Dest makes debut for Barcelona as first American player

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Sergiño Dest made his debut for Barcelona on Sunday, becoming the first American to play in a La Liga match for the club.

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The defender went on in the 75th minute of Sunday’s game against Sevilla at Camp Nou with the match tied 1-1. He replaced left back Jordi Alba.

Sergiño Dest displayed what coach Ronald Koeman wants him to bring to Barcelona when he broke through Sevilla’s defense and passed for Lionel Messi, whose shot was saved in the 81st.

The match ended 1-1.

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“I’m very happy to have made my debut today, but unfortunately we didn’t win. We took a tie, so we’ll have to wait until the next game against Getafe,” Dest said.

Dest signed a five-year contract for Barcelona on Thursday. Barcelona paid Ajax $25 million, plus an additional $5.8 million in add-ons, to acquire the 19-year-old Dest.

Another American, Konrad de la Fuente, who is in Barcelona’s reserve team, played with the first team during preseason.