Sergino Dest is all smiles as he sits in Barcelona, the sun streaming through the window as the USMNT rising star discusses life playing for one of the biggest clubs and one of the most ambitious national teams on the planet.
Life is good for the Dutch-American defender.
Dest, 20, has just launched his first campaign with Nike on an underwear line as he and several other young American stars are the talk of European soccer as they continue to develop impressively at huge clubs, all at the same time.
Speaking to ProSoccerTalk on a video call, he reflects on a whirlwind 12 months which has seen him go from just becoming a regular at Ajax to signing for Barcelona for a fee which could rise to $30 million.
“I think it has been a really good choice for me and a good development for me, because I play on the highest stage,” Dest said of his move to Barca. “We play every three days so that makes me stronger. Unfortunately I had a little quad injury but I’m back again. For me it is really helpful. I like Barcelona, the city is nice, my teammates are helping me a lot and I can’t wait to keep on going with this season with Barcelona and the USA.”
Has there been a ‘wow’ moment for him yet? A moment where it has sunk in that he was the first American in history to play in El Clasico, and that he gets to play and train alongside Lionel Messi every single day?
“It is not one moment, it is every time I am on the field, I am seeing him next to me I’m like ‘wow, okay, I always saw him on TV and now I’m playing with him!’ It is really strange but I’m blessed that I can play with him in his career,” Dest smiled.
What has been his highlight with Barcelona so far?
“The Champions League games were awesome and El Clasico was really nice, but I think I will go for my goal in the Champions League against Dynamo Kiev. It was my first goal for Barcelona and hopefully I will score many more,” Dest said.
The confident right back is always striving for more. More goals, more defensive solidity, more wins, more trophies. He just wants more. On and off the pitch.
Speaking about his new project with Nike, he revealed that his mindset is simply ‘why not?’ when it comes to maximizing his potential on and off the pitch.
“Why not? If we can also do that in our career, why not?,” Dest said when it comes to opportunities for him and other young USMNT stars. “I think you have to take full advantage of what you can achieve in your career, also off the pitch. If I get some opportunities, it depends on what it is, but I will always look at it and take advantage of that.”
In recent weeks he has taken advantage of being deployed in a right wing-back role by Ronald Koeman — which has suited his attacking instincts extremely well — while Dest has spoken about working on his defensive game after Kylian Mbappe (the best of the best) gave him a tough outing in the Champions League last 16.
In recent weeks Barca have surged up the La Liga standings, plus reached the Copa del Rey final in dramatic fashion, as Dest’s first season in Spain is now reaching an exciting climax.
“I feel like we still have a chance to win the league. The gap is close between us, Atletico and Real Madrid. I think it will be exciting, We still have the Copa del Rey too. We have a chance,” Dest said. “Hopefully we can win both tournaments. The ball is round.”
The matter of fact nature of that statement is quite something to hear from a 20-year-old American playing for Barcelona, challenging for the La Liga title and Spanish Cup in the latter stages of a season. It is wonderfully refreshing. As Dest says with an excited shrug and a smile, ‘the ball is round.’
Skilful and dynamic with that round ball at his feet (he was once a forward in Ajax’s youth team), does Dest feel like he can play a more attacking role for Barcelona and the USMNT in the future?
“Yeah, I can,” Dest explained. “I play wherever the coach needs me and wants me. For me, I think for my full potential it is best to play right back but right wing-back, I think I have to play it more often to know if that is really good for me. Against Sevilla it was really nice to play in that position. I got some space, I could go forward. If I lose the ball then there is someone behind me so it was not as dangerous. That gave me some good confidence in that game. I like that position, very much.”
Golden Generation for the USMNT?
On the international stage, Dest is a key member of what is starting to be dubbed as the ‘Golden Generation’ for the USMNT, alongside Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen, Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah.
That may be slightly premature, but if you talk to any of those USMNT youngsters coming through at Chelsea, Manchester City, Juventus, Barcelona and several of Europe’s other big clubs, they want more hype around them, not less.
They want this to be the dawn of a new era for American soccer.
