Americans Abroad: Kljestan scores in CL qualifier, Cherundolo captain and more

Sacha Kljestan 1 (Getty Images)  

By FRANCO PANIZO

Sacha Kljestan has had less than two months to adjust to life in Europe and with new club RSC Anderlecht, but he is already making his presence felt.

In his first UEFA Champions League start on Tuesday, Kljestan opened the scoring in the first leg of the third round qualifying fixture against Welsh club The New Saints. Kljestan netted in the seventh minute, paving the way for a 3-1 Anderlecht victory at Racehorse Ground in Wrexham, Wales.

Kljestan and Anderlecht will host the second leg at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium in Brussels on Aug. 3.

Here is some more Americans Abroad news from Tuesday:

Cherundolo named Hannover captain

Steve Cherundolo has spent all his 11 professional seasons with Hannover 96, and for the first time in his career he has been appointed the team's captain.

Hannover head coach Mirko Slomka appointed Cherundolo as captain during the team's training camp this week after the spot was left vacant due to Hanno Ballitsch's departure for Bayer Leverkusen earlier this summer. 

Cherundolo, Hannover's longest-serving player, agreed to a three-year contract extension in late June. He has served as deputy captain for the club in the past.

Peterlin signs with Plymouth Argyle

United States college product Anton Peterlin is set to sign with Championship club Plymouth Argyle on a one-year deal. A former Cal Poly SLO product, Peterlin will have a chance to make his European debut with Plymouth after impressing the club's new manager Peter Reid.

Peterlin was under contract with Everton last season but failed to make a first-team appearance. The 23-year-old midfielder was released by the club in June.

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What do you think of Kljestan scoring in a Champions League qualifier? How do you see Cherundolo faring as captain? Think Peterlin will succeed at Plymouth Argyle? 

Share your thoughts below.

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83 Responses to Americans Abroad: Kljestan scores in CL qualifier, Cherundolo captain and more

  1. Red says:

    First, let me say that all items of this Americans Abroad update are much needed improvements for the three parties.

    However, I’ve been hearing quite a few people getting excited over Sacha’s recent form. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t see The New Saints beating the Crew of the Galaxy. The Welsh League (despite whatever rankings) is < MLS. Nevertheless, I hope to see this form regularly throughout all competitions. Good luck Sacha.

  2. spencer says:

    Nothing ever to get excited over with Kljestan. He is a good club player but royally sucks for the national team. Maybe this move for him will help him get better. And your right the Welsh team might have a good run at a team like DC United or someone at the bottom of the MLS.

  3. CSD says:

    The lads from Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain don’t mess about. The Crew of the Galaxy (whoever the hell that is) would be so frightened of the 1000 seated fans at the New Saints home ground yelling Welch at them they would shite their pants and be easily defeated.

  4. Isaac says:

    I disagree. Kljestan was, at the very least, going to become a good player for the USA untiil his ankle injury before the Mexico game and slump in confidence due to MLS not accepting Celtic’s offer. I mean, he had a hat trick in the same game where Charlie Davies royally sucked, yet look where the two are now. He was tearing up MLS at one point and has the potential to achieve similar, if not better form. Anybody would have called up a midfielder in the kind of form Sacha was in, at least for the USA. He’s on his way back.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion.

  5. RLW2020 says:

    im looking for tix to the Crew of the Galaxy vs. New Saints game. hope Sasha can score again!

    good news all around tho!

  6. Joamiq says:

    Hm. I could have sworn Stevie had captained Hannover before. Oh well. Good for him. He deserves it.

  7. dena says:

    Good for Sacha, so what if the New Saints are trash. Scoring and playing well is still a way to get noticed by the staff and force a way into the first team/starting XI.

  8. Isaac says:

    He has. He was the deputy captain or something like that for a while, taking over when the captain was unavailable.

  9. Micah King says:

    Good Job Kljestan. :)

  10. wilyboy says:

    This has to be the first time an American has captained a big four team, right?

  11. Ireland says:

    Wales sucks at soccer. They are ranked like 70 in the world right? Next to South Africa and Alaska.

  12. MensreaJim says:

    I am fairly certain that Brian McBride was full time captain for Fulham at some point.

  13. bradley says:

    nice..any video??

  14. Alexx says:

    yep, sure was. boca captained fulham for ab it too.

  15. RLW2020 says:

    and wasn’t DeMerit cap’t of Watford..

  16. EA says:

    So, here we have a young American central midfielder who’s scoring in Champions League qualifiers and starting for a top European side, and he can’t even make the World Cup team!

    C’mon Bob Dumbley! What are you doing???? Your leading scorer plays in MLS, your #1 forward didn’t even score a goal last year!

    Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhh!





    Did I get it right?

    Do I need to practice some for when Bornstein is starting in Mexico?

  17. RLW2020 says:

    didn’t catch the “big four” part.. but ya..

  18. RLW2020 says:

    -1

  19. Dan says:

    The Crew of the Galaxy sounds like a new command for Captain Kirk in the next Star Treck Film.

