Americans Abroad

Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

Sacha Kljestan (Getty Images)


Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht were on the verge of ending their UEFA Champions League campaign before it ever really got started, but two goals in the final nine minutes of their second leg against AEL changed that.

Anderlecht punched their ticket to the group stage of the Champions League, earning a 3-2 aggregate victory after defeating the Cyprus club, 2-0, at home in the final play-off round on Tuesday. Kljestan started and went the distance in the match and became the third American to reach the group phase of the tournament, joining Schalke 04's Jermaine Jones and Michael Parkhurst of FC Nordsjaelland. The draw for who Kljestan and Anderlecht will take on in the next phase of the competition will take place Thursday.

Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City were not as fortunate in their respective tournament, but the versatile American scored his first goal as a member of Birmingham City in their 3-2 extra time loss to Coventry City in the second round of the Capital One Cup. Spector netted the equalizer that gave Birmingham a lifeline and pushed the game an extra 30 minutes, but the Blues surrendered a goal in the 97th minute and they were not able to respond.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did on Tuesday:

  • Sacha Kljestan started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in RSC Anderlecht's 2-0 win (3-2 aggregate victory) vs. AEL in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off round series.
  • Jonathan Spector started, played 120 minutes, and scored a GOAL in Birmingham City's 3-2 extra time loss vs. Coventry City in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

  • Mike Grella started and played 79 minutes in Scunthorpe United's 2-1 loss vs. Norwich City in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Brad Guzan started and played 90 minutes in Aston Villa's 3-0 win vs. Tranmere Rovers in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes for Aston Villa.
  • Geoff Cameron started, played 120 minutes and was involved in the build up to two goals in Stoke City's 4-3 extra time loss vs. Swindon Town in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Robbie Rogers started and played 62 minutes in Stevenage's 4-1 loss vs. Southampton in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Zak Whitbread started and played 90 minutes in Leicester City's 4-2 loss vs. Burton Albion in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Frank Simek dressed but did not play in Carlisle United's 2-1 extra time win vs. Ipswich Town in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Robbie Findley did not dress in Nottingham Forest's 4-1 loss vs. Wigan Athletic in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Clint Dempsey did not dress in Fulham's 1-0 loss vs. Sheffield Wednesday in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers' 2-1 loss vs. Crawley Town in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.


What do you think of these performances? Impressed with Kljestan and Anderlecht advancing to the group stage? Happy that Spector scored his first goal for Birmingham or more disappointed with their elimination?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Sergio Hernandez

    Really impressed with how quickly Cameron has adjusted to his new team. Can’t wait for the highlights. I wonder if Klinsmann will give Spector and Sacha another look.


  • Beckster

    Very happy to see Specs back from an almost 6 month absence and thrilled for his goal. More impressive that he was playing right back at the time and not midfield. Too bad Birmingham is out and Packwood didn’t get to play but the Blues have big problems so far this season so the elimination may be the least of their worries.


  • Beckster

    Yes….it is the Football League Cup which was previously sponsored by Carling and now Capital One.


  • apw40

    Mousa Dembele has been sold to Spurs for £15 million, confirmed on Fulham’s official website.

    Well look at that, a genuine bid is accepted. With the right offer, Fulham sell


  • rjrkr44krnnenwni2po33

    So Sascha is now in the CL. Congrats to him. Hope good play can help him make a move to France or Italy.

    Cameron is on his way to becoming “Player of the Year” for Stoke.

    I had no idea Rogers moved already. Wasn’t it just a week ago when the whole situation came up that Leeds wanted him out.


  • Eric

    Not related but I’m seeing reports that Bocanegra is back in the US to sign with Chicago.


  • CplDaniel

    I call it the League Cup…avoids confusion now that they are changing the name every year and using international companies that could be sponsoring countless cups around the world. Stop contributing to confusion soccer bloggers/reporters. Just call it the League Cup unless somebody is directly paying you to call it anything else.


  • Lost in Space

    Not sure either Spector or Sacha have done enough for anothe look. They are both playing in Center Mid where we’ve got a number of players performing right now.


  • biff

    I watched the last 20 minutes of the Anderlecht match, during which the two goals were scored. Was impressed with Anderlecht as a team–and with Sacha Kljestan. They were skilled and strong on attack (as they would have to be to score twice in the dying minutes) and were playing their hearts out. Looked like a very good team to me, playing an exciting brand of soccer. The fan support was awesome, and the coach after the second goal went berserk, first jumping for joy and then falling to the ground and rolling around hugging an assistant coach. Was hilarious.


  • Dave

    Does anyone know when Holden is supposed to come back? He’s been out for over a year (except or a fe games where he rinjured himself). I hope he can be the same player.


  • WayDownInTexas

    Did you guys know Klijestan is banging a Victoria’s Secret Angel? I had NO Idea, must be the Mustache.


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