“I think that kind of experience will help the player but also will help the American national team,” Koeman said.
The 19-year-old speedy defender has a Surinamese-American father and Dutch mother, but chose to play for the U.S. national team instead of the Netherlands.
“I’ve spoken to Sergiño about the national team, because he had the possibility to play for Holland or America, but finally a decision has to be (made) by the player, because that’s his feeling from inside … and he finally decided to play for the American national team, no problem, I think that’s good for American soccer.”
Koeman has another young American player who could soon be joining Barcelona’s first team in 19-year-old Konrad de la Fuente.
“They play in good competitions but both players are still young,” Koeman said.
Dest committed to the U.S. national team last October, a month after making his senior debut for the Americans. He still had the ability under FIFA’s rules to change his affiliation to the Dutch national team as he had only played in friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay.
Dest tied his international future to the U.S. on Nov. 16, helping the team reach the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals with a 4-1 win over Canada, setting up Jordan Morris’ goal.
Dest already played for the U.S. at the Under-17 and Under-20 World Cups.