  20. bob says:

    Claudio reyna? I think he captained a couple teams in europe, including Man City

  21. Seriously says:

    +1 You should have more than one, but that’s just nitpicking. The ignorance of some people is amusing though. EA, Kljestan was no good last year, if he steps up his game in Belgium or wherever he will get more call ups. Bob Bradley knows what he is doing, hell Sir Alex Ferguson even backs him for the Fulham job. Now I’m sure you in you vast array of knowledge know more about soccer than SAF but that’s still a big backing right?

  22. Seriously says:

    You should have taken away more than one that is.

  23. twitter.com/FieldhouseNYC says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

  24. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Agreed.

  25. MensreaJim says:

    lolWiki says Reyna has the title as the first American to captain a Eurpoean team, with Wolfsburg in 1997, though it’s not clear if it was while Wolfsburg was in Bundesliga or B2.

  26. Smirking Kitten says:

    Any link for his goal?

  27. papa bear says:

    I hope Sacha can rediscover his form. He has been dreadful lately. I’ll have more confidence when he’s scoring goals against teams that can actually beat any of the teams in the Los Angeles Park District’s league. (don’t laugh, the Red Hot Chili Peppers field a side and they are tough!)

    As for Cherundolo that is awesome news. Hannover are a good sized club and well respected in Germany. It’s a big deal for an American to captain a side in a top league like Bundesliga IMO. Well deserved as well IMO.

  28. Brian says:

    pretty sure Wolfsburg was in the Bundesliga 2 back then

  29. Brian says:

    I lol’d quite hard when Sacha wound up on the cover of FIFA ’10, but I really do hope this leads to the re-birth of Sacha Kljestan

  30. Brian says:

    Looks like the MLS didn’t screw up too bad on Peterlin.

  31. Sninho says:

    Alaska has its own international team? Nuts…

  32. jonk says:

    There weren’t any live feeds of it earlier, so we might be hard pressed to find video. But here’s a shot of Sacha celebrating his goal.
    link to picture.belga.be

  33. Brian says:

    Great news for Dolo. Best RB the US has ever produced. I wouldn’t count him out for 2014 just yet. He just signed a 3 year extension with Hannover and if he can stay in good shape and get playing time, he could certainly be in the mix in 2014. I consider this highly likely especially if Spector is hurt, not getting playing time, or just playing badly like he was last season, and if the Sean Franklin/Eric Lichaj/Frank Simek/Kevin Alston crop of Right Backs nevers turns out.

  34. Red says:

    Jeez guys…when did internet forums become the foundation for spell-checking and grammatical perfection?

    Regardless, you’re insane if you think the Welsh league could remotely compete with The Crew OR The Galaxy.

  35. Red says:

    Oh and I’m not knocking Kljestan. I just think scoring against The New Saints is less than scoring against Bruce Arena’s Galaxy.

  36. Red says:

    Funny how no one spoke like this when he scored for Chivas. All I kept hearing was “Mickey mouse” this…”MLS sucks” that.

  37. Red says:

    +1 (now back to zero)

  38. baquito alyeska says:

    It can beat Russia from its house.

  39. Eurosnob says:

    Well, with all its MLS struggles, DC United did quite well in the international friendlies, beating AC Milan and Portsmouth this year. I don’t think that the Welsh team would do well against DC United. They might do OK against the likes of Charleston Battery or Richmond Kickers.

  40. Pundit says:

    MLS=League 1

  41. baquito alyeska says:

    Haven’t seen any. Stream was only audio…

  42. phil says:

    TELL EM!

  43. Hush says:

    Good for him. But if trading players was an option in the NT I wouldn’t hesitate to trade him to Canada! he could be solid at times, but his ability to see the game on the field is WACK! And for that person who compared him to Chuck D in the game where Sasha scored 3 goals is far from knowing the game. Sure Sasha scored 3 goals, but Chuck D knows where to be both defensively and offensively and knows exactly how the temple is going during a game. Sasha on the other hand wouldn’t even notice Bin Landed chasing him on the field. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy he is playing over in europe, but let’s no get to carried away now. For now, I don’t want him close to a US jersey point blank. Too many chances given to him and he couldn’t prove himself similar to lazy EJ.

  44. phil says:

    Wishful thinking EA. SK had ample opportunity to show he was ready for SA.

    Next you’re gonna tell me Heath Pearce should have made the plane, too.

  45. phil says:

    Let’s hope.

  46. fischy says:

    Yelling Welch? Grape Juice lovers, are they?

  47. fischy says:

    You didn’t get it right. Andrlecht is hardly a top European side.

  48. wilyboy says:

    To all that answered, thanks! I don’t feel sheepish, I’m actually kind of proud. I wondered if Reyna ever captained City, and McBride isn’t that big of a surprise (he could probably run for public office).

  49. john.q says:

    everyone seems to forget that humans have the ability to LEARN and GROW. even sacha kljestan. no need to write him off, he’s still young. moving to europe is what he needed.
    all the haters wish the usmnt well but at the same time laugh at everyone young player who doesnt play like donovan out of the womb. take it easy guys.

