Kljestan scores in Anderlecht’s UEFA Champions League qualifying win

Kljestan (Getty Images)

Sacha Kljestan has scored in league play in MLS and Belgium, for the U.S. men's national team and in the UEFA Europa League. He can now add UEFA Champions League goalscorer to his resume.

Kljestan scored the opening goal and assisted on the second tally in Anderlecht's 6-0 rout of Lithuanian side Ekranas in a UCL third-qualifying-round match on Wednesday, a win that sealed an 11-0 aggregate victory and puts Anderlecht within one round of the UCL group stage. 

On the heels of his best season as a professional, Kljestan earned his first start in five matches in all competitions this season, opening the scoring in the ninth minute by putting home a rebound of a saved shot, according to match reports. He assisted Dennis Praet in the 31st minute and went on to play the remainder of the match. Anderlecht will learn the identity of their next opponent when the draw for the final qualifying round is conducted on Friday.

Happy to see Kljestan do well with his start? Do you think he should be called up for next week's U.S. men's national team friendly against Mexico?

Share your thoughts below.

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35 Responses to Kljestan scores in Anderlecht’s UEFA Champions League qualifying win

  1. Vic says:

    He’s good for one goal every ten games with Anderlecht and USA. However, he turns over the ball too much. We have too many central players that are better than him.

  2. Jeff says:

    Wouldn’t mind seeing him called in but I’m sure Klinsmann needs aother look at what someone like Beckerman can offer

  3. Ryan Nanez says:

    who’s kljestan?

  4. Tyler says:

    Happy to see him do well, but he frankly is not of the caliber of player we need to be starting.

  5. Scott says:

    I assume he’s the only one to score in MLS, for the USMNT, his club team and in both EUFA competitions?

  6. Old School says:

    I think he’s the first player in history to score in a EUFA competition.

  7. Old School says:

    Absolutely agree.

    It’s possible to be happy for him without drinking the koolaid.

  8. Ryan in NYC from NC says:

    People still think Kyle Beckerman is better than this guy? Ridiculous.

  9. Shane says:

    +1

    And one of those people unfortunately is the USMNT coach

  10. Scott says:

    What about Beasley he scored in one right?

  11. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    He was ribbing you over your typo.

  12. Brett says:

    Beckerman and Sacha play different roles. Beckerman is a destroyer. Sacha is a creator. Beckerman just breaks up plays and gets the ball off his feet. Sacha needs to be on the ball a lot to get his passing rhythm.

  13. hudson says:

    Kljestan is a bigger liability than Beckerman because he can’t hold the ball against stronger opposition like Mexico. He hasn’t shown the ability to use his main strength–his passing ability and creativity–at the speed of the international game. Until he can do that at a higher level, I don’t see Klinsmann selecting him given the midfield depth of the U.S. Especially if Holden is able to rebound from injury and get back in the team this year.

  14. primoone says:

    Why does SBI keep throwing the “should sasha be called up” debate on us. Just because a player is a good for club does not mean he is good for country…

  15. brandon says:

    You wanna know the honest true? Neither Beckerman or Kljestan are good enough for the USMNT midfield. We have no plan b to Bradley/Jones and even Jones is not consistent enough to be considered a lock for a starting role.

  16. Davy Crockett says:

    A US player who scores in the Champions League and won a European title is not only not a starter for the national team, but isn’t even a lock to be called into camp. Tell me that six years ago, and I’d punch you. I love it.

    I think he needs to stay on the radar and be called into some camps. God forbid something happen to Bradley, and we need to know who to plug in (I’d take Kljestan over Torres, but I’m not a coach). He’s got a new coach, big competitions going on, and needs to try and get a starting spot settled right now–he doesn’t need to go all the way to Mexico for a friendly, which is bound to be rough. Maybe the next WCQs.

  17. Vic says:

    Jones, Bradley, Torres and Edu are ahead of him. Corona has been called up recently which I think is a good thing. Daniel Williams should also be ahead of him.

  18. Jim Bowie says:

    Sacha is what you call “depth”.

    Unless someone gets hurt or suddenly, dramatically loses form Sacha will most likely not wear a USMNT shirt again. Of course, that sort of thing happens all the time, so if he is smart, he will keep his mouth shut, work hard and stay ready.

  19. Ryan says:

    The question is why does Beckerman get call ups over him? I think he is superior to the weak, easy to push off the ball, torres. I agree that Edu is better than he is, but he should still have a spot on the squad.

