Dutch-born teen Dest commits to US national team

Brussels (AFP) –


Netherlands-born teenage defender Sergino Dest pledged his international future to the United States on Monday, turning down interest from the country of his birth.

"I have chosen to play for Team USA going forward. I have based this decision on my feeling, however it was a tough one," said Dest, the son of a Dutch mother and American father.

"It took me a long time to come to this decision."

Dest, 18, played for the US at this year's Under-20 World Cup. He made his first-team debut for Ajax in July and has featured 16 times for the Amsterdam giants this season.

"Sergino called me this morning to explain to me the reasons for his choice. I respect his decision," Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman told Dutch television.

Dest played for the US in two September friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay but was left out the squad for this month's CONCACAF Nations League games as he mulled his international future.

He revealed last month he had been approached by officials from the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) about a possible international career for the Netherlands.