Ajax Star Dest Chooses USMNT Over Netherlands

Getty Images

Sergino Dest has committed his international future to the United States over the Netherlands.

The 18-year-old was born and raised in the Dutch city of Almere but has represented USA from Under-17s level up.

Following a string of impressive performances with Ajax, the Dutch native attracted interest from the Netherlands, with Ronald Koeman said to have engaged the defender in discussions about a change of allegiance.

Dest explained at the start of October that he needed time to consider whether to switch allegiance to his native Netherlands or continue representing USA, whom he qualifies for through his Surinamese-American father.

The 18-year-old full-back turned down recent calls from both nations during the last international break while he decided his future.

 

Dest confirmed his decision to represent the United States in an interview on Ajax's official website.

"I have chosen to play for Team USA going forward. I have based this decision on my feeling, however, it was a tough one," said Dest.

"Of course, it was a tough decision for me when the Dutch men's national team showed their interest, but I have built up a very good feeling with Team USA over the last couple of years and I strongly believe in the plans and potential of U.S. Soccer.

 

"I am therefore dedicated to making the next 10-15 years a big success and will do my utmost to help the team play for titles.

"I have personally informed the national team coach Ronald Koeman because I respect him greatly and didn't want him to learn from the press.

"He told me he was disappointed, however, he respected my choice, as in the end it's my life and I have to live with the choices I make, good or bad."

The first opportunity for Dest to officially be tied to USA will come next month when Gregg Berhalter's side face Canada in a must-win CONCACAF Nations League group-stage match.