On the heels on the release of the United States Men’s National Team roster for two upcoming CONCACAF Nations League matches, most fans focused on the omission of defender Sergiño Dest. According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, Dest was called up to the team by head coach Gregg Berhalter, but he turned down the invitation.
Sergiño Dest turns down USMNT roster call-up - The Washington Post https://t.co/uIs0xSy0Qp— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) October 2, 2019
Dest, who has broken into the first team at Ajax, has the option of competing internationally for the United States and the Netherlands, but that back-and-forth could have ended had he appeared in either of the USMNT’s Nations League matches this month against Cuba and Canada. That would have cap-tied him and locked him into the USMNT player pool. Turning down the call up, however, means that Dest is keeping his options open as he decides whether to present the U.S. or the Dutch.
Berhalter, in a statement quoted by Goff in his article, said he had “conversations with Sergiño,” and that “[those] conversations were positive, and the content of these conversations is going to remain private.” That may not do much to ease the concerns of fans who are pessimistic at the outlook of the young Dest, who has represented the United States on the youth level, moving forward with the program.
Still, this was almost expected by many, as Dest has repeated stated that he desires to keep his options open as he makes his decision. He reiterated his desires yesterday and stated he hopes to make a decision by next month on which team he will represent:
The latest from Sergino Dest:— Leander Schaerlaeckens (@LeanderAlphabet) October 3, 2019
-- "I haven't decided yet on either one. I need more time."
-- "I've said I'm still figuring it and turned down both [the USMNT and the Netherlands]."
-- "I need to think carefully. So I left it alone this time. I hope to have decided next month." https://t.co/NMY0ED4t13
It’s clear that Dest will not make a rash decision and he will consider both his Dutch and American roots. Fans would be incorrect to assume the declined call up means that his time with the USMNT is done or that it means he is on his way to representing the Oranje. The best thing for fans to do is to remain positive as a young man considers his future knowing that whatever decision he makes will disappoint a fanbase.
This declined call up means only that he’s not ready to make a decision. That decision could come next month. Still, it leaves the USMNT fanbase anxiously waiting another few weeks until the next international fixture window to see if Sergiño Dest will pick the red, white, and blue or the orange.