“I think it is really good we have a lot of competition and we are all young guys, so we can still improve a lot,” Dest said. “For me, it doesn’t matter if I play right or left back with the national team. I just want to help the team. If the coach needs me at left winger, I play left winger! It doesn’t matter. I like it that we have a lot of young players with good potential and hopefully they develop to their best and the same for me. Then we can trigger each other, you know?”
The fact that Dest, a dual national wanted by the Netherlands, and now Yunus Musah, a dual national wanted by England, Italy and Ghana, have both chosen to play for the USMNT shows that head coach Gregg Berhalter is building a talented young squad which is going places and is a tight unit that has been developing together for some time.
Dest was part of a very positive U20 World Cup run in the summer of 2019, and even though the Dutch national team (led then by his now manager at Barcelona, Ronald Koeman) pushed hard to have him represent the country of his birth, he wanted to be a key part of this USMNT rebuild.
How easy was the choice between Holland and the USA?
“It was not easy. I grew up in Holland but the U.S. gave me a chance, especially in the youth, the chance to develop myself and they had faith in me. For me it was something to pay back to the U.S., some loyalty,” Dest said. “I like the USA a lot, I like to explore the cities and I like to play with the USMNT. It was just a little bit different and it was something that fits right in my career. I thought it was the right decision for me. I have two hearts, you know. Holland also did a lot of things for me so I am also thankful for that.”
When discussing the dilemma for dual nationals over which country to represent, Dest is both respectful and reflective. He knows how tough that decision can be for players and the USMNT have a lot of young talents who have difficult decisions to make in the months and years ahead.
Folarin Balogun, Efrain Alvarez and many others are next in line to make that decision, one way or another, and Dest has this advice for them.
“I can tell them, just follow your heart and do whatever feels good for you,” Dest said. “For us, we hope that you come and play for the USMNT, but if you feel like you have to make another decision, just follow your heart.”
Next up for Dest: Domination with USMNT
There is something wonderfully positive about Dest.
He isn’t afraid of setting high goals or targets. After all, at the age of 20 he is a regular for Barcelona and the USMNT and has already played in the UEFA Champions League for, and against, some of the biggest players and clubs in the world.
There is no fear in his eyes when discussing what the USMNT can achieve in a busy 2021, as they have the Gold Cup, CONCACAF Nations League and World Cup qualifiers coming their way this summer, and first up are two friendlies against Jamaica and Northern Ireland in March.
“We have a tough schedule this year, we have a lot of tournaments and I think we have to be prepared for that and focused… and try to win all of those games!” Dest smiled. “We can. If we are just focused, we have the right players for it. The ball is round… but we have a good chance to win a lot of games.”
“I think we can reach more. We have to put a standard that going to the World Cup, it has to be normal for us,” Dest continued. “We have to put that as the standard. If you are at the World Cup, the World Cup is another two years so we still have time to improve and develop ourselves. We will be a different team at that time, you know? We have to work on ourselves and keep faith and we can’t predict anything, but you guys will see what happens then.”
The effervescent Dest is eager for this young USMNT group to make the most of its potential.
“I want us to win every game,” Dest laughed. “I want to play with the team and I like to play for the national team. I can’t wait to come back with them. We have a lot of camps so hopefully we can win a lot of games and represent the U.S. right and put the standard high for ourselves. Then, we can only make each other better.”
It was a foregone conclusion ahead of the second leg that the Red Devils would return to a Wembley final for the first time since the 2017-18 FA Cup and their first appearance in the League Cup final since winning it under Jose Mourinho in 2017-18.
Erik ten Hag’s side was blunted and frustrated in the final third for more than 70 minutes, until a requisite bounce (or two) went their way and Anthony Martial put the tie to bed. Three minutes later, in the 76th, Fred bundled the ball home from two yards out to put the exclamation mark on a resounding two-leg victory.
Manchester United and Newcastle — two sides also currently occupying places in the Premier League’s top-four — will face off at Wembley on Sunday, Feb. 26.
Key storylines & in-form Manchester United vs Nottingham Forest players to watch
The injury lists for both teams mean we won’t see some serious talents including Morgan Gibbs-White and Christian Eriksen.
