Sergiño Dest is First American to Play for Barcelona in La Liga
After joining La Liga giants FC Barcelona via a $24M transfer on Thursday, U.S. Men’s National Team defender Sergiño Dest made history on Sunday, becoming the first American player to feature in a competitive match for the Spanish La Liga giants in their 1-1 home draw against Sevilla.
Officially registered as a Barcelona player this morning, Dest was named to Ronald Koeman’s squad and entered the match for Jordi Alba in the 75th minute. Capable of playing on either side of the back line, the 19-year-old lined up on the left just like he has in each of his USMNT appearances.
During the history-making,15-minute cameo, the 19-year-old completed each of his 11 passes and helped create one chance for Lionel Messi, the striker’s 81st minute effort saved by Sevilla ‘keeper Yassine Bounou.
The young defender also became just the fifth U.S. player to appear in La Liga, following Jozy Altidore, Kasey Keller, Oguchi Onyewu and Shaq Moore.
Meanwhile, FC Barcelona Academy product and fellow 19-year-old Konrad de la Fuente was an unused sub for the second straight week.
Dest will hope to make his first start for his new club when Barcelona returns to action against at Getafe on Oct. 17, following the FIFA international window, while de la Fuente continues to work for towards his own first-team debut.
Dest’s debut caps a strong weekend for young Americans abroad, in which Gio Reyna recorded three assists for Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, Antonee Robinson made his Premier League debut for Fulham and Chris Richards became the first American to start a Bundesliga game and record an assist for German giants Bayern Munich.