Ajax teen Dest in US squad for Mexico, Uruguay games

Ajax teenager Sergino Dest earned his first call-up to the United States senior squad on Wednesday as coach Gregg Berhalter named a 26-man roster for upcoming friendlies with Mexico and Uruguay.

Dest, the son of an American father and Dutch mother, is one of two players from the USA's 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup squad who has been promoted to the senior ranks.

The 18-year-old full-back joins Under-20 team-mate Paxton Pomykal in the squad for the games on September 6 and September 10.

Berhalter said Dest, who made his league debut for Ajax's senior team earlier this month, offered options on both flanks.

"Sergino is a guy we've been tracking, watching his progress with Ajax in making his way up to the first team," Berhalter told reporters on a conference call.

"We're excited by him and that he can play in both full-back positions. He's got an excellent offensive skillset and he fits into the profile of player that we're looking for for our full-backs.

"He can come inside or stay wide. I'm really intrigued with how he plays at Ajax. It's really interesting watching him play."

As well as Dest and FC Dallas' Pomykal, Berhalter has recalled 19-year-old Werder Bremen striker Josh Sargent, who was controversially omitted from the CONCACAF Gold Cup squad earlier this year.

Also back is 2014 FIFA World Cup veteran John Brooks, the powerful German-born central defender who plays for Vfl Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

Berhalter however has rested three veteran players -- Toronto FC trio Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez -- in order to free them for MLS commitments.

Toronto FC play Cincinnati on September 7, a day after the Mexico game in East Rutherford, before taking on New York City FC on September 11 after the USA-Uruguay game in St Louis on September 10.

"We felt that taking all three players from one team would severely handicap Toronto," Berhalter said. "So we thought it would be a good opportunity to get other players involved."

Squad:

Defenders:

John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Sergino Dest (Ajax/NED), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN) Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)

Midfielders:

Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf/GER), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)

Forwards:

Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas/TUR), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC)

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