0 win over French club Lille.
Dest, 18, did not look out of place, justifying his presence in the lineup at right back, where he has now started four of Ajax's last five games.
In an interview with Dutch network Fox Sports, he said he thought he played well.
"The key is to be confident," he said. "If you are, then you can do everything you could do on the street. That's nice for the fans too, a little flair is part of it."
On the French network RMC's broadcast, Dest was tipped as Ajax's weak link, but he had a solid match and showed off his skills with a move to split two Lille defenders.
Sergino Dest ladies and gentleman.September 17, 2019
He pointed to Nicolas Tagliafico, the Ajax left back, as the model. The Argentine scored the third Ajax goal and was rated the game's top player.
"He scores occasionally," Dest said. "That's good for a back, you know? Then you will be looked at much more and your value will be higher. I have to learn from that. Hopefully, I can play many more games for this great club. I think I'm doing it right now, but I want it to stay that way. I want to have more impact, give assists and make goals. But I'm on my way."
Dest's international future has been a major topic in the Dutch press since Ajax coach Erik Ten Hag said he recommended Dest to Dutch national team coach Ronald Koeman.
Dest, who played for the USA at the 2017 U-17 World Cup and 2019 U-20 World Cup and started in the USA's friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay, must file a change of association with FIFA if he wants to play for the Oranje.
Told that Koeman, who was in New York, watched the game, the Dutch-American broke out in a smile.
"Did he see it, yes?" Dest said before adding, "But no, I haven't received a message from him."
Beyond that, he had nothing to say about his international future.
Photo by Hollandse-Hoogte/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire