Sergino Dest - U-20 World Cup - Close up
Courtesy of U.S. Soccer

Sergino Dest: US men's national team can achieve World Cup greatness

US men's national team up-and-comer Sergino Dest is already making history, becoming the first American to play in a league match for Barcelona when he made his club debut earlier this month.

But as a key member of the young core that is considered the future of the USMNT, Dest says he has even higher goals when it comes to what he wants to accomplish with the US program at the international level. 

ESPN Barcelona correspondent Sam Mardsen shared some of Dest's best quotes from the 19-year-old's Monday news conference, with Dest telling reporters that he's expecting big things from the young and hungry group of talent that's coming up and competing at some of the world's top-tier clubs.

"I feel [the excitement], everybody feels it," Dest said. "I think because we have more players that play for big clubs, that's why everyone is excited that we can really achieve something in the upcoming World Cups. Everyone has to keep motivated and keep hungry because I feel like we can do it. If we just work hard and as a team, everything can be achieved.

"There's a great possibility that we can do something great at the 2026 World Cup," he added. "We also have a lot of talent in the youth [teams]. Everybody is hungry, everyone wants to achieve something with the US. That's a good sign. We all want to win a World Cup, achieve great things, not only personally, but also as a team for the US."

Dest would seem to be in an ideal setting for his development at Barcelona, where he's in the process of trying to break in as a first-team regular. With the world-class talent around him, including one of the all-time greats in Lionel Messi, Dest said his hope is that the high-stakes challenge will ultimately bring out the best in him, adding that he's learning Spanish as he adapts to his new surroundings.

"I like challenges," Dest said. "I will develop at this club because I will see what I have to improve the most. It's a big challenge but that's what motivates me, playing with the best in the world. It's something I really wanted and dreamed about. I think I should take the chance to learn from these players, the best in the world is here, Messi, and I can learn from them. I feel like if you're in Spain, it's easier to learn Spanish. So if I am with the best players, it's easier to develop."

Check out Mardsen's full write-up on Dest here.


MLS Unites to VOTE

Join Major League Soccer, Black Players for Change, and the MLS Players Association in participating in the November 3 general election. In-person early voting has started in 45 states. Make a plan to vote.