Kljestan scores again in Anderlecht’s rout of Mechelen

Sacha Kljestan Anderlecht 2 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Sacha Kljestan is making a real good case for why he should be included on the U.S. Men’s National Team in October.

Kljestan continued his impressive form to the start of RSC Anderlecht’s season by scoring the second goal in their 5-0 mauling of KV Mechelen on Saturday. Kljestan found the back of the net in the 18th minute when a shot from a teammate stung off the post before falling to him a few yards in front of net.

The veteran midfielder now has four goals in Pro League play (five across all competitions) and is only two behind the top scorer, Tunisian striker Hamdi Harbaoui.

Kljestan was not called up by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann during the last round of World Cup qualifying, but could be selected for next month’s qualifiers vs. Jamaica and Panama if he continues to impress.

Here is the goal (at the 0:23 mark):

—–

What do you think of Kljestan scoring again? Hoping to see him on the U.S. Men’s National Team roster in October?

Share your thoughts below.

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46 Responses to Kljestan scores again in Anderlecht’s rout of Mechelen

  1. SBI TroII says:

    Not only can Kljestian score on them, they make quality tires too.

  2. John says:

    I’ve enjoyed watching Anderlecht this year. They move the ball quickly on the ground and create a lot of chances, at least in the Pro League. It’ll be interesting to see if they can translate any of that into performances in Champions league.

  3. rainORshine says:

    Hoping to see him on the U.S. Men’s National Team roster in October?

    kljestan has been getting it done @ anderlecht for years. JK has been ignoring him since he took over. why stop now?

    JK has:
    – jermaine jones: hes a solid bench player in germany. thats not an easy gig (seriously)
    – kyle beckerman: that guy is an MLS all-star. nuff said
    – mix diskerud: hes a starter in norway. doesnt really contribute offensively in a league that is almost as good as the serbian superliga, but he seems like a real up-and-comer!

    kljestan clearly does not provide anything we dont already have!

    • alabamafutbol says:

      Seriously did you watch the Mexico game? Mix created the 2-0 himself in like 10 mins of play, he provides a good offensive spark

      • rainORshine says:

        honestly i have no problem with diskerud (or beckerman) on the roster. i have a huge problem with sacha not on the roster

        • Ross says:

          You can only put 20 players on the roster. Who are you taking off?

          • rainORshine says:

            castillo

            • CroCajun1003 says:

              That’s not how that works…

            • Anthony says:

              I like Kljestan, but your argument makes no sense. You can only sub like for like. There is no point bringing up Castillo. To put sacha in the first team, you would to take off a cm. He cannot play wing. Jones and Bradley are better. Beckerman is a better defensive cm and Cameron and Edu (when healthy) offer better flexibility for defensive substitution, so they serve as subs for defense and cm.

              In a tournament with a 23 man roster, you only have room for 20 outfield players. How many strictly cm can you carry?

              • rainORshine says:

                fabian at LB. you dont need beckerman AND edu/cameron. choose 1

                not really that hard to figure out where kljestan can fir on this roster

            • Anthony says:

              Btw, I really have to question your football knowledge when you say Jones is a bench. Player at Schalke. He is a key starter at a perennial champions league team

              • rainORshine says:

                no. you are wrong. he has lost his job to marco hoger. i watch scalke every week. have looked WAY better since sitting jones

                any other ‘questions’?

          • GW says:

            The World Cup roster is 23 players

    • Francois says:

      Jermaine Jones- a solid bench player? He’s a consistent starter for Schalke, where have you been?

    • rainORshine says:

      for everyone who needs me to hold your hand through this, see the comment above,

      – jones in not starting for schalke
      – LB = fabian and beasley

  4. Paul Miller says:

    SK has some abilities USMNT could use, but like most others, has his limitations, too. For whatever reason, the manner in which JK has played him has highlighted his limitations rather than his abilities. He’s doesn’t have winger speed. He does have world class first touch as well as pretty fair field vision. He can play a short passing game as well as Bradley. He ought to be our starting ACM, I think. This is especially true with our roster, when he could be the playmaker setting up Altidore to the front, Dempsey from the left, Donovan from the right, or Bradley coming forward from DM. And as we’re seeing from Belgium, SK does a fair job cleaning up any rebounds or whatnots.

