By FRANCO PANIZO
Sacha Kljestan has quietly put together a solid season for RSC Anderlecht, but he made some noise in the club's latest win on Sunday.
Kljestan scored his third goal of the season (fourth across all competitions) in Anderlecht's 4-2 win over Racing Genk when he fired home a free kick from 30 yards out. After a teammate dummied a kick, Kljestan hit a shot to the far post that swerved slightly before beating Genk's wrong-footed goalkeeper.
Two others Americans also contributed this weekend, though they did so against one another. Edgar Castillo helped Club Tijuana get off to a dream start by delivering an assist early in its match against Puebla. Unfortunately for Castillo and Xolos, DaMarcus Beasley helped Puebla earn a 1-1 draw when he drew a penalty kick that was converted, a contribution that came a week after he scored a winning goal.
On the wrong end of a penalty kick call was Oguchi Onyewu, who endured arguably the toughest outing of any American this weekend. Playing against Gil Vicente in the Taca da Liga (Portuguese League Cup), Onyewu was sent off after picking up a second yellow card on an early second-half foul. The spot kick was converted and Sporting CP was unable to respond, getting knocked out of the tournament with the 1-0 result.
Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:
- Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made 2 saves in Everton's 1-1 draw vs. Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
- Landon Donovan started and played 90 minutes for Everton.
- Marcus Hahnemann did not dress for Everton.
- Clint Dempsey started and played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Fulham's 3-0 loss vs. Manchester City on Saturday.
- Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Liverpool on Monday.
- Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 2-1 loss vs. Newcastle United on Sunday.
- Eric Lichaj dressed but did not play for Aston Villa.
- Stuart Holden did not dress in Bolton Wanderers' 2-0 loss vs. Norwich City on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Tim Ream did not dress for Bolton Wanderers.
- Zak Whitbread started and played 40 minutes before being subbed off with an injury in Norwich City's 2-0 win vs. Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
- Adam Henley did not dress in Blackburn Rovers' 7-1 loss vs. Arsenal on Saturday.
- Jonathan Spector started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City's 0-0 draw vs. Southampton on Saturday.
- Conor Doyle and Derby County's match vs. Nottingham Forest on Sunday was postponed because of a frozen playing surface.
- Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest's match vs. Derby County on Sunday was postponed because of a frozen playing surface.
- Daniel Potts did not dress in West Ham United's 2-1 win vs. Millwall on Saturday.
- George John did not dress for West Ham United.
- Robbie Rogers dressed but did not play in Leeds United's 3-0 win vs. Bristol City on Saturday.
- Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle United's 2-1 win vs. Chesterfield on Saturday.
- Anton Peterlin and Walsal's match vs. Scunthorpe United on Saturday was postponed because of a frozen playing surface.
- Mike Grella and Brentford's match vs. Preston North End on Saturday was postponed because of a frozen playing surface.
- Maurice Edu started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Rangers' 2-0 loss vs. Dundee United in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup on Sunday.
- Carlos Bocanegra started and played 90 minutes for Rangers.
- Alejandro Bedoya did not dress for Rangers.
- Dominic Cervi did not dress in Celtic's 1-0 win vs. Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the fifth round of Scottish Cup on Saturday.
- Michael Bradley started and played 90 minutes in Chievo Verona's 2-1 loss vs. Parma on Sunday.
- Steve Cherundolo started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Hannover 96's 1-0 win vs. Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
- Jermaine Jones did not dress in Schalke 04's 1-1 draw vs. Mainz 05 on Saturday. He is currently serving an eight-week suspension.
- Timmy Chandler came off the bench and played 30 minutes in FC Nurnberg's 2-0 loss vs. Borussia Dortmund on Friday.
- Fabian Johnson started and played 90 minutes in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's 2-2 draw vs. FC Augsburg on Saturday.
- Danny Williams started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
- Joe Gyau did not dress for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
- Terrence Boyd did not dress in Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 win vs. FC Nurnberg on Friday.
- Alfredo Morales started and played 90 minutes in Hertha Berlin's 1-0 loss vs. Hannover 96 on Saturday.
- David Yelldell did not dress in Bayer Leverkusen's 2-2 draw vs. VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
- Ricardo Clark did not dress in Eintracht Frankfurt's 2-1 loss vs. Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday.
- Luis Robles did not dress in Karlsruher SC's 2-1 loss vs. FC Erzgebirge Aue on Sunday.
- Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Energie Cottbus on Monday.
