USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter announced his CONCACAF Nations League roster today.
Sergino Dest was not on it.
And according to the Washington Post, Dest chose not to be on it to keep his “options open.”
If you don’t view this as an indictment on Berhalter and the direction of the men’s program, you’re kidding yourself.
What Gregg Berhalter said about Dest
Berhalter commented on the Dest omission to USSoccer.com:
“I understand there is going to be a lot of attention surrounding the availability of Sergiño in this next camp. I’ve had conversations with Sergiño, the conversations were positive, and the content of these conversations is going to remain private.”
Fair enough. And that’s certainly one way to spin it.
The other way to spin it though is this: Dest, a talented 18 year-old playing for powerhouse Ajax, is a dual national. He’s eligible to play for the US and Netherlands. After experiencing a rough go of it with the USMNT during the previous international break, Dest doesn’t have faith in Berhalter or the program.
And we don’t blame him for that one bit.
Is Dest worth the fuss?
Yes and no.
While Dest is playing for Ajax, he’s statistically towards the bottom of the roster. And he was mostly poor for the US in the humiliating 3-0 loss to Mexico.
But, he’s 18. He frequently shows flashes of elite talent. He’s a player you want to grow up with the Pulisics, Westons and Sargents.
This is a blow delivered across Berhalter’s bow.
USMNT ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 61/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Düsseldorf/GER; 16/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 8/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 8/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 13/2), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 10/0), Matt Miazga (Reading/ENG; 17/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 36/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 59/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 11/2)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 150/17), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 11/2), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 15/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 32/13), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 16/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 20/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 3/0)
FORWARDS (7): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 115/42), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 28/5), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 4/0), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas/TUR; 7/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 35/6), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 9/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 53/10)