World Cup Emerging Players: Sergiño Dest

Sergiño Dest

The United States Men’s National Team is out of the World Cup. They lost to the Netherlands in the Round of 16 after a climactic win against Iran to finish the group stage. The second youngest team at this tournament showed their inexperience against the Dutch, but they have a number of emerging players. One of those is left back Sergiño Dest.

World Cup Emerging Players: Sergiño Dest

Dest is originally from Almere. He quailed for the United States as dual citizen through his Surinamese-American father. A product of the Ajax academy, he graduated to the second team in 2018. He broke into the first team in the 2019-20 season. In October 2020, he was sold to Barcelona and became the first American to start a La Liga game for the club. At the international level, he was a part of the United States U17 and U20 programs. He committed to the senior team in 2019. Clockwork Orange did not consider him at the youth level due to his lack of regular playing time in the Ajax academy.

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Dest moved to AC Milan on a season long loan for the 2022-23 season to get more minutes ahead of the World Cup. “It was an easy decision to make. Everything happened really quickly, like in one day. I had to make a decision really quick to change my life – to go to another club, in another country, in another culture,” Dest said.

However, Dest made just nine appearances, playing 373 minutes prior to the break for the World Cup. He is a talent. He’s athletic and highly mobile. For the US, he was the best fullback through qualification, scoring a fantastic goal against Costa Rica. As the product of a Dutch academy, he has been given the benefit of doubt in playing for three of the biggest clubs in the world at just 22-years-old. Dest has yet to establish himself at the first team level given how much he’s moved around. He has a variety of experiences already, which could serve him in the years to come before 2026.

In Qatar, Dest and Robinson were a formidable fullback pair. They covered so much ground. They contributed on both ends of the pitch. Dest had his moment against Iran, providing the assist to Christian Pulisic for the winner. He was a gamer against England. Until the Netherlands game, he and the other three wide players dominated the flanks.

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Dest was one of the bright spots in a disappointing performance against the Dutch. He was aggressive and creative in the first half. The Netherlands native was up for it against his home nation, possibly motivated by being snubbed by Clockwork Orange. He tried to regain control of the game after the early goal by Memphis Depay. Dest was at fault in the second goal, failing to mark his man. Like most of the team, he hit a wall in the second half, having expended so much energy in the group stage.

Sergiño Dest has now shown his quality and versatility on the biggest international stage. If he can establish himself for a Champions League club (Barcelona, Milan, or another), he could become a star. A World Cup signature moment in 2026 could put him on par with DaMarcus Beasley.

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