- Matt Taylor dressed but did not play in SC Paderborn 07's 3-2 win vs. FC Union Berlin on Friday.
- Quentin Westberg dressed but did not play in Evian Thonon Gaillard's 3-1 loss vs. Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.
- Charlie Davies and Sochaux's match vs. Lille on Sunday was postponed because of a frozen playing surface.
- Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar's match vs. ADO Den Haag on Saturday was postponed because of a frozen playing surface.
- Oguchi Onyewu started, played 54 minutes, received two yellow cards and committed a foul for a penalty kick in Sporting CP's 1-0 loss vs. Gil Vicente in the Portuguese League Cup on Saturday.
- Sacha Kljestan started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in RSC Anderlecht's 4-2 win vs. Racing Genk on Sunday.
- Mikkel Diskerud dressed but did not play in KAA Gent's 3-2 win vs. OH Leuven on Saturday.
- Jose Torres started and played 90 minutes in Pachuca's 4-3 win vs. Toluca on Sunday.
- Herculez Gomez came off the bench and played 14 minutes in Santos Laguna's 2-1 win vs. Pumas UNAM on Saturday.
- Sonny Guadarrama did not dress Atlante's 3-2 win vs. Queretaro on Saturday.
- Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play America on Sunday evening.
- DaMarcus Beasley started, and played 55 minutes and drew a penalty kick in Puebla's 1-1 draw vs. Club Tijuana on Sunday.
- Adrian Ruelas did not dress in Jaguares de Chiapas' 2-0 loss vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.
- Michael Orozco Fiscal started and played 62 minutes in San Luis' 3-0 loss vs. Monterrey on Saturday.
- Edgar Castillo started, played 90 minutes and had an ASSIST in Club Tijuana's 1-1 draw vs. Puebla on Sunday.
- Joe Corona started and played 69 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Greg Garza did not dress for Club Tijuana.
What do you think of these performances? Do you want to see Kljestan back in the U.S. national team fold? Would you like to see Beasley and Castillo starting on the left side against Italy later this month? Surprised by Onyewu's rough outing?
Share your thoughts below.
So I know Kljestan plays “central midfield” but I’m not quite sure what kind of role he plays for Anderlecht and how that would translate to the USMNT.
“But rangers gets to play a lot of challenging teams outside the EPL.”
Maybe. But they usually lose to them and get quickly knocked out of Europe. And then they spend the rest of their time beating up on teams a couple of levels below them in the SPL.
You’ll have to ask Edwin in LA about that;
I’m not the one interested in capping players based on how the league of their club team is ranked.
The fact that a player plays in a highly ranked league is just one more variable to throw into the pot when evaluating a player, not the deciding factor.
Bedoya looked very good for the US for a while when he played in Sweden (#24) and everyone gets all moist over Mix and Gatt and they play in Norway (#26).
And just to answer your particular question :
Mo has regressed since moving to Scotland. Had he moved some place more challenging my belief is he would not now be the inconsistent, peripheral figure he is for the USMNT.
Boca spent years in the EPL, and Lige 1 so a year or two in Scotland while winding down his career isn’t likely to suddenly drain his powers.
I hope that’s sarcasm seeing as Anderlecht is still in the Europa League and Rangers crashed out before the group stage…
Jonathan Bornstein dressed but did not play as Tigres UANL defeated America 1-0
But rangers gets to play a lot of challenging teams outside the EPL. Like when they are in Europa or make it to champion leagues.
Just for reference: Scotland is 18th, yet Boca and Edu are good enough for Nats duty?
Good for Sasha. The guy deserves another shot, period. That is too bad that Gooch had a terrible game after such a great game. Changes nothing in my mind though…guy is a beast and a solid defender. Love having him in the USMNT.
Hope Beasley can continue! We could absolutely use him in top form.
that makes no sense. this guy clearly deserves another try. i didn’t like him awhile ago, but he has worked hard for it and earned a called up. we need someone in the center of mid who can get forward better than what we have seen.
This. The guy has been out of his slump for a while but people can’t get over it. He’s combines skill and creativity/awareness with high work rate, stamina, and bite on defense. The fact that he couldn’t get a shot in a country where he plays is ridiculous and a pretty good sign that Juergen is commited to playing a certain way and not the best way.
…He’s one of the best central midfielders in Belgium…. But he’s still not good enough….
I personally think we should leave Kyle Beckerman for guys like Sacha. Jones, Bradley, and Edu are all enough defensive midfielders, not to mention Danny Williams.
