Sergino Dest’s international future will remain in limbo for the time being and the young defender said he will take his time with a decision that will have long-term ramifications.
The 18-year-old right back turned down a call up to both the U.S. Men’s National Team and the Netherlands for the upcoming international window, saying he has not decided which nation he wants to represent and he doesn’t want to go into any more detail.
“I don’t want to talk about that [the whole subject] yet at this moment,” he told Fox Sports Netherlands. “I definitely have not chosen. But I still need to think longer about both options.”
Dest would be cap-tied to the United States if he had appeared in either of the team’s October Nations League matches, and would be tied to the Netherlands if he were to file a Change of Association with FIFA, meaning he would be effectively cap-tied before he even played a game for the Dutch.
The USMNT takes on Cuba and Canada in the Concacaf Nations League while the Netherlands have a pair of European Championship qualifiers.
The Dutch born Dest has nine appearances in all competitions with Ajax this season, including a pair of starts in the UEFA Champions League. He made two friendly appearances for the USMNT last month and represented the U.S. at the U17 and U20 levels in the past. He has never represented the Netherlands at any level.
“I just said that I don’t know it yet and that’s why I overlooked both,” he said. “It is a decision I have to make for the rest of my life and I want to handle that carefully.
“That is why I’ve let it pass this time and next month you will hear more. Hopefully next month if I’ve made up my mind, but if I need longer I will take more time.”
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter wouldn’t get into details about Dest in a conference call on Wednesday. He only confirmed that he has had multiple talks with Dest about his future.
“We’ve had a number of conversations with Sergino, and we’re going to leave the content of those conversations private,” Berhalter said. “They were positive talks and we’re going to leave it at that.”