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Kljestan scores again, Friedel redeems himself in penalty shootout

Sacha Kljestan Anderlecht 2 (Getty Images)


Make that two straight goal-scoring games for Sacha Kljestan.

Three days after scoring in less than a minute for RSC Anderlecht in a 1-1 draw with Standard Liege, Kljestan once again found the back of the net for his club in a 3-0 road win over KV Oostende on Wednesday. Kljestan capped the scoring with a rebound in the 73rd minute, raising his season total to six goals.

Brad Friedel also got on the scoresheet on Wednesday, but he did so against his own team before redeeming himself in a penalty shooutout. Friedel scored an own goal equalizer that allowed Hull City to take Tottenham to extra time in a Capital One Cup match that finished deadlocked at 2-2 after 120 minutes, but the American goalkeeper made sure to make up for his awful blunder and send Spurs through by doing well to stop Ahmed Elmohamady on the game’s final kick. Tottenham won, 8-7, on penalties.

What do you think of Kljestan scoring again for Anderlecht? Do you see him earning a U.S. Men’s National Team call-up next month? Surprised by Friedel’s blunder, or simply impressed with the way he responded?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Agreed the whole tax thing is hurting France but they should give MLS a view. Loads of cheap talent that would only cost them 100-150 K a player a season though of course those same players could get 500 K a season if they play in England, even in the Championship.

    The Premier League is a league where an average striker like Andy Caroll can make 6 million a year.

    That being said. I expect Sacha to either remain with Anderlecht for a few more years or try his hand in Ligue 1 or perhaps Italy. His wife is becoming a big name in modeling right?

  2. CM is the deepest position within the USMNT. And while Kljestan is a good player he may not make the final cut for Brazil…
    # 6 CDM – Bradley>Jones>Cameron>Beckerman>Williams/Kitchen
    # 8 2 Way – Bradley>Jones>Mixx/Kljestan/Torres>O’Brian>Powers

    Unless Bradley or Jones have a significant drop-off or injury it will be hard for Kljestan to make the final cut.

    • I think that’s a little off. There are so many of those guys that are versatile enough to play different roles.

      I won’t get too specific because of the number of players you listed, but for instance Bradley could play as a classic #8 or a box to box, deep lying playmaker. In fact I think he could play any CM role besides the two radicals roles of the central midfield spectrum. The Makelele role or an attacking mid.

  3. Pretty remarkable run by Kljestan. So far this season he probably has almost as many goals as he has had in his prior career at Anderlecht.

  4. Another year or so of being cultivated there and maybe he’ll try a move to France. I take it him and his wife really love Belgium so I could really see them appreciating France and willing to try and live there.

    Valenciennes FC and RC Lens (current contenders for a Ligue 1 spot) come to mind because of their proximity to Belgium, but I’m sure if given the chance to play in Ligue 1 he might not care where the club is located.

    • Good points, hope he gets the chance and makes the move. I imagine the pay would be better, but the French income tax is a lot higher, so who knows.

      • The new Income Tax on people making over 1M euro is 75%. Ligue 1 players are about to go on strike over the hike, so would expect players to shy away from Ligue 1 until this is addressed. Which is a same since they do have a very competitive league that many American players could benifit from playing in.

      • Yeah, it’s one of the “I’m not a girl, not yet a women leagues”…………which is perfect really for a lot of our guys in future who are trying to step up from Scandinavia or Belgium and Holland

  5. Friedel’s OG was not a blunder. I watched the match and many replays. It was an extremely close range misfire right at him that bounced off him into the goal. No keeper could have reacted fast enough to stop it or cause it to bounce in a different direction. Why does the author call it a “blunder”? He obviously didn’t see the actual goal. He simply assumed it was a blunder because it was credited as an Own-Goal.

    • Yes, I agree. I got the same impression after watching the goal. Would’ve been very hard for any goalkeeper to react differently.

    • I’ve seen it reported that way elsewhere, too. Maybe there’s an AP summary of the game that describes it as Friedel’s mistake or something?

    • Very much agreed. The goal was really not Friedel’s fault. The Spurs defense got shredded and left him hung out to dry with all those guys open in the box. He was already on the ground and the ball was smacked into him from close range. Calling it an “awful blunder” is awful harsh.

    • remember it was a US B squad vs a Swedish B squad but you’re right. He starred in that match which was early 2009 and around the time of CELTIC being interested in him. They gave up but it all worked out well for him. Now playing on the best team in Belgium and in the CL for the 2nd season running. shame he missed out on the 2010 WC

      • Missing the World Cup, helped Kljestan grow as a player, while the World Cup basically destroyed Clark.

  6. 6 goals in 12 league matches

    since when did he become a striker?

    dude should move to Italy next summer or Spain. I know he’ll be 29 but he’s a cheap buy and a small club might be interested. Or stay at Anderlecht and continue their championship winning ways

  7. I struggle to see where Kljestan fits into the USMNT, and it has to do with the system the US plays. He looks comfortable as a midfielder in a 4-3-3 for his club, but has looked out of place in a 4-2-3-1 as the #7 or #11 where JK has tended to play Kljestan as a substitute. Maybe if he could play centrally with a strong defensive midfield partner it’d work; someone like Jones or Cameron. There’s no doubt we need cover in that postition based on the recent Bradley injury.

    • his team has played 4-2-3-1 almost the entire time i’ve followed them. and he plays the #8 type of role next to the #6. like you said, JK plays him usually out of position in the US, but he certainly is extremely familiar with playing in a 4-2-3-1.

    • You mean like how he started against Panama partnered with Beckerman, who is much stronger from a purely defensive standpoint (positioning) than either Cameron or Jones?

    • He looked terrific when he briefly played in a 4-3-3 in between Jones and Mix at the end of the last Jamaica qualifier. (I happen to think 4-3-3 is the best setup for the US in general, since it clearly defines Jones as the defensive mid and Bradley as the two way CM.) You’re right – putting him centrally with a strong defensive midfield option (and with another creative mid ahead of him) is the way to get the most out of him. I happen to think he’s our best Bradley replacement from a fit/role standpoint, though obviously there’s a huge gap between him and Bradley.

  8. Klestjan gets called up and plays in both games because for all of the talk about how deep US CM pool is there isn’t much CONSISTENT quality past Bradley and Jones-Mixx, Beckerman, Klestjan and Cameron are up and down fro game to game. Assuming Cameron provides cover for three spots (CB, RB and CM) and that JK does not settle on a spot for him (hasn’t happened yet), Beckerman, Klestjan and Mixx fight it out for two spots on the WC roster. Edu may make his way into the conversation with a loan in January, but his time is quickly running out, same with Frank Williams-remember him?


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