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Dest: “I always thought of Ajax and the Netherlands”

Dutch-American Sergino Dest has always had positive thoughts of the Netherlands, despite winning two caps so far with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The 18-year-old Dutch-American made his first senior appearances for the USMNT in September, but is still in the decision-making process regarding his international future. Born in Almere, Dest up to now has represented the U.S. at the Under-17 and Under-20 levels before earning his first senior call up. Although he admitted as a kid he always used to think of the top two teams in Holland.

“When I thought of football when I was younger, it was always Ajax or the Dutch team,” Dest said in an interview for Ajax’s website. “Never the U.S. But I haven’t been approached by the Dutch team.”

Dest started his youth career with Almere City and played there until 2012, before making the switch to Ajax. Since then, he’s risen through the club’s ranks before jumping into the first team in 2019.

So far, Dest has made 13 appearances for the defending Eredivisie champs in all competitions, which has seen him play in the UEFA Champions League, Eredivisie, and Dutch Super Cup. Although he will not appear in this international break, Dest feels that being an American is just as important as his home country which he may switch his allegiance to.

“My father is from Brooklyn, but we spoke Dutch at home,” Dest said. “Actually, until a few years ago, my English was very poor. I wasn’t thinking of my American roots at all until I went to play in an American youth team. From that moment, my English improved, and I started to feel more American.

“I realized that: ‘Hey, this is my nationality, too.’ Now I think it’s great to be an American as well. It’s an asset and as well. The U.S. passport is one of the best in the world.”

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman stated in a press conference Monday that Dest “could have a future with the Dutch, but nothing has been promised yet.” A wingback who can play on either the left or right side, Dest is an option for the right back position, Koeman confirmed.

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