Sergino Dest opened up his scoring account with the U.S. men’s national team on Thursday in a 4-1 victory over Concacaf rivals Jamaica during an international friendly. It’s been a historic week for Dest, who also made history on Sunday as the first USMNT player to record two goals in one match for the iconic club FC Barcelona.
The enthusiasm around the USMNT’s current core of young players, like Dest, has risen in recent months. Head Coach Gregg Berhalter believes his team still needs to trust the process and continue to improve.
“For us it’s a process that leads to, you know, these these big events,” Berhalter said. “And, you know, it’s hard for me to say, ‘OK, now now we’re there.’ And, you know, I don’t see it like that, to me, it’s a continuing process[…] To me, this is just a work in progress. I’m going to continue to work continue to develop the team and make improvements.”
Dest echoed similar sentiments about building with the current pool of USMNT players moving forward as they now look ahead to their match on Sunday against Northern Ireland and future competitions like the Gold Cup.
“It’s really nice to play with this group. You know, we have a lot of talented players,” Dest said. “This group is like, really good. I think you saw it [Thursday]. Also, we had some good combinations with each other. And I think we have a nice future.”
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Yunus Musah, the 18-year-old midfielder currently playing with La Liga side, Valencia, linked up with Dest for the opening goal in the 34th minute of USMNT’s win over Jamaica.
“It’s really special,” Dest said of his first USMNT goal. “I was playing left back. So I was just thinking to myself, like ‘OK, you know, I have to score, I have to keep this level.’ And I was just looking to come in with my right foot and just shoot. I can also shoot with my left foot, but today, it was just like, I felt there was a lot of space in the middle. So, I had to get inside and I had an open shot. Yeah, I think I practiced it, so now it’s good.”