Sergino Dest: 'Did Koeman see it, yes?'

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.

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

11 comments about "Sergino Dest: 'Did Koeman see it, yes?'".
  1. frank schoon, September 18, 2019 at 11:03 a.m.

    I'll bet he has decided already...

  2. Nick Gabris, September 18, 2019 at 12:15 p.m.

    My hope is that he not join the USMNT, being such a talented yougster, GB would not know how to utilize and help him improve even more. To be a better player you have to play with better players around you, not mediocre players like some of the players on the US team. The sad part is that, I dont believe that GB has the background to attract good players, they know that the team is going no where under his leadership, he just does not have the international experience necessary to elevate a team to that level. I hate to be so pesimistic, but I am a frustrated fan just like some of the players on the MNT.

  3. frank schoon replied, September 18, 2019 at 12:44 p.m.

    NIck, so true....

  4. Alan Blackledge, September 18, 2019 at 1:55 p.m.

    I'm not sure what "he's" decided Frank...he will need to be asked first. He's supposedly been recommended by his coach...not yet called up to be evluated first...MAYBE he'll have a choice, maybe not...also, it's one thing to make the team...another to be a contributer...time will tell... 

  5. frank schoon replied, September 18, 2019 at 3:58 p.m.

    Alan, you maybe right....But it is very hard for me to believe that he doesn't  know as yet. What possibly does he need to know more in order to make a choice. He's not going to be picked as yet for the dutch team for he needs to prove himself at Ajax first and he knows he has a starting role or close to it with the USMT. 

  6. Bob Ashpole, September 18, 2019 at 3:53 p.m.

    The problem is not Gregg Berhalter. The problem is since Cordeiro took over, USSF took away the national team coach's independence. Now USSF managers dictate to the coach how the team will play. The same managers that come up with USSF conventional way to play the game. They are going to insist that the coach use conventional USSF tactics. They will only hire a coach who is willing to coach as told by management (and live in Chicago to be close to management rather than close to where the players will be).

    If you haven't been a business traveler, Chicago is the worst location in the country in which to be based. But then USSF managers don't travel as much as the coaches do.

  7. frank schoon replied, September 18, 2019 at 4:02 p.m.

    Bob, are you saying the managers will  tell GB how to coach, or how the team will play. I haven't heard about that, as yet. What coach would allow himself to be used like that. 

    BTW, I found an excellen sight for soccer books...Best Football (Soccer) Books (317 books)

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, September 18, 2019 at 4:47 p.m.

    USSF says it, not me.

    "With a primary focus on the senior MNT, here are the core responsibilities that Stewart will assume in his position:...

    --Ensuring that U.S. Soccer’s Style of Play, Team Tactical Principles, and Key Qualities are being implemented within the Men’s National Team;

    --Creating a player profile for each position on the field based on the Style of Play, Team Tactical Principles, and Key Qualities;

    --Working with the Head Coach to create positional depth charts based on the player profile, accounting for player’s current and potential ability to compete at the highest levels in the world...."

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, September 18, 2019 at 4:55 p.m.

    In short USSF wants to fit players to a system chosen by USSF management rather than fit a system to the players.

    This is exactly the kind of ineffective bureaucratic corporate management that I have seen over and over again in failed projects. The danger is when organizations are managed to maximize the power, control, profit and reputations of the managers rather than managed for operational success.

  10. frank schoon replied, September 18, 2019 at 5:21 p.m.

    Bob, What are the U.S. Soccer’s Style of Play, Team Tactical Principles? Is there a website coaches can look this up, or a proclamation by Steward as what it is?

    "-Working with the Head Coach to create positional depth charts based on the player profile, accounting for player’s current and potential ability to compete at the highest levels in the world."LOLOLOLOL
    What a bunch of bureaucratic garbage....

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, September 18, 2019 at 6:05 p.m.

    Frank, I basically dropped out of coaching last year, so I am not current. 

    None of this is readily available. In the license course materials, slide presentations are provided, but the slides are literally changed constantly even during the middle of a course. The norm is that what they said last time is not what they will next time. The instructors have no flexibility. Everything is prepared and issued by USSF management back in their offices. Under the circumstances, I was amazed that the instructors were able to present the materials, giving serious treatment to the USSF materials, but still managing to impart their coaching wisdom.

    Bottom line, whatever you are told today will change tomorrow when the newest catch phrase is adopted. Take your pick of phrases--energenic, agressive, physical, tenacious style of play. USSF will even occasionally describe its style of play as technical.

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