Ajax defender Dest pledges allegiance to United States over Netherlands

By Sports Desk October 28, 2019

Ajax full-back 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.

He earned his first two senior caps for USA in a pair of friendlies in September but was not included in their squad for CONCACAF Nations League games against Cuba and Canada earlier this month.

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.

In an interview with Ajax's official website on Monday, Dest confirmed he will stick with USA going forward, ending the tug-of-war for his services.

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

"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."

Dest, who has featured 16 times for Ajax in all competitions this season, revealed he has already discussed his decision with Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman.

"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 said.

"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.

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