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Dest scores first Barcelona goal, De La Fuente makes UCL debut

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Sergino Dest opened his Barcelona goal scoring account in very impressive fashion in UEFA Champions League play on Tuesday night while international teammate Konrad De La Fuente also made his competitive debut.

Dest played both creator and finisher on this attacking move in the 52nd minute of Barcelona’s game against Dynamo Kiev to open the scoring. He picked up a pass outside the penalty area and made a nice needle threading pass to Pedri before making his run at the goal. Pedri made a quick feed to Martin Braithwaite and the Danish forward’s one-touch pass found Dest at the edge of the six-yard box, where he slipped a shot inside the far post at a tight angle.

 

The goal, Dest’s first at the senior team level, made him the first American to score a goal for Barcelona.

The Dutch-born defender has played for the USMNT since committing his international future to the United States over the Netherlands in 2019. Dest has made five USMNT appearances since then, including a pair of starts in the team’s recent November friendlies.

Dest joined Barcelona from Ajax in a $25 million transfer and wasted little time embedding himself in the side. Tuesday night was his third Champions League start and fifth start in all competitions for his new club.

De La Fuente made his senior competitive debut for Ronald Koeman’s side, replacing Trincao in the 83rd minute and closing out a 4-0 win. He almost came close to registering his first senior assist for the club.

The 19-year-old connected with Dest in the 89th minute, but the right back’s shot flew just over the crossbar. De La Fuente’s appearance also set a new record in the competition with seven American players all featuring in a single season.

Barcelona remained perfect in UCL play with its fourth consecutive win in the competition, clinching a spot into the Round of 16.

Comments

  1. I will probably answer my own question. Dest is our best right back and our best left back . Why do we not play him more forward.

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  2. I will probably answer my own question because Dest is our best right and best left back. But why do we not play him more forward.

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    • The first couple of games I saw him play with Barcelona he looked a little unsure of himself, like he was playing to not make a mistake. Now he is playing with confidence, knowing he fits in and has the confidence of his teammates. I think the sky may be the limit.

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  3. On a separate note for the USMNT, Toronto FC was upset by the younger Nashville SC in the MLS playoffs tonight. Tonight’s MLS playoffs result led me to question and challenge whether Michael Bradley and Jozy Altodore, both on the wrong side of the 30’s, should be automatic starters on the national team when they’re healthy. Soccer is a young people’s sports. Both Bradley and Altodore no longer possess the pace and explosiveness necessary to be competitive at the international levels. Having said that, they both still have the skills and experiences and thus, can help close out games in the final 10-15 minutes when both sides practically slow down quite a bit due to fatigue.

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    • Who has Michael Bradley as a starter? I think right now his Tyler Adams backup and on the verge of being pushed out of this cycle by the younger guys. Jozy seems to be the starter or backup by default

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      • I would put Zardes ahead of Jozy at this point. You put Jozy on the team, maybe, but you don’t really count on him.

      • I’m a fan of Ives’ YouTube shows and SBI articles, and he always mentions on the show that Bradley and Jozy are still starters on the USMNT today when they are healthy. I respectfully disagree and would very much challenge that idea.

    • Since about 2017 or so, it has always been a question of when, not if, some younger player would step up to replace Bradley. In 2018, it looked like that player wold be Tyler Adams. Behold, now it is. (Bradley can still hit better long passes. Hoever, unlike in WC 2014 when he covered more ground than most players and certainly more than any US player, he no longer seems to have that capacity.) Age gets to even the best (Zlatan aside).

      Jozy has been the hope of USMNT coaches for over a decade, but despite considerable contributions, his ever more frequent injuries have made him less than reliable. There are now a new crop of forwards looking to hold the starter role. It is too early to know which will win out, but time is not on Jozy’s side either.

      As to what that means for December that is unclear. There will be no Adams, Soto, Gioacchini, or Sargent so Bradley and Altidore may be called in to make sure that the squad has what it takes to beat El Salvadore, (I suspect Yuell, and Aaronson will be called up and could do well enough there, I am not so sure any US forward in MLS is a replacement for Jozy). Goal scores in MLS include Zardes, Mueller, Dike and Morris, only Dike looks like a standard forward, I think the other 3 are best as wide players.

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    • We need to break away from considering Bradley or Jozy. I wouldn’t want either to poison the young players or take valuable minutes from them.
      During a FIFA window there are options to back-up Adams (Cardozo, Yueill, Sands). For these types of “B” Camps Gregg can test the depth in MLS (Tessmann, Servania, K. Acosta, etc…).
      As for Jozy there appear to be plenty of options. Sargent, Soto, Gioacchini, Morris, & Zardes are all more reliably available health wise even if they don’t have the experience. But they should be able to handle CONCACAF opponents while they gain experience. Dike, Akinola, & Pepi are all up and coming options in MLS for “B” Team camps…and may be depth options to cover injuries and/or poor form. We also have ArJo in a pinch if we need a more experienced striker.
      Breaking away from these “Hold Overs” now makes since and will help the next generation grow faster.

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  4. While it may have been garbage minutes for Konrad…it’s good that he got an opportunity to log his first competitive minutes.
    Dest was solid throughout. His goal was icing on the cake.
    Hopefully both Konrad & Dest continue to get minutes together…the more time they play together the better it will be for the USMNT.

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  5. Konrad De La Fuente subbed in to the game at the 83rd minute too. I was disappointed that Julian Nagelsmann didn’t bring in Adams at all today, and the entire Leipzig team looked flat and lacked of ideas today. Totally outclassed and outcoached by PSG today.

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  6. What a beautiful build up and finish goal by Dest! Dest has done it without all the stars, Messi, Greizmann, Ansu Fati, Dembele, Pique, Jordi Alba, etc. on the pitch today, and he became the star today. Courtinho and Pjanic started. Greizmann and Jordi Alba came in to the game at the 66th minute.

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