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Kljestan dealing with broken nose heading into USMNT’s clash with Mexico

Photo by Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Sacha Kljestan is battling an injury that could prove much more limiting than it appears on the surface.

The New York Red Bulls midfielder suffered a broken nose in his team’s loss to the Montreal Impact over the weekend. Kljestan is dealing with “clean little breaks” in his nose, and will wear headgear in training leading up to Friday’s clash between the U.S. Men’s National Team and Mexico.

“It’s broken in a couple of places,” Kljestan said. “It was a pretty bad hit, but I think they’re going to build me a mask and I’ll be OK. It will be interesting, but I’ll get used to it quickly and I’ll be ready to go.

“I had never seen so much blood,” he added. “The difficult part for me was that the blood was coming down my throat, so they didn’t want to let me back on the field until it stopped going down my throat and was just coming out of my nose.”

Kljestan returned to the USMNT picture this fall, solidifying a regular role in the midfield following a pair of strong performances in World Cup qualifiers. The Red Bulls midfielder remains a candidate to start on Friday, and most recently joined Michael Bradley in the midfield for a pair of USMNT friendlies.


  1. Having broken my nose during a game I know the problems he faced during the game it was broken (hard to breath, worried about taking another hit to the face, etc…). The good news is that once the bones are set most of the issues are resolved, especially if he wares a mask.

    • Guessing you didn’t see the game, he took a hard elbow in the face and was pouring blood and coughing up blood, took probably 10 minutes to get him back in, and he didn’t whine he played on.

      • No shine-o-la. I hope that there’s a disciplinary review of Donadel’s malicious play.

        Watching it various times on replay, Donadel checks over his shoulder to get a fix on Kljestan, and then delivers a resounding elbow to Sacha’s nose indicating intent. Sure they were both challenging for the ball, but Donadel had position on Kljestan. Montreal knew the value of taking Kljestan out early in the game, and for the remaining 60 mins, he was largely ineffective.

        The upshot is that Donadel has probably put a serious dent in the USMNT chances of winning on Friday. Even with a mask, I can’t imagine Sacha will be anywhere near as threatening as he would need to be in creating chances, and I don’t know that anyone else can fill that role for the US.

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