  20. Grant says:

    Lots of comments that made me shake my head at some US Soccer fans and then there are a few that give me hope. First I call BS on any of you who have seen this guy play in the past year. You may catch a highlight or two but please tell me you have a Direct TV Belgian Jupiler League Pass, otherwise you’re basing all arguments on the Sacha from a few years ago. I say call him up and see where he truly stands in the depth chart, might be a pleasant surprise.

  21. Scott says:

    haha, I somehow didn’t pick up on that

  22. c says:

    we called him up against italy not that long ago and how did that end up? he was completely lost on the pitch. end of your argument

  23. Grant says:

    Called up to replace Donovan after he pulled out and given 17 minutes out of position. Not too fair in my opinion, but football’s not fair. I’d still prefer to see more of him over Joe Corona.

  24. Vic says:

    Corona has looked really good at the U-23 level and was rookie of the year in Mexico. He can score, has more skill than Klesjtan and hasn’t been given a chance yet with the full national team yet. I would argue that the Mexican league is a better league than the Belgian. Klesjan is not getting much playing time this year with Anderlect, Corona getting plenty with Tijuana.

  25. Kevin says:

    Beckerman has shown he can hold the ball “against stronger opposition like mexico?” When did he show this?

    Neither of them are first choice. Jones and Bradley are ahead of both. That being said I’d rate Sascha far ahead of Edu and Torres.

  26. Kevin says:

    Corona plays a completely different position.

    The fact that Edu and TOrres are ahead of Sacha is pretty ridicluious. Edu is plain terrible with the ball at his feet. Torres is weak physically and has never proved himself against strong opposition.

  27. Kevin says:

    Kleigstein is a starter on a team that shows well in Euro competition, and Corona is an average forward in Mexico. Not sure what good the comparison is.

  28. Vic says:

    Klejstan hasn’t been playing in the regular season this year. There’s plenty of articles on that google his name in case you missed it. Klejstan played in the Champion’s League qualifying however, Anderlecht was already up 5-1 from the first leg and won 11-1 on aggregate. Klejstan has had many call-ups so we know what he can’t do lets find out if Corona can play at that level.

  29. Grant says:

    Anderlecht is two games into the season and they have a new manager. He’s probably still deciding what cards he has to play with and what type of style he wants to play. It’s crazy that fans want to see younger players on the Full MNT. They need to develop at the club level not earning caps. Kljestan is 26, it’s sad that he’s dismissed and that’we know what he can’t do’. Footballers are hitting their prime at his age, and to dismiss him is tragic to the MNT program

  30. Isaac says:

    We’ve already got Jones, Bradley and Edu. Why the hell do we need Kyle Beckerman as ANOTHER destroyer?

  31. Isaac says:

    Sacha also looked good at the U-23 level and is playing in a good league, which I personally think is better than the Mexican league. Do we all completely forget Sacha’s goal and performance against the Netherlands in the Olympics?

  32. Isaac says:

    I think Sacha deserves a chance over Torres, Edu and Beckerman. Torres doesn’t really do much attacking-wise. He’s more of a guy controlling the pace. Akin to Pirlo. He doesn’t frequently look to crack defenses. Edu has been awful on the ball, but quite good defensively, so I’d keep him around, but I wouldn’t start him. Beckerman is right in between both and not really needed. We have Michael BRadley, Jermain Jones, and Maurice Edu who can play defensive midfield. Where is the need for Kyle Beckerman? I say Sacha at least deserves a chance to start and go for a good 60 before Juergen automatically throws him in the dog house. We’re lacking creativity in that central midfield and Sacha could bring it.

  33. bryan says:

    Edu doesn’t even play the same position (Kljestan/Torres play a regista role). And Kljestan is as good as Torres, but not “far ahead”.

  34. bryan says:

    dude, Edu doesn’t play the same position as either of them either!

    Coronoa = trequartista
    Torres/Kljestan = regista
    Edu/Jones = box to box

    Bradley can play either regista or box to box. and JK has even used Jones as a regista.

  35. bryan says:

    good for him, but people need to pump the brakes. he does deserve a call up based on his club play from last season, but he JUST got his first start under the new coach. and they had a big cushion going in. which doesn’t speak well for his chances going forward. but when you get a goal and assist, hopefully the coach takes notice.

    i’d rather see him called in over Beckerman. they don’t play the same position, but we already have Jones/Bradley/Edu/Williams who we can use at a box to box mid. other than torres, we have no regista type player. kljestan can provide that no doubt. but i still wouldn’t start him. bradley has shown he is more than capable in that role.

    and i certainly don’t think he should replace corona who is basically all we have for a trequartista since holden is out and adu can’t get a call up. but obviously LD and Dempsey fill in pretty well too.

    i go back and forth, i think he should be called up, but im not convinced he should start.