Sergino Dest: 'We all want to win a World Cup'

Sergino Dest, 19, has only three caps for the USA.

He's only played with Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic once -- a 3-0 loss to Mexico in 2019 -- and has never played with Tyler Adams -- who hasn't played for the USA since March 2019 -- or Gio Reyna -- who's never played for the USA above the U-17 level.

But they are the future of the U.S. national team, all playing this fall in the UEFA Champions League for some of Europe's biggest clubs.

Barcelona, Juventus, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig.

Dest signed with Barcelona from Ajax on Oct. 1 and debuted three days later at left back when he replaced injured Jordi Alba in the second half of the 1-1 tie with Sevilla at Camp Nou. With Barca's other returning, Junior Firpo, also injured, Dest is likely to start his first LaLiga game against Getafe on Saturday.

Dest's quick insertion into the Barca lineup followed what happened a year earlier when he took advantage of an injury to Dutch-Moroccan Noussair Mazraoui and won the Ajax starting job at right back.

"I like challenges," Dest said in a media call on Monday. "I will develop at this club because I will see what I have to improve the most. It's a big challenge but that's what motivates me, playing with the best in the world. It's something I really wanted and dreamed about."

Dest said he doesn't feel any pressure on being the first American to play for Barcelona. (Konrad de la Fuente, his teammate on the 2019 U.S. U-20 World Cup team, is the first player to suit up for the Barca first team but is still looking to make his competitive debut.)

"But I don't only want to be the first one," he said, "I want to do something great at this club as well. I will work hard for this. I want to achieve big things in this club."

Dest also wants to achieve big things with the national team and is well aware of the excitement surrounding him and the other young players breaking through across Europe.

"Everybody feels it," Dest said. "I think because we have more players that play for big clubs, that's why everyone is excited that we can really achieve something in the upcoming World Cups. Everyone has to keep motivated and keep hungry because I feel like we can do it. If we just work hard and as a team, everything can be achieved."

Dest is only 19. McKennie and Pulisic are the oldest at 22. Adams is 21, and Reyna won't turn 18 for another month. All will be in the prime of their careers in 2026 when the USA co-hosts the World Cup.

"There's a great possibility that we can do something great at the 2026 World Cup," he added. "We also have a lot of talent in the youth [teams]. Everybody is hungry, everyone wants to achieve something with the U.S. That's a good sign. We all want to win a World Cup, achieve great things, not only personally, but also as a team for the U.S."

7 comments about "Sergino Dest: 'We all want to win a World Cup'".
  1. frank schoon, October 14, 2020 at 10:20 a.m.

    Saying he's the first American to play for Barcelona sort makes one think he grew up, learned and developed his game in the US, which would be the way we all would like to have seen it. But if we really look at Dest is actually a dutch kid who learned his game and developed in Holland along with having a father who carries an American passport. Being dutch myself I tend to be more critical of him in his manner of play more so than would be of an American kid coming here to play in Europe.

    Dest,  having grown up and developed at Ajax and played for Ajax and now for Barcelona is so fortunate as well as for us.  Just realize this, he will be the first 'American' who really will have learned and experienced the game at the most highest sophisticated level more so than any other 'American' player. Although CP is fortunate to have gone to Dortmunt and now Chelsea for his development, he will not have learned the higher level of 'sophistication' of the game that is promulgated by Ajax and Barcelona style of game

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2020 at 3:46 p.m.

    What is also different is that Dest had a real choice of who to represent and picked the US over a European country. If I remember correctly, he is the first to choose the US over playing for a greater soccer power. 

    I mean no disrespect to the dual hatted MNT players, present and past, some of who are hall-of-famers, but often the US was not competing with another country for the players we found in Europe.

  3. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2020 at 6:15 p.m.

    Bob, Dest picked to play for the US for that is where his best chances lie to make the team...The competition to make the Dutch NT is a little more difficult....

  4. Bob Ashpole, October 14, 2020 at 3:49 p.m.

    I imagine Bruce, Jurgen, and Bob are all day dreaming a bit over the young players.

    It will be an interesting next 10 years.

  5. Sean Guillory, October 15, 2020 at 7:19 a.m.

    Frank, I agree that the competition within the Dutch side is a little more difficult but I'm not sure he would have not played for the Dutch squad and started.  Like I have said before the Dutch, even with all of their talent are an overrated soccer playing nation who has turned all of that talent into one European championship.  Playing soccer at this level is about winning, not playing cute soccer.  If this was Germany, then we would be having a different discussion.

  6. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2020 at 9:24 a.m.

    Sean, what you say is right that Dest could have played for the dutch team later on...who knows, especially what I have seen yesterday when the Dutch played Italy.....our right back sucks although he plays in Italy.

    Granted, I never touted the Dutch league as a top league in the world, the English, the Italian, the German ,the Spanish, are better. But not soccer wise. If you measure trophy winning as a measure, yes, you're right. The dutch won one European Cup in '88 and came in second in the world cup 4 or 5 times and not to mention 3rd's, who knows. That is not important to me but watching and experiencing good soccer. 

     Just think what soccer would have been like if Holland didn't exist or without any of the dutch soccer influence world wide. Nobody knows who won the the '74 World Cup( unless you're German) but nobody remembers the Germans but everybody still remembers and talks about the dutch '74 who gave the world'Total Soccer' although they didn't win. And ofcourse Ajax and the great players they produce along with the exciting soccer that set the predicate and influence soccer worldwide for Spanish NT,  Barcelona, Guardiola, who further went on to Bayern showing the Germans a better brand of game, Cruyff, Rinus Michels, idem ditto, etc...I enjoyed Germany beating the Brazilians 7-1 and ofcourse thanks to Guardiola's influence for they had 6 Bayern players.  But again I see the dutch influence in the manner of play the Germans exhibited.After the disastrous WC"14  the Brazilians began to follow and incorporated dutch concepts.

  7. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2020 at 10:02 a.m.

    I'm a fan of dutch philosophy of soccer where its applied on many other teams around the world. I'm a connoisseur of good soccer, I like good soccer no matter who it's played by but it has to mentally stimulate me which places me outside the typical soccer fan circle. German soccer ,like Italian, like English doesn't stimulate me one iota. Like Franz Beckenbauer once stated about German soccer, "we don't produce great technicians of the game but hard workers". And statement sums it up for me when it comes to German soccer- you can have it with all of its trophies.

    You and I are different players, if you played, we look at the game differently, I'm more intricate and you are more direct. When I watch a Zidani receive the ball, I look at the moment he receives it, and how he places the ball in the same motion for his next movement as its related to his next option, thereby nothing is  seperate, and also watch for his speed of handling not running speed for he's not a runner...You are satisfied that with the finished movement or in other words the ball passed with success ending up to his teammate. Hey, there is nothing wrong with that in how you look at the game and it is in a way very German.

    An Italian judges a defender on his defense while a dutchman look at a defender not only on his defense capabilities but what can he contribute when he has the ball. It's a different way of looking at it, the Italian have been successful but watching their soccer bores the hell out of me ,just like German soccer. The only reason I would watch a German game if I were to look at a specific individual; or I watched Bayern when Guardiola coached them for he brought more sophistication into German and sorry to say that has dissappeared ,watered down, when Guardiola left. Sometime I might tune in watching at times Bayern Leverkusen, which is coached by a former Ajax coach...

    Now granted I don't watch dutch soccer on ESPN+ for that bores me too at times ,therefore I will only watch if Ajax plays. The problem with me is that soccer ,the quality of soccer has tremendously gone down over the years and that is even Holland so. 

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