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Ajax youngster Dest pledges allegiance to U.S. over The Netherlands

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[FILES] Chelsea’s Italian midfielder Jorginho (L) eyes the ball as he vies for it with Ajax’s American defender Sergino Dest during the UEFA Champions League Group H football match between Ajax Amsterdam and Chelsea on October 23, 2019 at the Johan Cruijff Arena, in Amsterdam. (Photo by John THYS / AFP)

Ajax teenager Sergino Dest has chosen to represent the United States at an international level, despite being raised in the Netherlands, reports goal.

The 18-year-old rose through the youth ranks at Ajax before graduating to the senior squad earlier this year and has already featured in 16 matches across all competitions for the club.

The talented right-back was also handed his USMNT debut in September, featuring in friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay after impressing for the U-20 squad at the World Cup during the summer.

The Ajax starlet has confirmed that he will continue to represent the US in an interview on Ajax’s official website on Monday.

“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.”

Dest went on to reveal that he “personally informed” Netherlands boss Ronaldo Koeman of his decision before making an official announcement.

“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 added.

“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.”

Dest retained his place in the Ajax starting line-up for Sunday’s clash with Feyenoord at Johan Cruyff Arena, which the home side won 4-0 to extend their lead at the top of the Eredivisie table to six points.

The defender will be in line to feature once again when the Dutch champions take in a trip to Zwolle on Friday before preparations begin for a Champions League showdown against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on November 5.


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