  50. john.q says:

    *every young

  51. Citronomics says:

    Good for Sacha. If he consistently gets games, shows some stuff and helps his team then that will be newsworty and so I hope he builds on this (and does not earn the dreaded Dressed but DNP or Did not Dress in the weekly Americans Abroad roundup).

  52. ANM says:

    Listen, you can only beat the team that takes the field with you. Sure, the New Saints are a long way from the Nou Camp, but it was Kljestan’s competitive debut in Europe and he scored. That can only be a good thing for his confidence and playing time in the weeks ahead.

  53. ANM says:

    He was with Wolfsburg in the 1st division Bundesliga. They were promoted in spring 1997, and he went there on loan from Leverkusen.

    Back in those days, the internet commentariat would get all outraged every time Charles Odonkor started before him.

  54. Ryan says:

    This made my day.

  55. Bennett says:

    Preach.

  56. Andy in Atlanta says:

    While in today’s footballing terms you are correct… Anderlecht is still one of the best supported teams in Europe and have won multiple European trophies…they rank 12th all time on the cup winners list in UEFA history…

    So while the Belgian league has been passed by several leagues due to TV money they still are pretty BIG club.

  57. Villain-from-Texas says:

    U.S.A. isn’t flush with dudes scoring in the Champs League. So I don’t really care who this was against–it’s pretty cool.

  58. GSScasual says:

    assitant to the captain or assistant captain?

  59. Villain-from-Texas says:

    My parents live in Brussels, so my brothers and I got my Dad an Anderlecht jersey. Les Mauves et Blanc! They’re beloved there.

  60. jcd says:

    I’m sure that’s a hell of a feeling to score a goal in a game like that… props to him. Tear up the town tonight, kid, you deserve that.

  61. SP says:

    i believe he was capt when they were in the premier league too so your point stands regardless.

  62. SP says:

    has no one picked up on his sarcasm? he even added the bit at the end about bornstein to clear it up.

  63. dbag says:

    Not to rip the Glaxy, but wouldnt it be harder ot score on the Puerto Rico Islanders

  64. Tyler Talk says:

    Yes, it would be rather difficult to score on Puerto Rico’s solid 10-men defense.

  65. Tyler Talk says:

    I though Cherundolo had already been captain for Hannover? Maybe he was vice captain.

  66. Tyler Talk says:

    MLS=Championship

  67. Isaac says:

    I’ll admit, the Davies-Kljestan comparison was just kind of a fact I threw in there. However, you’re saying that Kljestan can’t see the game, and I completely disagree. He’s got good vision and skills. You’re really exaggerating. I mean, you’re picking on his problem with his recent form, which came down to an ankle injury and slump in confidence. Honestly, these fans saying stuff like ” I don’t want this guy near a USA jersey” just kind of annoy me. We don’t really have the depth to be acting like guys like Sacha are miles away from a roster spot. When Sacha was on, he could do all the stuff you’re saying he’s bad at. His passing could be suspect, but he’s not like Torres, where he connects passes under pressure for a living. Sacha’s more of a box to box midfielder/ attacking midfielder. Also, Sacha can be where he needs to be defensively and offensively. That’s why he and Bradley worked well together. He timed his movements forward and back so that there was never a gap in front of the defense.

  68. Brian says:

    1st division Bundesliga? You mean Bundesliga 2 then they were promoted to the Bundesliga?

  69. DC Josh says:

    A US International scoring a goal in the Champions League deserves respect and applause. I hope he succeeds there. What a way to start your career abroad.

  70. Matt C in Tampa says:

    Reyna may have worn the Captain’s Band at one time or another for every club he’s played for except B.Lever. I recall, at times, he wore it for Rangers, Sunderland, and maybe even a game or two at ManCity. Don’t know if he wore it for Red Bull. He did wear for the US too.

  71. Adam says:

    Plymouth Argyle was relegated to league 1.

  72. Mark says:

    Please tell me Plymouth Argyle’s kits are argyle…

  73. JS says:

    I quite enjoy the Welsh Premier League (a Llanelli fan, myself), but the real story here is that TNS managed to score on a team like Anderlecht at all.

  74. Eric_the_King says:

    Amen to that brother.

  75. Is here says:

    Reyna was the first. He captained Wolfsburg ( who were in the Bundesliga at the time) when he was 24 years old.

  76. Life OF says:

    “Best RB the US has ever produced. ”

    Over the long haul, yes. But for one World Cup it would be hard to beat Tony Sanneh.

  77. Learngrow says:

    You’re wrong if you think humans LEARN and GROW.

    Just look at the stuff posted on SBI.

  78. JP says:

    Weren’t Plymouth relegated to League One?

  79. Phlogiston says:

    Charlie Davies news: Sochaux has signed another forward for a transfer fee of approximately 2.5 million euros, the Malian Modibo Maiga.

    link to francefootball.fr

  80. Sodyba says:

    This goal was beautiful

  81. Sir Knox says:

    Wow they had internet back then?!

  82. AE says:

    If you have to point out the sarcasm then it obviously was a dumb idea to use it.