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Kljestan determined to force his way back into the USMNT picture

Sacha Kljestan 1 (USA TODAY Sports)


Sacha Kljestan is back in Major League Soccer, and he is determined to play his way back into the U.S. Men’s National Team picture.

The New York Red Bulls midfielder made it clear he plans to do his best to convince Jurgen Klinsmann to bring him back into the national team fold, telling Goal USA that a return to the U.S. team is a high priority for him.

“I always think about the national team. I still think I can help the national team in different ways,” Kljestan told Goal USA. “Yes, it has been frustrating over the years, playing a lot of big games in the Champions League, playing in Champions League three times in a row, establishing myself in Europe as a consistent starter. I thought I did a lot of things to warrant maybe a few more chances with the national team, but it’s out of my control.

“I’m doing everything I can possible to have the national team coach recognize my talent, to hopefully see that I can be an asset to his team,” Kljestan said. “Obviously I hope to have a very good season in MLS and get recalled to the national team at some point in the next year.

“I’m just going to do my part and hope to force (Klinsmann’s) hand to select me basically.”

Give the Goal USA Kljestan story a read and let us know what you think about his situation. See him being able to help the USMNT? Think Klinsmann has been right to leave him out of the mix?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Jurgen loves playing players out of position, and Sacha is not a player who does well when forced into a role that doesn’t suit his strengths.

    To be honest, I’m not sure putting him on the left and asking him to replace Henry plays to his strengths either. He belongs in that Alexander role, beside/slightly ahead of Dax.

    • Joamiq,

      If you pick the best the keeper, the best right back, the best left back, the best left sided center back , the best right side center back and so on down the line do you know what you get?

      You get eleven guys who are the best at that particular position.

      Does that mean you have the best TEAM?

      I don’t think it necessarily works that way.

  2. Klejstan will be a great resource in the next couple years to fill out Gold Cup and WCQ’s rosters against the lower-tier CONCACAF teams that he has excelled against.

  3. I like Klejstan! I see he Ana Mixx as quite similar players. Both creative and skilled enough… But ultimately lacking any standout quality that makes them difference makers…add to this that he is older and has many more appearances than the younger option w/ upside and it’s easy to see why he has been in the outside. I do think he should have gotten calls more regularly when he and Anderlecht were in the UCL/EUROPA LEAGUE (and he played major role in thus success). But it was not to be due timing, Injuries and etc.

    At this point we have far too many of the same player because our system produces the same kind of player…there’s an expression…”six of one, half dozen of the other.”

  4. Sasha’s game at the intl hasnt translated well. But im all for competition. Hopefully, He plays and pushes MB90 out of his slump

  5. Admire the desire.. States publicly he wants to be in th USMNT picture.. Nothing wrong with that..

    Add that to the fact that the midfield will definetly see new faces transition in..

    That fact remains that Klestan had his shot.. Most recently in the final USMNT camp leading up to the 14 Cup..

    This guy was at one point rated slightly ahead of Clint Dempsey in terms of potential..

    Just hasnt influenced a game when the lights were on..

    Who knows what this season holds..

    Anything can happen

  6. Im not a big Kljestan fan, but honestly is Mix really any better? I would argue they have a similar skill set with Sacha having a bit more club success and Mix’s enjoying more success on the International level.

    It all boils down to JK the mad scientist.

    • Atx_colin,

      If you are the US manager do you want the guy who plays better for his club than he does for the US or the guy who plays better for the US than he does for his club?

      • I would want the player that plays better for country. I honestly don’t see either as a great option. It will be interesting to se who has a better year between the two. With both players playing in the MLS it will be a good measuring stick.

    • He was MLS Best XI before leaving for Anderlecht, and he’s a better player now, so I don’t see why he can’t play at that level this year.

      • I hope you correct,…but MLS is improving every year. It’s not the league he left. Good for him though,….he should have such aspirations.

  7. Kljestan has been given a lot of chances, and after awhile, if you haven’t done enough with those chances, the film will only hurt you.

    Same goes for Danny Williams. While he’s starting for a good Championship side, his past performances for the USMNT are full of bonehead plays and missed opportunities.

    These players can certainly mature and get better, but it’s hard to break the mold they’ve made for themselves.

    • Kljestan is a Box-to-Box midfielder. In the current player pool his competition is:
      Bradley, Jones, Diskerud, Bedoya, Zusi, Torres, Trapp, Zelalem, Gil, etc….
      Danny Williams is more of a CDM. He plays the cleanup role ala Beckerman. The CDM competition for Williams is:
      Jones, Cameron, Beckerman, Morales, Kitchen, Canouse, Stanko

      Kljestan has a long road to get back into the conversation as a USMNT player. Williams on the other hand is in a prime spot to replace either Jones or Beckerman as a CDM.
      BTW, both Williams & Diskerud are significantly younger and faster than Kljestan. In the type of game JK wants to build towards (high pressure) I would take either or both over SK.

  8. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…..

    Kljestan has been given so many opportunities to do anything with the Nats. The only thing I can remember was the hat trick vs an understaffed Sweden and a decent showing against a terrible South Africa team.

    • And every other time i remember him playing in tucked in from the wing…because that’s clearly where he’s made his living as a soccer player.

  9. 100% true….. Kljestan should be going up against Bradely or Jermaine Jones….not being left off the USMNT for players like Beckerman, Alfredo Morales, Luis Gil etc. You got a point man, just like other players you are underrated, on a large scale

  10. See him being able to help the USMNT?
    No. Kljestan appears to be an average club player but below average international player.

    Think Klinsmann has been right to leave him out of the mix?
    Kljestan has been given opportunities for years dating back before Klinsmann and is largely underwhelming each and every time.

    • I wouldn’t rule out seeing him in the future for the USMNT so easily. He’s forced his way into Klinsmann’s fold before, and i wouldn’t put it past him to do so again.

      If his latest season with Anderlecht is any indication of what to expect of his form, then i’d say there’s a good chance chance of him having a outstanding year in MLS.

      Despite his role for Anderlecht being relegated to substitute appearances and European ties, he still managed to score, assist or second assist at an impressive rate.

      • Good for Sacha; competition is a rare and valuable thing for the USMNT.

        His biggest problem is Mix Diskerud.who has been playing the position that Sacha would most likely be playing.

        Interestingly, Mix has 27 caps and 5 goals while Sacha has 47 caps and 4 goals so Sacha has his work cut out for him.

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