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Dest extends Ajax contract; remains noncommittal to USMNT, Netherlands

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Ajax has agreed to a one-year contract extension with American defender Sergiño Dest through the 2021-22 season.

The 18-year-old outside back played for the U.S. at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup and this year’s Under-20 World Cup, then made his first-team competitive debut for Ajax in the Dutch Super Cup against PSV Eindhoven on July 27. He started playing for Ajax’s youth academy in 2012.

Dest was born in Almere, Netherlands. His mother is Dutch and his father is Surinamese American.

Dest made his U.S. senior national team debut on Sept. 6 against Mexico and played Tuesday against Uruguay. Both games were exhibitions, and Dest remains free to switch to the Netherlands’ national team.

USMNT’s Sargent could start this weekend for club

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Josh Sargent could be reaping the rewards of Werder Bremen’s injury crisis.

Ahead of this Saturday’s match at Union Berlin, Werder Bremen is looking at having no less than nine first-team players out injured, including captain Niklas Moisander. While Moisander is a centerback, injuries up top has given Sargent another chance to make his second start of the season.

[READ: Rooney on what could have helped his time with England NT]

“(Yuya) Osako and Sargent have already completed a jet lag program with their national teams and are therefore in good shape for Saturday,” Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt said in a press conference. “It’s a lot of fun to find different solutions with the guys and to puzzle them a bit (about who will start).”

At just 19-years old, Sargent is quickly learning the rigors of playing club football in Europe while representing a national team across the pond. It’s unclear exactly what Werder’s jet lag program consists of, but Sargent has just four days from Tuesday through Saturday to adjust seven time zones between St. Louis and Germany (central European time). Normally, it’s recommended to take one day for as many time zones to adjust, but of course these days there’s sleep methods and other ways to quickly adjust your body clock.

Sargent made his first start of the club season on September 1, scoring in his side’s 3-2 win over lowly Augsburg. It was an incredible display of skill, beating the offside trap, controlling a long-ball over the top, and then chipping the goalkeeper before slotting home into an empty net.

That goal alone should have secured Sargent another start, but the injury woes across the squad won’t hurt either. Plus, the more – and better – he plays, his teammates may have a tough time getting back into the squad.

Preview: USMNT v. Uruguay

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Gregg Berhalter is set for his second competitive quest as head coach of the U.S. men’s national team, the CONCACAF Nations League, but not until after the Yanks wrap up the year’s schedule of friendlies on Tuesday.

[ MORE: How will USMNT line up against Uruguay? ]

The USMNT heads into its clash with no. 5-ranked Uruguay (8 p.m. ET) at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo., still licking its wounds following a 3-0 beatdown by rivals Mexico on Friday. That result came on the heels of a 1-0 defeat to El Tri in the Gold Cup final back in July.

 

Berhalter has guided the Yanks to first-team victories over Ecuador, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, Curacao and Jamaica (FIFA rankings’ highest-ranked at no. 52 in the world) in 2019; the back-to-back defeats by Mexico are accompanied by losses to Jamaica and Venezuela; a draw with Chile brings Berhalter’s first-team record to 6W-4L-1D.

Uruguay, on the other hand, hasn’t lost a non-penalty shootout result in 2019. Only Peru, in the Copa America quarterfinals, was ale to defeat La Celeste in their eight games this year.

 

[ MORE: U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn to retire this month ]

St. Louis native Josh Sargent could be in line for his second start of 2019. The 19-year-old Werder Bremen forward had the USMNT’s best scoring chance against Mexico, but saw his penalty kick saved by Jonathan Orozco in the 88th minute.

A number of European-based players, including Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, John Brooks and Zack Steffen, departed USMNT camp following Friday’s game. Sargent, alongside Tyler Boyd, Sergiño Dest and Tim Ream, remained in camp.

The October international window will see the USMNT take on Cuba (Oct. 11) and Canada (Oct. 15) in Nations League A. Each of the four group winners will advance to the semifinal knockout round.

Promoter suing U.S. Soccer for refusal to sanction league matches in U.S.

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NEW YORK (AP) A promoter filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation over the governing body’s refusal to sanction international league matches in the United States, a case similar in some aspects to an action launched last spring in New York state court.

[ MORE: How will USMNT line up against Uruguay? ]

The new suit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by Relevent Sports, a company owned by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Relevent is now represented by Jeffrey Kessler, the lawyer retained by members of the U.S. women’s national team in their wage and gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF.

Relevent sued in New York Supreme Court after the USSF refused to sanction a league match between Ecuador’s Barcelona and Guayaquil on May 5 at Miami Gardens, Florida. The USSF cited an Oct. 26 announcement by FIFA that its ruling council “emphasized the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association.”

[ MORE: U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn to retire this month ]

During a hearing in May before Justice W. Franc Perry, a lawyer for the USSF argued the court should not hear the dispute and it should be sent to arbitration. Relevent sent the judge a letter on Aug. 5 saying it intended to discontinue the case, but the action is still pending.

In the new suit, Relevant said that when it proposed moving a Spanish La Liga match last season between Barcelona and Girona, USSF President Carlos Cordeiro told it to first obtain approval from UEFA and the Royal Spanish Football Federation. The Spanish federation refused to grant permission.

Relevent also said Cordeiro refused to discuss the possibility of moving last year’s Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate to Miami Gardens. The second leg was moved from Argentina because of security concerns and was played in Madrid.

[ MORE: Barcelona preparing lifetime contract for Lionel Messi ]

Relevent accused the USSF of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act and of tortious interference. It called Switzerland-based FIFA and Soccer United Marketing, an affiliate of Major League Soccer, non-party co-conspirators. Relevent also said it had paid $20.5 million to the USSF to sanction exhibition games in the U.S. from 2013-18 and anticipated paying the USSF $2.4 million this year.

The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who was nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama.

Asked for comment, the USSF cited its April statement that FIFA rules to do allow it to sanction foreign league matches in the U.S.

U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn to retire this month

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CHICAGO — Dan Flynn will retire as chief executive officer and secretary general of the U.S. Soccer Federation on Sept. 16.

[ MORE: How will USMNT line up against Uruguay? ]

While the search for a successor continues, the USSF said Monday that Brian Remedi will serve as chief administrative officer in addition to chief stakeholder officer. Remedi is listed as third on the federation staff directory, behind Jay Berhalter, who is chief commercial and strategy officer.

Jay Berhalter is the brother of Gregg Berhalter, who was hired in December as the U.S. men’s national team coach.

The 64-year-old Flynn had said at the USSF annual general meeting in February that he planned to leave this year.

[ MORE: Barcelona preparing lifetime contract for Lionel Messi ]

Flynn replaced Hank Steinbrecher as secretary general in June 2000, and his tenure included the launch of training centers in Carson, California, and Kansas City, Kansas, and a new U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas. He assisted in the organization for the 2003 Women’s World Cup in the U.S. and the launch of the National Women’s Soccer League.

Flynn was the Chicago venue executive director for the 1994 World Cup, then worked under Steinbrecher at the USSF from 1994-98 as chief administrative officer and later chief operating officer. Flynn then spent two years as executive director of the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

He was a member of the St. Louis University teams that won the NCAA soccer title in 1973 and finished second the following year.