Sergiño Dest announced on Monday that he will be representing the United States in international soccer over his native homeland Holland.
The 18-year-old who currently plays for Ajax, a top club in the Netherlands, was born and raised in Holland to a Dutch mother and a Surinamese-American father.
Dest’s announcement came via Dutch club Ajax’s official twitter where Dest disclosed the decision and why he chose to play for the U.S. Dest had never been called into the Netherlands’s youth national teams but he had been called into the U.S. U17 and U20 teams, making 15 total appearances for the youth programs.
The left back also made two appearances for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) prior to his announcement. However, those were friendly games, meaning he was still able to play for the Dutch if he had wanted to.
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter and Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman both attempted to secure the teenagers services, leaving the young player with a difficult decision.
Securing Dest’s services for the national team was an important moral victory for American soccer fans, U.S. Soccer, and Berhalter. After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and losing to Canada for the first time in 34 years and everything in between, the importance of securing a talent like Dest cannot be taken for granted.
Dest stated that his decision was based on feelings, which probably derived from his time spent with the United States’ youth teams.
Personally, I am a bit surprised that Dest chose to play for the USMNT considering that he was born and raised in Holland. Dest also plays for a club that is famous for developing some of the best players to play for the country’s national team.
Dest will more than likely make his competitive debut for the Stars and Stripes on Nov. 15 against Canada.
Kyle Soto is the Sports Content Marketing Director at The Wolf Internet Radio. You can follow Kyle for soccer content on Twitter @kyledsoto.