Sergino Dest: The Case Study for Promising American Dual Nationals
By Ross Hall (@Ross_Hall32)
Much has been made about US Youth International Sergino Dest’s comments about his eligibility to play for the United States or the Netherlands. I’m here to put the angst to rest. Not literally, of course, but figuratively.
First, let’s revisit what Dest said, and what is causing such a stir amongst the USMNT fanbase. I saw this first through the USMNTonly handle on Twitter, as I’m sure many others did. The quote: “I don’t know if the moment will come, but when the time comes I will think about the Netherlands.”
So, he’s faced with two options. Us or them. That’s nothing new as this was always the case. What did he say? That when he has to make a decision he will think about one of the options. Again, nothing new. This was already the scenario. But when he was asked about it by a reporter, he said he’ll consider one of his two options.
For my money, this is an extremely politically correct answer. It’s the kind of answer that athletes across all sports and all topics give - nothing revealing. It’s the kind of answer that doesn’t put off the fanbase of the league you play in. Yet many have dubbed it as not a good sign and left people upset that players aren’t hearing enough from the USMNT.
My argument is this: being brought into the youth teams qualifies as contact from the federation, acknowledgment of your talent, and a message that there’s a good chance you’ll be involved in our plans for the future if you keep progressing. What it also says is that while you’re great, you’re also very young, and not many U-20’s play for their senior national team, except for say, when a team fails to qualify for the World Cup and has an interim head coach in place. Or unless you’re Christian Pulisic.
That’s all good and well, except you’re not contacted by your national senior team until you are. You’re called up. Your name is put on that roster for whatever camp is taking place. And if it is, then great, that’s what we all wanted and provides the likelihood that he’s cap-tied. If Dest’s name isn’t on the roster, then you have some validity to your arguments for what USMNT did or didn’t do. Even then, your argument isn’t completely justified yet. The only thing that can do that is seeing Dest on the field in a Netherlands jersey. Much like with club transfer rumors, it’s only official once it’s official. But until that moment, the possibilities are still there.
While it’s okay to not trust US Soccer and deliberation should be encouraged, we should be wary in making foregone conclusions. Rather than fearing the worst, wait until the next roster announcement. Use real, more tangible information to base your conclusions. Instead of a Tweet demeaning the higher-ups at US Soccer and getting us nowhere, use your characters to tweet at a young American with dual nationality about how excited you are to see him in a US senior team game. Let’s show them that we’re a fanbase worth playing for.