    • GW says:

      The “whatever” reason that Sacha does not start in the middle is that JK rates Bradley and JJ as better players.

      Sacha is best used in the middle but I would point out that JJ has occasionally played left wing and shown very well there even though he is not all that fast. David Beckham , for example, played on the wing for many years without being particularly zippy, so if that is to be Sacha’s role he needs to figure out how to make do with what he has.

      Sacha is a very good player but he is limited and where he is good the US has better players in front of him. I still expect him to be in Brazil

  5. Gary Page says:

    I’ve already called for Kljestan and Boyd to be called up for the October qualifiers and they have justified my opinion. The bad thing for Kljestan is that we are ridiculously deep in the midfield. Still, he deserves a chance.

    • rainORshine says:

      ridiculously deep in midfield? kyle beckerman is our #3 CM. that is the opposite of ridiculously deep

      • John says:

        Or does does our 3rd CM actually play at right back? either way a bit more depth could be useful.

        • rainORshine says:

          can only assume that after bombing in costa rica even JK realizes that starting a RB at CM is a questionable idea

      • Gary Page says:

        I define a midfielder as someone who plays ahead of the back line and behind the strikers, so that includes what people call wingers. Here are the various players who have played midfield for the US at some point in the past year, off the top of my head. Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, J Jones, F Johnson, E Johnson, Bedoya, Corona, Torres, Diskerud, Cameron, B Davis, Beckerman, Zusi, Holden, Shea, probably Danny Williams (can’t recall exactly when he last played). Also, there’s Edu who is injured but often started in the past and then Brad Evans who can play in the midfield as well as Castillo who likes midfield and in a pinch Jonathan Spector who once scored a brace against Man U while playing midfield for West Ham. 11 of those have started in a top European league and 8/9 of those have been regulars in a top European league. No other team in Concacaf comes close to this and I would hazard a guess that not very many teams outside of Europe and a few S American teams which match that.

        • GW says:

          “No other team in Concacaf comes close to this and I would hazard a guess that not very many teams outside of Europe and a few S American teams which match that”
          Maybe but it’s the teams from Europe and South America that the USMNT most likely will have to beat to make the desired deep run in this World Cup. And among the teams that fit your definition of teams “outside of Europe and a few S American teams “are teams like South Korea, Japan and Iran, all of whom would be very dangerous opponents and all of whom have qualified for the 2014 World Cup. .
          Since the US has now officially qualified for the World Cup, comparisons with other CONCACAF teams are more or less irrelevant.

          The fact that the US uses so many people is midfield could be seen as a sign of weakness since the majority of the players are flawed in some way, requiring JK to mix and match for a given occasion.

          The US talent pool is far better than it has ever been but don’t be fooled into overrating it. There are an awful lot of really good players from other countries out there that most USMNT fans have no idea exist.

          Just go over Japan’s roster for example.

          • Gary Page says:

            So, you think playing as a regular in a top European League isn’t good enough. What, they have to all be Ronaldos? I have seen every World Cup, as much as has been broadcast in the US anyway, since 1974, so I’m rather aware of the broader soccer world outside of the US. Your comments seem rather fatuous to me. I am simply pointing out that Kljestan is playing very well for a CL team but that isn’t good enough now to start for the US.

          • Gary Page says:

            According to the lineup listed in Wikipedia, two of the 6 midfielders for Japan play at Nuremburg, the others in Japan or lesser European leagues.

            • GW says:

              Mr. Page,

              Japan currently has players in:

              Russia 1 at CSKA Moscow
              Belgium 1 at Standard
              Italy 1 at Inter
              England 1 at Southampton, 1 at Manchester United
              Germany 2 at Nurmberg, 1 at Mainz, I at Stuttgart, 1 at Schalke

              Having more players in “higher rated” leagues does not mean you are a better team but it does not hurt either.