It will be interesting to see how Erik ten Hag lines up United without Eriksen and perhaps Scott McTominay, but we know we’ll see Marcus Rashford. The English forward is back ton his best.
Forest will hope to have Taiwo Awoniyi back in the fold, but young Brazilian center midfielder Danilo has been promising through his first two matches roaming the heart of the pitch after moving from Palmeiras.
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Jadon Sancho (undisclosed), Anthony Martial (undisclosed), Diogo Dalot (thigh), Luke Shaw (illness), Scott McTominay (undisclosed)
Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.
Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Chelsea and Liverpool push them all the way? How will Manchester United’s new-look side fare? What about Tottenham and Arsenal? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
9am: Nottingham Forest v Leeds – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
11:30am: Spurs v Man City – NBC – WATCH LIVEPhoto by Visionhaus/Getty Images
Saturday 11 February
7:30am: West Ham v Chelsea
Arsenal v Brentford
Crystal Palace v Brighton
Fulham v Nottingham Forest
Leicester v Spurs
Southampton v Wolves
12:30pm: AFC Bournemouth v Newcastle
Sunday 12 February
9am: Leeds v Man Utd
11:30am: Man City v Aston Villa
Monday 13 February
3pm: Liverpool v Everton
Wednesday 15 February
2:30pm: Arsenal vs Manchester City (rearranged)
Saturday 18 February
7:30am: Aston Villa v Arsenal
Brentford v Crystal Palace
Brighton v Fulham
Chelsea v Southampton
Everton v Leeds
Nottingham Forest v Man City
Wolves v AFC Bournemouth
12:30pm: Newcastle v Liverpool
Sunday 19 February
9am: Man Utd v Leicester
11:30am: Spurs v West Ham
Friday 24 February
3pm: Fulham v Wolves
Saturday 25 February
7:30am: Newcastle v Brighton
Everton v Aston Villa
Leeds v Southampton
Leicester v Arsenal
West Ham v Nottingham Forest
12:30pm: AFC Bournemouth v Man City *subject to EFL Cup Final
2:45pm: Crystal Palace v Liverpool ^If Liverpool are not in EFL fifth round and if AFC Bournemouth or Man City progress to EFL Cup final, this match will move to 17:30 and remain on Sky Sports
Sunday 26 February
8:30am: Man Utd v Brentford* Due to UEFA Europa League playoff round
8:30am: Spurs v Chelsea
Saturday 4 March
Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Brentford v Fulham
Brighton v West Ham
Chelsea v Leeds
Liverpool v Man Utd
Man City v Newcastle
Nottingham Forest v Everton
Southampton v Leicester
Wolves v Spurs
Saturday 11 March
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool
Crystal Palace v Man City
Everton v Brentford
Fulham v Arsenal
Leeds v Brighton
Leicester v Chelsea
Man Utd v Southampton
Newcastle v Wolves
Spurs v Nottingham Forest
West Ham v Aston Villa
Saturday 18 March
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth
Brentford v Leicester
Brighton v Man Utd
Chelsea v Everton
Liverpool v Fulham
Man City v West Ham
Nottingham Forest v Newcastle
Southampton v Spurs
Wolves v Leeds
Saturday 1 April
AFC Bournemouth v Fulham
Arsenal v Leeds
Brighton v Brentford
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Everton v Spurs
Man City v Liverpool
Newcastle v Man Utd
Nottingham Forest v Wolves
West Ham v Southampton
Saturday 8 April
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leeds v Crystal Palace
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Liverpool v Arsenal
Man Utd v Everton
Southampton v Man City
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea
Saturday 15 April
Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Leeds v Liverpool
Man City v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
West Ham v Arsenal
Wolves v Brentford
Saturday 22 April
AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
Arsenal v Southampton
Brentford v Aston Villa
Brighton v Man City
Crystal Palace v Everton
Fulham v Leeds
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Man Utd v Chelsea
Newcastle v Spurs
Tuesday 25 April
19:45 Everton v Newcastle
19:45 Leeds v Leicester
19:45 Nottingham Forest v Brighton
19:45 Spurs v Man Utd
19:45 West Ham v Liverpool
19:45 Wolves v Crystal Palace
20:00 Aston Villa v Fulham
Wednesday 26 April
19:45 Chelsea v Brentford
19:45 Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
20:00 Man City v Arsenal
Saturday 29 April
AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
Arsenal v Chelsea
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
Crystal Palace v West Ham
Fulham v Man City
Leicester v Everton
Liverpool v Spurs
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Newcastle v Southampton
Saturday 6 May
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Brighton v Everton
Fulham v Leicester
Liverpool v Brentford
Man City v Leeds
Newcastle v Arsenal
Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Spurs v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Man Utd
Wolves v Aston Villa
Saturday 13 May
Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham
Saturday 20 May
AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton
Sunday 28 May
16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool
The January transfer window has again seen big-name imports into the Premier League, and the final hours of the window we saw a flurry of deals take place.
