World Cup Watch: Difficult start in Milan for American defender Dest


American defender Sergiño Dest has joined Italian champions AC Milan in the hope of getting more playing time ahead of him. the World Cup.

He had a rough start.

“American Horror Story, a 45-minute episode,” is how Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport described Dest’s Serie A debut, awarding him five out of 10 for his performance in the 2-1 defeat. 1 of Sunday against Napoli. Other newspapers called it a “disaster” or just “bad”.

Dest, who was loaned out by Barcelona on transfer deadline day, had played in both of Milan’s Champions League group games but made his first Italian league appearance when he replaced Davide Calabria at halftime against Napoli.

He struggled from the start and after less than 10 minutes gave away the penalty that led to the first goal – and Milan’s first loss of the season – when he fouled the fast winger of Napoli Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

“Dest is a good player. So is Kvaratskhelia,” said Milan coach Stefano Pioli. “Calabria also struggled against the Georgian.”

Dest, 21, has a Surinamese American father and a Dutch mother and chose to play for the United States instead of the Netherlands, where he was born and raised. He scored two goals in 17 games for the national team.

Dest started his career at Ajax before moving to Barcelona two years ago for 21 million euros (then $24.7 million), but he couldn’t establish himself as a regular starter.

He had plenty of minutes in his first season at Barcelona under coach Ronald Koeman, but his playing time gradually decreased after that. He nevertheless had chances under manager Xavi Hernández in the Europa League last season but couldn’t take advantage of them either.

And Dest knew that as the World Cup approached in November, he had to have a regular place in a team.

United States coach Gregg Berhalter plans to announce his World Cup squad on November 9, five days before the deadline to submit it to FIFA.

Dest is a first-choice right-back for Team USA and also a back-up left behind Antonee Robinson.

If healthy, Dest looks almost certain to start against Wales in the Americans’ first group game on November 21 – DeAndre Yedlin, Reggie Cannon, Joe Scally are big dropouts by comparison – but he’ll want to take some form with him. in Qatar.


Germany face an anxious wait to see if Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus will be ready in time for the World Cup after a serious ankle injury in the Ruhr derby on Saturday.

Dortmund said Reus, 33, will miss three to four weeks due to a ligament injury in his right ankle. That seems like an optimistic assessment from a club that rushed players from injuries too soon in the past – USA midfielder Gio Reyna suffered repeated setbacks last season.

Reus has only played 48 games for Germany. He missed the team’s World Cup victory in 2014 with an ankle injury and Euro 2016 with a groin injury. He played in the World Cup in 2018 but skipped the next European Championship to recover after his season with Dortmund.

German coach Hansi Flick has called up Leipzig defender Benjamin Henrichs as a replacement for the upcoming games against Hungary and England.


Spain striker Raúl de Tomás thought his chances of qualifying for the World Cup were surely over when his move from Espanyol to Rayo Vallecano failed to materialize in time.

Due to the delay, he won’t be able to play in the league again until January.

But there was a glimmer of hope for the 27-year-old from Tomás after Spain manager Luis Enrique spoke about his situation last week. The coach didn’t add the player to his latest list for the upcoming Nations League fixtures but also didn’t rule him out for the tournament in Qatar.

“Each case is different,” said Luis Enrique. “Raúl de Tomás was called up recently. This is quite an unusual situation. You don’t always see a player who can’t sign for a team at the last minute and has to be sidelined for a few months. We won’t be able to see him play, but I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s difficult, but I can’t say anything at the moment.

De Tomás, who blamed Espanyol for failing to complete the Rayo Vallecano deal, has four appearances for the Spanish national team, including two this year.


Union Berlin striker Jordan Pefok hasn’t given up on playing for the United States at the World Cup despite missing out on coach Gregg Berhalter’s 26-man squad for warm-up games against Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Pefok scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on Sunday to help the Union stay top of the Bundesliga.

“Who doesn’t hope to compete in the World Cup when their country qualifies? asked French-speaking Pefok after the game.

“The coach decides. Me, I play the matches happily, I keep trying to give the best of myself,” said Pefok. ball that we pay the musicians.”


AP Sports Writers Ciarán Fahey in Berlin and Tales Azzoni in Madrid contributed to this report.


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