USMNT: Sergino Dest and Barca struggle against Getafe as they lose

USMNT (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
USMNT (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

USMNT right-back Sergino Dest became the first American to ever start for Barcelona

FC Barcelona took their first defeat of the season on Saturday by a score of 1-0 in their visit to Getafe. Sergino Dest became just the fifth American ever to start in La Liga, starting the match at left-back before switching to the more comfortable right-back position in the closing minutes.

The 19-year-old came mightily close to getting his first assist with Barca after he set up Lionel Messi, but the Argentine’s shot from the edge of the box clanked off the post in the 20th minute. Dest also nearly forced what would have been the equalizer after his cross was deflected off the post by Getafe defender Djene.

The USMNT player’s last notable action was picking up a yellow card in stoppage time for taking down Getafe substitute Victor Mollejo after Mollejo beat Dest one-on-one. Saturday’s loss was Dest’s second appearance for Barca after he made his Barca debut at the Camp Nou as a 75th-minute substitute in their 1-1 draw against Sevilla.

Saturday’s loss came against a pretty good Getafe side who now sit third on the La Liga table after five matches while Barca dropped out of a European spot after their opening four matches of the campaign.

Overall, both Barca and Dest didn’t play terribly, but there is certainly plenty of space for improvement. As a right-footed player, you could definitely tell he wasn’t comfortable with the ball on his left foot, which made him look uncomfortable on the left side at times. In the end, it could have been a lot worse, but things should get better with the more chances he gets.

Barca will now move on to two crucial matches as they begin their 2020/21 UEFA Champions League campaign with their first group stage match against Hungarian side Ferencvarosi on Tuesday before the first El Classico of the season on Saturday against Real Madrid. It appears that Dest may get another chance at left-back on Tuesday with Junior Firpo‘s status unknown, but Jordi Alba looks to be planning a return for Saturday’s El Classico.

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Once the opportunity at right-back comes, Dest will need to take his chances in order to take over the right-back job that still hasn’t had a convincing replacement since Dani Alves‘ 2016 departure. If Dest can win the starting job at right-back, then that will certainly give him invaluable experience playing against some of the world’s toughest teams that he can bring to the USMNT.