Sergino Dest’s recent breakthrough into the first team at Ajax has attracted the attention of excited U.S. Men’s National Teams at the prospect of a young and talented fullback playing at such a high level.
Unfortunately for the USMNT, its fans aren’t the only ones to take notice of Dest’s recent rise.
The 18-year-old fullback, who is taking part in his first USMNT camp ahead of September’s friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay, confirmed on Wednesday that he has been contacted by the Dutch Federation, which wants to meet with him about a potential call-up to the Dutch Under-23 national team.
Dest, who was born and raised in the Netherlands but has represented the United States at Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups, said he isn’t making any final decisions on which country he will ultimately settle on.
“(The Dutch Federation) said something to me, it was not the first team yet, it was with the Under-23s. They want to have a meeting with me. I keep the options open.”
Dest is currently in his first USMNT camp, earning the nod after an outstanding Under-20 World Cup, and more recently with his run of first-tea matches with Ajax.
“I’m happy for this opportunity, and I’m happy that I’m here right now,” Dest said. “I don’t know for the future yet. You guys will see what happens in that time.”
When asked if he would consider skipping the October Nations League matches in order to avoid being cap-tied to the United States, Dest was non-committal.
“I don’t know yet. I can’t make that decision yet,” Dest said.
The fact that Dest is keeping his options open may worry USMNT fans who will fear losing one of the best young talents in the pipeline, but Dest did offer some evidence of a clear appreciation for his place in the USA setup, including his recent senior team call-up.
“I was a little bit surprised, and I felt like, how you say, valued,” Dest said. “I like to play for the U.S. so I love that opportunity.
“It’s a big opportunity, and I’m also proud to play for them,” Dest said. “For me, they give me a lot of chances when I was younger so I appreciate that.”