It isn’t often that a defender in a 3-1 loss is the subject of heavy praise, but Sergino Dest is the exception to that rule after his impressive showing for FC Barcelona in El Clasico.
Dest became the first American to ever play in El Clasico, and while Real Madrid wound up with a 3-1 victory, Dest was one of the few bright spots for the Catalans, which helped earn him SBI Americans Abroad Player of the Week honors this week.
Starting at right back for the first time since his transfer from Ajax, Dest looked very comfortable playing in his natural position, and helped shut down dangerous Brazilian winger Vinicius Jr. Dest contributed solid defending while also getting forward and serving as an effective threat in the attack.
Dest’s performance came after he turned in a solid shift in Barcelona’s Champions League rout of Ferencvaros, and now he heads towards this week’s Champions League clash with Juventus looking like a solid bet to remain in Ronald Koeman’s starting lineup.
Dest wasn’t the only American to play well this past weekend. Here are the other Americans Abroad in contention for Player of the Week honors.
2. Andrija Novakovich
The 24-year-old striker registered a goal and assist in Frosinone’s 2-0 win against Pescara on Saturday, a win that moved Frosinone into fourth place in Serie B.
The match marked the first full 90-minute match for Novakovich since May, and also saw him score for the second time in four matches.
3. John Brooks
Wolfsburg is off to an unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season, but finally earned its first win of the new campaign and Brooks was a big part of the 2-1 victory against Arminia Bielefeld.
Brooks completed 53 of 61 passes and delivered a game-high eight clearances and eight aerial duals to keep Wolfsburg among the ranks of the unbeaten.
4. Haji Wright
Sonderjyske is one of the biggest surprises in Denmark this season and Haji Wright is a big part of the reason why. The 22-year-old forward is off to a dream start at the Danish side, and his excellent run of form continued on Sunday, as he scored the winner in a 2-1 win against Randers.
Wright has five goals so far this season, tied for the most in the Danish Superliga, and Sunday’s victory moved Sonderjyske into first place.
5. Aron Johannsson
There isn’t an American scoring goals at a better rate than Johannsson, who is in the midst of a career renaissance at Hammarby. He notched his 10th goal of the Swedish season, helping Hammarby to a 3-1 win against Ostersunds.
Johannsson has scored eight goals in his past nine matches, making a very strong case to be included in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s November friendlies.