Chelsea spent big, once again, as a British record $130 million deal for Enzo Fernandez nears completion, while Liverpool signed Cody Gakpo and Arsenal added Trossard, Jorginho and Jakub Kiwior to strengthen their title hopes.
As for deadline day itself Jorginho has joined Arsenal from Chelsea in a big move across London, while Manchester United are chasing the singing of Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich after they lost Christian Eriksen to injury.
Chelsea are pushing hard to sign Enzo Fernandez and it looks like it could happen right around the deadline, while Bournemouth, Southampton, Fulham and Tottenham are all busy on deadline day too and pushing deals through late on.
Dango Ouattara (Lorient)
Darren Randolph (West Ham)
Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City)
Matias Vina (Roma) Loan
Illia Zabarnyi (Dynamo Kiev)
Ferdinand Okoh (Dorchester) Loan
James Hill (Hearts) Loan
Will Dennis (Slough) Loan
Noa Boutin (Gosport) Loan
Gavin Kilkenny (Charlton Athletic) Loan
Leandro Trossard (Brighton)
Jakub Kiwior (Spezia Calcio)
Brooke Norton-Cuffy (Coventry) Loan
Miguel Azeez (Wigan) Loan
Arthur Okonkwo (Sturm Graz) Loan
Ovie Ejeheri (SJK Seinajoki) Loan
Harry Clarke (Ipswich Town)
Marquinhos (Norwich) Loan
Omar Rekik (Wigan) Loan
Albert Sambi Lokonga (Crystal Palace) Loan
In Aaron Ramsey (loan recall)
Tyreik Wright (loan recall)
Alex Moreno (Real Betis)
Jhon Duran (Chicago Fire)
Bertrand Traore (loan recall)
Out Cameron Archer (Middlesbrough) Loan
Tyreik Wright (Plymouth Argyle)
Frederic Guilbert (RC Strasbourg)
Indiana Vassilev (St. Louis City SC)
Danny Ings (West Ham)
Jan Bednarek (loan recall)
Morgan Sanson (Strasbourg) Loan
Ludwig Augustinsson (loan recall)
Marvelous Nakamba (Luton Town) Loan
Aaron Ramsey (Middlesbrough) Loan
In Byron Wilson (Coventry)
Conor McManus (Bray Wanderers)
Fin Stevens (loan recall)
Mads Bech (loan recall)
Beaux Booth (Dorking)
Kevin Schade (Freiburg) Loan
Paris Maghoma (loan recall)
Romeo Beckham (Inter Miami) Loan
Nathan Young-Coombes (loan recall)
Vincent Angelini (Watford)
Salomon Rondon (released)
Nathan Broadhead (Ipswich)
Tom Cannon (Preston) Loan
Niels Nkounkou (Saint-Etienne) Loan
Sebastian Quirk (Accrington Stanley)
Tyler Onyango (Forest Green) Loan
Anthony Gordon (Newcastle)
Joe Anderson (Sunderland)
In Anthony Knockaert (loan recall)
Sasa Lukic (Torino)
Idris Odutayo (Maidenhead) Loan extension
Anthony Knockaert (Huddersfield) Loan
Ibane Bowat (Den Bosch) Loan
Connor McAvoy (Partick Thistle) Loan
Josh Onomah (mutual termination)
Nathaniel Chalobah (West Brom)
In Max Wober (RB Salzburg)
Georginio Rutter (Hoffenheim)
Weston McKennie (Juventus) Loan
Diogo Monteiro (Servette)
Out Mateusz Klich (MLS pending)
Alfie McCalmont (Carlisle) Loan
Leo Hjelde (Rotherham) Loan
Max Dean (MK Dons)
Cody Drameh (Luton) Loan
Joe Gelhardt (Sunderland) Loan
Diego Llorente (Roma) Loan
George Hirst (loan recall)
Victor Kristiansen (Copenhagen)
Nathan Opoku (Field Masters Sporting Club)
