Watching the World Cup: A difficult start in Milan for American defender Dest

MILAN – United States defender Sergio Dest has joined Italian champions AC Milan in hopes of getting more playing time ahead of the World Cup.

He got off to a rough start.

“American Horror Story, 45-minute episode” was how Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport described Dest’s Serie A debut, giving him a rating of five out of 10 for his performance in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Napoli. Other newspapers described it as a “disaster” or simply “bad”.

Dest, who joined on loan from Barcelona on the transfer day, played in both of Milan’s Champions League matches but made his Serie A debut when he came on as a first-half substitute for David Calabria against Napoli.

He struggled from the start and, less than 10 minutes later, missed the penalty that led to the first goal – and Milan’s first loss of the season – when the speedy Napoli winger bludgeoned Kvaratskellia.

“Dest is a good player. Like Kvaratskellia,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “Calabria also fought against the Georgians.”

The 21-year-old Dest has a Surinamese-American father and a Dutch mother and chose to play for the United States rather than the Netherlands, where he was born and raised. He scored two goals in 17 matches with the national team.

Dest started his football career at Ajax before moving to Barcelona two years ago for €21 million ($24.7 million at the time) but hasn’t been able to establish himself as a regular starter.

He had plenty of minutes in his first season with Barcelona, ​​under coach Ronald Koeman, but his playing time gradually decreased. However, he had chances under coach Xavi Hernandez in the Europa League last season, but he didn’t take advantage of them either.

And Dest knew that with the World Cup finals approaching in November, he needed to secure a regular spot on the team.

United States coach Greg Berhalter plans to announce his World Cup squad on November 9, five days before the deadline to submit it to FIFA.

Dest is the first choice right-back for the American team and also a backup on the left behind Antonee Robinson.

If Deist is healthy he looks almost guaranteed to start against Wales in the Americans’ opening group game on November 21 – DeAndre Yedlin, Reggie Cannon and Joe Scally make a big difference by comparison – but he’ll want to take some form with him. to Qatar.

waiting for rios

Germany face an intense wait to see if Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus will be ready in time for the World Cup after a serious ankle injury in the Ruhr derby on Saturday.

Dortmund said the 33-year-old would miss three to four weeks with a ligament injury in his right ankle. It appears to be an optimistic assessment from a team that has brought back players from injuries too soon in the past – US midfielder Gio Reina suffered frequent setbacks last season.

Reus only played 48 matches for Germany. He missed the 2014 World Cup victory with an ankle injury and Euro 2016 with a thigh injury. He played in the 2018 World Cup but skipped the next European Championship to recover after his season with Dortmund.

Germany coach Hansi Flick has called up Leipzig defender Benjamin Henrix as a substitute for the upcoming matches against Hungary and England.

From the order of Thomas

Spain striker Raul de Tomas thought his chances of reaching the World Cup were definitely over when his move from Espanyol to Rayo Vallecano did not pass in time.

Because of the delay, he won’t be able to play in the league again until January.

But there were glimmers of hope for the 27-year-old after Spain coach Luis Enrique spoke about his situation last week. The coach did not add the player to his recent list of upcoming Nations League matches, but he also did not exclude him from the tournament in Qatar.

“Every case is different,” Luis Enrique said. “Raul de Tomas was called up recently. It’s a completely unusual situation. You don’t always see a player who can’t sign for a team at the last minute and has to be sidelined for a few months. We won’t be able to see him play, but I don’t know, we’ll see. It’s tough, but I can’t say either way now.”

De Tomas, who blamed Espanyol for not completing the deal with Rayo Vallecano, has made four appearances for Spain, including two this year.


Union Berlin striker Jordan Pevok has not given up on playing for the United States at the World Cup despite being removed from coach Greg Berhalter’s 26-man squad for friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Bivok scored the first goal in the 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on Sunday to help Al Ittihad stay top in the Bundesliga.

Who doesn’t hope to play in the World Cup when their country qualifies? asked the French-speaking Bivok after the match.

“The coach decides. I play the games happily, I try to do my best,” said Pivok.

“Then, as we say in France, at the end of the ball we pay the musicians.”

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