Red Bulls’ Sacha Kljestan gets USMNT call-up

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by JACK HAZZARD

Finally.

New York Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan will return to the United States Men’s National Team after spending well over two years away from the international stage. The 30-year-old midfielder replaces Hertha Berlin center back John Brooks, who will sit out due to “back issues.”

Kljestan has earned a meager 11 caps under Jurgen Klinsmann — a small total when compared with Kljestan’s 46 career caps under former U.S. manager Bob Bradley. He last appeared for the U.S. in a 2-0 friendly loss to Ukraine on March 5, 2014 in Lanarca, Cyprus. Since joining Major League Soccer, Kljestan has impressed profoundly, becoming a pivotal cog for the New York Red Bulls and their current playoff push. Over the span of the MLS season, he has tallied a jaw-dropping 15 assists, a stat that sees the former Anderlecht midfielder lead the league.

Kljestan’s success has begged many to ask why he has not yet been looked at by Jurgen Klinsmann. As it stands, the German manager typically tends to resort to the same core midfielders within each call-up, with few notable exceptions. The likes of Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, and Kyle Beckerman seem to never miss an opportunity to represent their country, despite Kljestan outperforming all three in league play.

But the Seton Hall product has had a standout MLS campaign, making him too hard to ignore. Kljestan has been a pivotal player for both his club and his league. With most Klinsmann’s midfielders returning to the MLS, this seems like the perfect time to call up the 30-year-old Red Bulls captain.

Here is the updated USMNT roster:

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)

DEFENDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)

 

 

  • slowleftarm

    Long overdue. I hope he actually plays though otherwise I’d prefer he be available for RBNY’s game in Vancouver.

    • Eddie

      kidding me right ?

  • Bird man

    Finally so he can shut up :)
    He acts like he’s the best player in MLS and for the national team.

  • Doug

    Honestly his last couple of caps he has been a major disappointment. Hopefully he proves he is worthy. He hasn’t lately at the international level.

    • slowleftarm

      He hasn’t played for the USMNT in two and half years. He’s been in great form this year for RBNY so if it’s ever going to happen for him with the USMNT now is the time.

      • Doug

        We will see I guess. I just don’t think he is talented enough. He has been better for NY, but he has had a bunch of opportunity and has never put it together for the national team. I seriously hope he does, selfishly.

        • Eddie

          I agree he is just ok this is not warranted.

  • OpenCupFan

    This is truly big news, someone in #bushLEAGUEmls actually being called up to the NT. Good for Sasha – aka Little Finger.

    • slowleftarm

      Which NASL players are in the team? Surely the global brand out in Hempstead produces national team players right?

      • Eddie

        cause the MLS is in bed the USMNT – wake up and drink a redbull

      • Eric B

        Nice being owned by a Nazi front group