PSV defender and USMNT star Sergiño Dest openly wonders why his home country organizes the Copa América, one of the most prestigious international tournaments in world soccer.
The Copa América, CONMEBOL’s flagship cup competition, is traditionally hosted by South American nations, but has previously been held outside the continent.
“I would love to have had it (the Copa America) in South America,” Dest said. The Athletic.
‘In my opinion, the future is the most important thing, above money and all that, so I’m a little disappointed that it’s not in one of those nations. That’s where it started and where it should be.
“It’s like you’re playing the European Championship in Africa. It doesn’t make sense to me. But nowadays everything is about money.
USMNT winger Sergiño Dest questioned the decision to host the Copa América in the United States
‘I would love to have seen him in Brazil or Colombia and see that passion for football.
‘It should be a matter of culture; For fans it is, but for others, unfortunately, it’s a business.’
The Copa América has been held outside of CONMEBOL before: when the United States brought the 2016 edition of the tournament to American shores.
Ecuador was supposed to host the 2024 Copa América. However, the country refused to host the tournament in November 2022 when organizers said it would not be possible to host the competition. CONMEBOL then chose to hand over the tournament to the United States.
Regardless of where the tournament is played, Dest says the USMNT is hoping to improve its form at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a competition in which the right back started all four games.
“We are a young team and when we went to the 2022 World Cup we were on an upward curve, but we also had some setbacks,” says Dest.
‘However, the line does not always go up, it can go down. We need to get back on track now, get back together. At this moment I think that if we played the World Cup tomorrow we would not be prepared.
“The Cup can have a big effect and we will also see where we are, but even that will be (four) months from now.” In that time, a lot can still happen.
Dest says he would prefer to play in Brazil or Colombia to see his passion.
Just a few months ago, Dest was thrown out of a match against Trinidad and Tobago in a fit of rage.
‘The warm-up match against Colombia (which will be played in June before the tournament starts) will be incredible. A great opponent against whom we can test ourselves.”
That match against Colombia will be played in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, with another match against Brazil being played at a location to be determined.
After that, the USMNT will play its group stage matches against Bolivia in Dallas on June 23, against Panama in Atlanta on June 27, and against Uruguay in Kansas City on July 2.
Notably, Dest was sent off in a match against Trinidad and Tobago to qualify for the Copa América because he lost his temper with referee Walter López.
Despite the loss in the game, the United States officially qualified for the competition in global terms.