Sergino Dest

Golden Boy award shortlist
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2020 Golden Boy award shortlist announced

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The 2020 Golden Boy award shortlist includes Americans for the first time in two years, as two USMNT prospects were named amongst the top 100 players under the age of 21 in Europe’s top leagues.

Tuttosport has named Ajax’s Sergio Dest and Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna to the shortlist for the award. The last Americans to make the shortlist were Timothy Weah and Christian Pulisic in 2018.

Dest, 19, was recently named Ajax Talent of the Year and has already earned 35 senior appearances for the club with two goals and six assists. He’s thrice capped by the USMNT.

[ MORE: Premier League fixtures remaining ]

Reyna, 17, has become a fixture in the Dortmund XI for Lucien Favre, regularly coming off the bench and displaying a knack for drawing fouls and tidy passing. The son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna, “Gio” has a goal and an assist in 16 first team appearances.

Canada’s American-born Jonathan David (Gent) and Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) also make the cut, as does Mexican forward Diego Lainez (Real Betis).

Joao Felix beat Jadon Sancho to the 2019 honors, and it would be stunning if Reyna or Dest got much further in the process given the young talent on show this season. Erling Haaland and Sancho of Borussia Dortmund will be two of the favorites to emerge with the top billing.

Premier League talent everywhere

Starting with the first name on the alphabetical list, Premier League clubs made an impressive showing in the top 100.

Max Aarons of Norwich City is joined by Tino Anjorin (Chelsea), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Trae Coyle (Arsenal), Phil Foden (Man City), Eric Garcia (Man City), James Garner (Man Utd), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolves), Billy Gilmour (Chelsea), Mason Greenwood (Man Utd), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Curtis Jones (Liverpool), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Michael Obafemi (Southampton), Pedro Neto (Wolves), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Oliver Skipp (Tottenham), Sepp van den Berg (Liverpool).

USMNT back Dest named Ajax Talent of the Year

Sergino Dest
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American right back Sergino Dest has won Ajax’s Talent of the Year in a monumental bit of achievement for the 20-year-old.

How impressive is the honor? Previous winners include Nwankwo Kanu, Christian Eriksen, and Matthijs de Ligt (full list below). Noussair Mazraoui was the previous winner of the award,

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech won the club’s Player of the Year for the third-straight season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Dest admitted that he was surprised to win the award and said it will motivate him to get better. He played in 35 matches across all competitions, scoring twice and collecting six assists.

His boss, Erik Ten Hag, had better things to say. From Ajax.nl:

“You came like a comet. You played a lot of games in Ajax 1, including in the Champions League. You showed your potential. This is well deserved.”

Dest doesn’t turn 20 until November, and chose the USMNT over the Netherlands this fall despite interest from Ronald Koeman.

The illustrious list of previous winners is absolutely wonderful for Americans fans to read:

2020: Sergiño Dest
2019: Noussair Mazraoui
2018: Matthijs de Ligt
2017: Kasper Dolberg
2016: Riechedly Bazoer
2015: Anwar El Ghazi
2014: Davy Klaassen
2013: Viktor Fischer
2012: Ricardo van Rhijn
2011: Christian Eriksen
2010: Toby Alderweireld
2009: Gregory van der Wiel
2008: Jan Vertonghen
2007: Ryan Babel
2006: Urby Emanuelson & Thomas Vermaelen
2005: Hedwiges Maduro
2004: Nicolae Mitea
2003: Steven Pienaar
2002: Maxwell
2001: Rafael van der Vaart
2000: Cristian Chivu
1999: Richard Knopper
1998: Benni Mc Carthy
1997: Mario Melchiot
1996: Nordin Wooter
1995: Nwankwo Kanu
1994: Tarik Oulida

Stay and Play Cup: Start time, live stream info, more

Stay and Play Cup
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We are still some time from seeing Trent Alexander-Arnold lead Liverpool against Phil Foden and Manchester City, but the players and their clubs will be on screen in competition this week.

Players from 20 clubs are participating in the EA Sports FIFA 20 Stay and Play Cup beginning Wednesday, including professional footballers from Premier League sides Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, and Tottenham Hotspur.

There’s an American in the fray, too, as Sergino Dest will lead Ajax into the fray as one of four clubs with a first-round bye.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Alexander-Arnold will lead Liverpool versus Vinicius Junior’s Real Madrid, while Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta meets the winners of Marseille versus Brondby.

Foden and City also have a bye and will meet either PSV Eindhoven or AIK, while Serge Aurier leads Spurs versus FC Porto (Full bracket below).

Telemundo Deportes will have Spanish-language coverage of the FIFA 20 Stay and Play Cup through the tournament’s conclusion on Sunday.

START TIME and STREAM LINKS: The FIFA Stay and Play Cup will be live stream on the Telemundo Deportes appTelemundoDeportes.com and Telemundo Deportes’ TwitterFacebookTwitch and Youtube, starting Wednesday at Noon ET.

THE PLAYERS: 

Report: Bayern make $22M bid for USMNT’s Dest

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According to a report from De Telegraaf in the Netherlands, Bayern Munich have submitted a bid of nearly $22 million to Ajax for U.S. men’s national team defender Sergiño Dest.

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The bid is expected to be — or perhaps already has been — rejected at that number. The report also states that while Ajax value Dest at $33 million, they are likely to accept something closer to $28.5 million.

The 19-year-old right back, who was been in the Netherlands, has been at Ajax since the age of 12.

[ MORE: Report: NYCFC nearing new Bronx stadium deal ]

Benjamin Pavard and Joshua Kimmich have started the majority of games at right back this season, but the former has the positional flexibility to play anywhere along the backline and the latter has made more of a long-term home in central midfield.

Bayern already have Canadian international Alphonso Davies holding down the opposite flank at left back, paving the way for a pair of teenagers from CONCACAF to man full back positions for the next decade.

USMNT’s Dest leaves Ajax camp in Qatar due to rising tensions

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USMNT defender Sergino Dest has asked to leave Ajax’s winter training camp in Qatar due to the ongoing tensions in the Middle East.

Dest, 19, requested to return to Amsterdam as the Dutch-American right back “didn’t feel comfortable” being in the region and Ajax revealed he will leave the camp.

The Dutch giants released the following statement confirming that Dest will return to the Netherlands to train with their reserve team while they continue their training camp and play two friendlies in Qatar during the Eredivisie winter break.

“Sergino Dest asked if he could leave the training camp of Ajax in Qatar. He didn’t feel comfortable. Ajax understands his request and has responded to it. The right back returns to Young Ajax in Amsterdam.”

Iran launched missile attacks on army bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq late Tuesday, as tensions continue to rise following an American drone strike which killed the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s powerful Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani.

The USMNT were due to be at a training camp in Qatar this week but called it off at the last minute due to the escalation in the situation between the U.S. and Iran in the region, and this was understandably playing on Dest’s mind while he was in Qatar, which is located just across the Persian Gulf from Iran.

There is almost three years to go until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off (remember, it’s a winter tournament) and a lot could change between now and then but plenty of nations around the world, and FIFA, will be keeping a very close eye on this situation.

However, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter recently said he was ‘hopeful’ they would return to train in Qatar before the 2022 World Cup.