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Black History Month: Simply the Dest

Sergiño Dest has only scored a couple goals for the USMNT, but he has stuck to one principle: Bangerz Only.

Costa Rica v United States: 2022 World Cup Qualifying Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

When Sergiño Dest committed to play for the United States Men’s National Team over the Netherlands on October 28, 2019, it was a decision that sent the American fanbase into delirious celebration. Dest was a terrific talent that also helped fill a need in the USMNT lineup, and he was known for his excellent possession and his ability to break opponents down on the dribble. And he also had the ability for the spectacular when he put his foot on the ball.

Dest made his debut and had a couple of caps before that day where he declared his future to the United States. He then had 2 Nations League caps to close out the year. While 2020 eventually was a lost year due to Covid, he still managed a couple of caps for the team late in the year, but no goals. However, 2021 proved to be the year where Dest emerged as the starting right back for the USMNT, and he gave us two of the best goals one will see.

The first moment came on March 25, 2021, when the USMNT played Jamaica in a friendly that took place at a neutral site in Austria without fans present. Playing at left back, Dest dazzled everyone with his dribbles and his ability to push the ball forward. In the 34th minute, he decided to also go for it all. Shifting the ball from the left wing into the middle of the field, he unleashed the fury. He put his right foot through the ball from about 30 yards out and sent a curling screamer off the right post and into the net.

It was his first goal for the USMNT, and what a goal it was! It opened scoring for the team as they went on to blast Jamaica 4-1. That goal was played over and over by fans as they marveled at the brilliance of a guy who was able to do that while not playing his preferred position. From there, Dest quickly moved to become the primary starter at right back.

The fall of 2021 signaled the start of World Cup qualifying for the USMNT, as they sought to return to the World Cup for the first time in 8 years. On October 13th, the USMNT were in Columbus to host Costa Rica. Costa Rica scored within the 1st minute, stunning the sold-out crowd at Field. The USMNT regrouped, however, and it was Dest that helped get the team back into the match. In the 25th minute, the USMNT were pushing the ball forward, with Brenden Aaronson bringing the ball up the left flank and Dest sprinting down the right side. The initial run didn’t yield a cross, and the ball was crossed over to the right side of the field. While Dest retreated back onside, Yunus Musah got the ball and passed it off to Dest, who had moved to the edge of the penalty area. With a defender in front of him, he did a quick shuffle to his left and struck a perfect left-footed laser.

Upper 90. Banger.

It was a heavenly striker for the American, and the crowd went bonkers. It helped spur the team to a 2-1 win over the Ticos to get them back in the win column and maintain pace with the top teams in the Octagonal standings.

Sergiño Dest’s career is just getting started, with him now on loan at AC Milan from Barcelona while he tries to find a home where he can continue to grow. But on nights in Wiener Neustadt and Columbus, Sergiño was simply the Dest, better than all the rest.


For more Black History Month stories, check out our Black History Month hub. We will be bringing stories throughout the month to highlight some of the biggest moments in Black American and world soccer history.