He gets flak for the slump he had from 2009 to about end of 2010 but he’s been good for a long while. It’s about time to get past the previous run of poor form and realize that Sacha is back and better than ever.
” Let him move to a more challenging league… maybe a France or Portugal or even Holland. ”
Two years ago is an absolute eternity in soocer. If your hatred of Sacha is based on his play two years ago then your hatred is illogical.
UEFA ranks their leagues as follows, France #5, Portugal #6, Netherlands #9.
Belgium is ranked #12.
Couldn’t find a ranking for 2nd Division teams but it’s reasonable to assume Bundesliga 2 is probably below Belgium or thereabouts.
Anderlecht is a fine club and there are not many Americans playing regularly at a higher level.
If excelling for Anderlecht can’t get you on the current USMNT roster it’s not because the level of play at Anderlecht is not high enough.
I feel the same way. And I can admit that most of the anti-Sacha feeling for me come from a place that is rightfully about 2 years old.. and when I saw him completely SUCK in MLS for Chivas after having a career 08 year and then his hat-trick vs Sweeden’s B team in 09’s Camp Cupcake, but the failed transfer to Celtic sort of really affected him.
It looks like he’s cemented himself as one of the best central midfielders in all of Belgium’s league, but I’m not ready to see him in the US call ups again. Let him move to a more challenging league… maybe a France or Portugal or even Holland. Hell if he went to Spain’s lower La Liga teams or one of the top 2nd Division teams I might even be willing to see him come back.
High Bundesliga 2 to bottom half Bundesliga wouldn’t be bad either?
Part of the hatred directed at Castillo was he was supposed to save the world from the curse of Bornstein.
When he proved to be a fairly similar player, the Mexican annonucers have at times referred to him as “Cementhead”,US fans were probably embarrassed at their ignorance and immediately moved on. There is also the Zimmerman real american faction that hates him for having a choice. You know, the same people who believe that you should be allowed to marry only once.
“The hate” is a direct result of his aptitude at destroying offensive movements. He can’t cross and has an average shot. He has good pace and skill but he loses the ball too easily under pressure. He plays fine in Mexico because defending is against the rules there.
Good there. Not good enough for the international level. He can’t even look like he belongs in a friendly.
As of now Lichaj, Chandler, and Johnson are all better options. If we want to go with the “fast but small and can’t defend well” model of LB we have Damarcus, who coincidentally also is able to produce in Mexico.
Beasley in Beast mode in Mexico makes me happy. Sasha’s shot was nice… I hope he never gets called in for us though. Buah buah buuuah.
Castillo doing a decent job so far as well.
Gooch had a not so good game, but he’s been is Beast mode for a while now, so he gets a pass.
+1 I am one of half a dozen or so USMNT fans who thought Edgar Castillo showed potential in the friendlies last autumn. I was puzzled by all the hate directed toward him. It is good to see him starting and playing well. If he keeps playing and improving, Klinsmann no doubt will give him another shot to earn a USMNT slot.
Why aren’t your clubs playing, despite these supposed “frozen surfaces”?
Would you like to see what real frozen surfaces look like during this time of year for many US cities?
I believe it was a 6 month type of thing…. So probably not till summer will be able to play and try to get in match form?
Really sucks, he could of helped a lot in the Gold Cup and with Klinsmann’s more possession oriented formations and style of play
Sacha… shave it off dog.
An Osorio sighting!
Saurez’ goal was spectacular.
i see what you did there lol
Based on the video, he could probably still score from 100 ft away.
Sacha says “Get your damn hands off her”
nice stache sasha. someone needs to tell him that combing your hair WITH a stash is creeper-status-keep-100ft-from-schools.
Debruyne is still there Chelsea bought him bought allowed gene to keep him on loan for the season, he played today
Suarez goal was better. Genk missed Debruyne, nieuwe chelsea player.
Kljestan looks so THIN in that photo. But the facial expressions are interesting.
there were 30 meters no 30 yards…
Hope he gets called into the Nats squad for the friendly v Italy.
Any idea when Holden will be coming back? I know he got re-injured, but I feel that was a while ago. Has anyone seen updates on his progress? He was turning into a star over there before all the injuries…
That’s it! Gooch should never ever play for the United States again!
(In case you can’t tell, I’m being facetious.)
Nice goal from Sacha
In watching the Xolos game, one could not come away but to say that Castillo is showing much better form. Not ready to say call him up, but he should be on the radar. Third or fourth game were he has shown himself positively for Xolos.