Sergino Dest injury update: News, return date as USMNT star could miss Copa America with serious knee injury

The United States are hoping to put on a show in front of their home fans at this year’s Copa America.

While not considered one of the favorites to win the competition, they’ll need their entire complement of players available to put forth a quality performance. Unfortunately, one key man they had hoped to count on has been cruelly cut down by injury.

Sergino Dest, who has returned to his best form this season at PSV after years of searching for regular football at the elite European clubs, has suffered a setback that threatens to sideline him for summer tournament and beyond.

Dest has been the regular starting right-back for the USMNT since his debut as an 18-year-old in 2019. His potential loss for a major competition on home soil is a devastating blow that will leave Gregg Berhalter searching for answers in a paper-thin position.

MORE: Predicting the USMNT roster, starting lineup at Copa America after Sergino Dest injury

Sergino Dest news, updates after “serious” knee injury

In a statement released on April 21, Dutch club PSV announced that Sergino Dest had suffered a “serious knee injury” during training the previous day. While the club stated that the extent of the injury was still being assessed, they went as far as to say “It’s almost certain that he will be out for an extended period of time.”

The specifics of Dest’s injury have yet to be reported. According to Greg O’Keeffe of The Athletic, Dest could be sidelined for as long as nine months, which indicates either a torn ACL or a torn patella tendon.

Either way, it’s a massive blow for Dest and the United States. After years toiling at Barcelona for playing time, including a failed loan spell at AC Milan, Dest had finally found a club in PSV that fully appreciated his talents, establishing himself as a regular starter at full-back and helping the side to run away with the Dutch league title.

Will Sergino Dest miss the Copa America?

If the report from The Athletic is accurate, Sergino Dest will not only miss the 2024 Copa America, but also miss a significant portion of the start of next season. This puts his participation in the fall CONCACAF Nations League fixtures in peril.

Should Dest be sidelined for nine months as suggested, he would not be back on the pitch until December 2024 or early 2025 and would need to be brought along slowly once he returns to match fitness.

Who will replace Sergino Dest for USMNT at Copa America?

The most like-for-like replacement at right-back for Sergino Dest would be Joe Scally, but the answer is not as simple as that.

Scally is still very young and has struggled in his first nine international caps. His most recent appearance against Jamaica in the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals back in March was a disaster, starting in place of a suspended Dest but yanked off at halftime after a horrible performance. Gregg Berhalter chose to deploy midfielder Weston McKennie out of position for the final 45 minutes and into extra-time.

The 21-year-old has also lost his starting spot at German club Borussia Monchengladbach. Scally started all but two Bundesliga matches this season through February, completing the full 90 minutes in all but seven of the club’s first 19 league games. In the 11 games since, he has completed 90 minutes three times, come off the bench on three occasions and been an unused substitute twice.

The problem here for Berhalter is depth — there are very few tested options behind Dest and Scally in the USMNT player pool, with Shaq Moore the only other player with any recent national team experience. Moore returned domestically this season to sign with Nashville SC and would be a viable if uninspiring option at a major tournament. Bryan Reynolds has not had a national team look since the 2023 Gold Cup, but the 22-year-old could be brought back into the mix thanks to a solid season at Belgian club Westerlo.

Tyler Adams played right-back early in his youth career before being moved to defensive midfielder and could be deployed there in an emergency, but his fitness issues over the past two years also make that a dicey and unreliable option. McKennie was used there for 45 minutes against Jamaica as the U.S. bombed numbers forward, but would not be considered a possibility for a full major tournament.

Otherwise, Berhalter could opt to flip players from the slightly deeper left-back pool to their opposite side, with the likes of Kristoffer Lund, DeJuan Jones, or John Tolkien all options.

PSV still want to sign Sergino Dest permanently despite injury

With Sergino Dest currently at PSV on loan from Barcelona, the injury could put any permanent transfer at risk.

However, it seems likely that the Dutch club will still go through with a permanent transfer, so long as Barcelona are cooperative on that front.

PSV sporting director Marcel Brands told Dutch media outlet Voetbal International that they will still look to sign Dest to a permanent deal, and have not been put off by the injury.

“We were in negotiations with him and his agent last week,” Brands said. “Yes, that’s going in the right direction. We have to wait and see how or what, but we believe in the player Sergino and I assume that he will be fit again. We would very much like to keep him at PSV.”

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