by Tim Stannard
"He's so good, man" - beams a USMNT teammate after Dest opens the scoring for USMNT win over Jamaica
Until the world embraces the concept that the nation state is an artificial construct designed by the elite class to divide the masses into controllable, warring factions in the eternal battle for resources and profits, soccer fans will continue to largely be upset during the international break.
Supporters of the Netherlands, France and Spain in particular are feeling grumpy this week after iffy results at the start of qualifying for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
But at least those following the USMNT had something to cheer about on Thursday with Sergino Dest continuing to win the week in the soccer world. Last weekend, the American fullback became the first from this nation to score two in a LaLiga match with a brace against Real Sociedad.
On Thursday the Barcelona man opened the scoring with a lovely curled effort for the US in a 4-1 win over Jamaica. More impressively, Dest was playing in a more unaccustomed role as left-back for the team, a role that will be on a game-by-game basis noted Gregg Berhalter.
Brenden Aaronson, midfielder for RB Salzburg for one was impressed by Dest enthusing that "first of all, Sergio is sick. He's so good, man."
Sergino Dest returns to action with Barcelona on Monday 5th April against Real Valladolid.
Comoros make history in AFCON
To be fair, USMNT supporters were not the only cheery ones on Thursday. AFCON qualifying saw a number of countries reaching the finals in Cameroon in January 2022 including Egypt, Ghana and Gabon. For Egypt, it's probably bad news for Liverpool with Mohamed Salah wanting to play at the Olympics this summer as well as turn out for the Pharaohs next winter.
But the tiny island nation of Comoros are probably feeling the happiest of all. Comoros has a population of 900,000 scattered across islands in between Mozambique and Madagascar but have reached the finals for the first time in their history.
Comoros will have quite the celebration on Monday in the final group match against the giants of Egypt live on beIN SPORTS at 12PM ET.
Meanwhile, on Friday two more nations will try and clinch. If Congo defeat already qualified Senegal live on beIN SPORTS at 12PM ET then that'll be enough. At 3PM, Morocco will look to pick up a result at Mauritania to put them through.
Rivaldo tips Messi to stay at Barcelona
Elsewhere, Rivaldo who had previously said that Barcelona should have cashed in on unhappy Lionel Messi last summer is now reversing cause by predicting that the Argentinean ace will stay on and sign a new deal.
"I'm starting to believe more and more that Messi might reach an agreement with the new board and sign a new contract to stay at the club for a few more years," said the former Barcelona and Brazil forward.
AS are linking Marcos Llorente with Manchester United after the EPL club reportedly making a $94 million offer for the Atletico Madrid midfielder.
And Martin Odegaard is reportedly part of the long term plans of Real Madrid, despite every indication from the club over the past few years, who are constantly sending the Norwegian midfielder out on loan.