George Hirst (Ipswich) Loan
Ben Nelson (Doncaster) Loan
Jakub Stolarczyk (Hartlepool) Loan
Ayoze Perez (Real Betis) Loan
Nathan Opoku (OH Leuven) Loan
Cody Gakpo (PSV)
Billy Koumetio (Austria Vienna) Loan recall
Max Woltman (loan recall)
Jakub Ojrzynski (loan recall)
James Balagizi (loan recall)
Fidel O’Rourke (loan recall)
Rhys Williams (loan recall)
Jake Cain (Swindon Town)
Jarell Quansah (Bristol Rovers) Loan
Luke Chambers (Kilmarnock) Loan
In Liam Delap (loan recall)
Maximo Perrone (Velez Sarsfield)
In Jack Butland (Crystal Palace) Loan
Wout Weghorst (Burnley) Loan
Marcel Sabitzer (Bayern Munich) Loan
Martin Dubravka (loan recall)
Shola Shoretire Loan (Bolton Wanderers)
Charlie Savage (Forest Green) Loan
Ondrej Mastny (Portadown) Loan
Di’Shon Bernard (Portsmouth) Loan
Charlie McNeill (Newport) Loan
In Amadou Diallo (free) Garang Kuol (Central Coast Mariners)
Martin Dubravka (loan recall)
Anthony Gordon (Everton)
Harrison Ashby (West Ham)
✍️ We are delighted to announce the signing on Anthony Gordon on a long-term deal!
Arnaut Danjuma (Villarreal) Loan
Jude Soonsup-Bell (Chelsea)
Bryan Gil (Sevilla) Loan
Djed Spence (Stade Rennais) Loan
Matt Doherty (Atletico Madrid)
West Ham United
Luizao (Sao Paulo)
Armstrong Okoflex (loan recall)
Danny Ings (Aston Villa)
Thierry Nevers (Bradford) Loan
Craig Dawson (Wolves)
Pierre Ekwah (Sunderland)
Darren Randolph (AFC Bournemouth)
Will Greenidge (Colchester) Loan
Harrison Ashby (Newcastle)
In Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid) Loan
Joe Young (loan recall)
Louie Moulden (loan recall)
Theo Corbeanu (loan recall)
Christian Marques (loan recall)
Lewis Richards (loan recall)
Mario Lemina (Nice)
Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain)
Craig Dawson (West Ham)
Dan Bentley (Bristol City)
Ki-Jana Hoever (loan recall)
Joao Gomes (Flamengo)
Out Leo Bonatini (released)
Joe Young (Telford) Loan
Goncalo Guedes (Benfica) Loan
Theo Corbeanu (Arminia Bielefeld) Loan
Leonardo Campana (Inter Miami)
Connor Ronan (Colorado Rapids)
Fabio Silva (PSV) Loan
Matija Sarkic (Stoke) Loan
Ki-Jana Hoever (Stoke) Loan
Jackson Smith (Walsall) Loan
Chem Campbell (Wycombe Wanderers) Loan
Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?
Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest though Newcastle is not going away and Manchester United has surged into contention.
Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle, while Liverpool is struggling to stay in the Champions League scrap. Chelsea has some work to do while surprising Fulham and Brighton are hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns.
Who are the candidates for relegation?
Everton, Bournemouth, and Southampton currently occupy the relegation places.
But Leicester, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Wolves, and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three after a topsy-turvy start.
Below you will find the latest Premier League table.