              Sacha has been playing well in the Champions league for Anderlecht for a few years now.

              Even so, JK has maintained in print for some time now that regardless, he is not better that Michael Bradley, who has yet to play a game in the CL for Roma, or JJ who plays for a team in Schalke, that goes deeper in the competition more often than Anderlecht a weaker team.

          • dikranovich says:

            GW, USA had to play a concacaf team in the knockout round of the 2002 world cup, what makes you think that could not happen again in 2014?

            • GW says:

              “No other team in Concacaf comes close to this”

              Mr. Page’s point is that the US has more talent in higher ranked leagues than our higher ranked CONCACAF bretheren.

              If the US were to meet another CONCACAF team it will be in the knockout stages.

              This means both teams would be playing well and in a knockout situation, it is irrelevant that the US probably has slightly better talent overall.

              That is why knockout competitions have so many upsets. It is usually all about which team is playing better at that point..

        • Gary Page says:

          Forgot Beasley who plays midfield in Mexico and also played there for Man City and in the semifinals of the CL for PSV as well as in a couple of WC’s.

        • rainORshine says:

          k. sacha plays CM. we are not deep there

    • John says:

      Both seemed to get caught in between not making the field for the qualifiers in the summer but then after having been at each match weren’t called to the Gold Cup. Where a lot of guys got a chance to raise there stock in the team during the Gold Cup they did not. So yes I’d agree both deserve a shot in October.

    • I have already called for Klute Yedlin and Joya to be called up in October but nobody has picked up yet. Am I calling the right number or what?

  6. Hush says:

    It’s ok Sasha, we have Mix. You continue your good form buddy… You really don’t need the USMNT & they don’t need you either.. SM bless you!

    • CSD says:

      Sacha’s living the dream. I would have no problem taking Jamie Lee Darley over USMNT call ups. He’s the man.

  7. John says:

    Also worth noting Anderlecht go to Benfica to start there Champions league group play on Tuesday at 2:45.

  8. Isaac says:

    Sacha was actually pretty good off the bench against Bosnia-Herzegovina. He mis-placed a pass that could have led to a good chance, but he set up the BRILLIANT 4th goal with two really good touches – one first time round the corner pass into Johansson before he rushed onto the return pass and played a nice through ball to an onrushing Bradley, who fed Altidore for the finish.

    I don’t think Sacha is dynamic and creative enough to operate as an attacking midfielder like Mix, Deuce, or Landon, but he’s very effective operating from deeper positions because it forces teams to push up the pitch to take care of him, subsequently opening up space in their own defensive third for attackers like the aforementioned three.

    Kljestan’s also pretty good at getting into the final third himself, as seen here. Not just mop-up goals, but pass and move type of goals, like the really good one he had against Netherland at the Olympics.

    He and Bradley were a really good pairing until Sacha lost his form right before the Mexico game. They had almost perfect chemistry from having played in the U23’s and Olympics, and we were on good form for a while with those two in the middle.

  9. mikeg says:

    What is the thought behind playing players lower than Kljestan on the depth chart for the same position. When he plays on the wing he looks out of place and then we do not see him for a longtime. He should be a first choice backup for Bradley or Jones and not on the wing.

    • jlm says:

      i think he should get some time with bradley so we can see that pairing. you never know what jones you are going to get, and it would be nice to have a more consistent partner with bradley

    • GW says:

      How do you know where Sacha is on the depth chart?

      Does the USSF have it posted on their website?

  10. rainORshine says:

    jones is no longer a starter at schalke. keep paying attention. started first 6 games of season and they were poor in every game. started last 2 games on bench and they had impressive shut-out wins against strong teams…

    —————altidore—————-
    —dempsey————–donovan–
    ——-kljestan——bradley———-
    —————-jones——————
    fabian–brooks–goodson–cameron

    beasley backs up fabian. you dont need castillo

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