USMNT right back Sergino Dest injured ahead of WCQ finale

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The USMNT suffered perhaps another major injury blow on Thursday, ahead of its final three 2022 World Cup qualifiers next week, when Barcelona right back Sergiño Dest limped off early in the second half away to Galatasaray in Europa League action.

[ MORE: USMNT World Cup qualifying schedule, standings ]

Gregg Berhalter announced on Thursday a 27-man roster for the remaining fixtures against Mexico (away), Panama (home) and Costa Rica (away). Sergiño Dest was named in the team, but that could change once further tests are conducted and the severity of the injury becomes known.

“Dest had some discomfort in his hamstring,” Barcelona boss Xavi said after the game. “We hope it’s nothing serious.”

Should he have to withdraw from USMNT camp, Dest would join Weston McKennie on the sidelines after the Juventus midfielder broke his foot earlier this month. McKennie, who was in the midst of a plump, purple patch at the time of his injury, will miss the rest of the 2021-22 season. The 23-year-old is expected to be fully recovered this summer ahead of the 2022-23 club season, which will begin a month earlier than usual to accommodate the World Cup break in November and December.

The injury is poorly timed for Barcelona as well, as they prepare to face bitter El Clasico rivals Real Madrid in La Liga action on Sunday. Recently-returned Dani Alves will likely draw the start in a game of that magnitude and familiarity for the Brazilian legend.

[ MORE: 2022 World Cup qualifying hub – Schedule, results & standings ] 

Canada (25 points) currently tops the CONCACAF region after 11 of 14 games, with the USMNT and Mexico (21 points each) four back in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. 4th-place Panama (17 points) will try to hold off Costa Rica (16 points) as the last remaining side with realistic hopes of a top-three (automatic) or -four (playoff) finish.

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