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Jurgen Klinsmann says New York Red Bulls' Sacha Kljestan is "making a very strong case" for USMNT starting role

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Klinsi waxes positive about Kljestan.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jurgen Klinsmann took a break from trading jabs with Bob Bradley to hop on Facebook and answer a few questions, as part of the build-up to the USMNT's friendly against New Zealand.

About seven minutes into his 20-odd-minute chat, Klinsmann was asked to evaluate Sacha Kljestan's performances for the US Men's National Team:

Sacha really took his opportunity, 100%. When he came in for the two World Cup qualifiers last month, he was spot on. He made a good impression in every training session and obviously - as you guys saw - in the two games.

Klinsi framed his endorsement of the New York Red Bulls' midfielder's recent work for USMNT in the broader context of his expectations of players who fall out of favor. Acknowledging that form and fitness can push a player out of contention for national team consideration, Klinsmann described the need for opportunities to be seized when they arise, and presented Kljestan as the poster boy for taking the second chance when it comes around:

I think Sacha...is kind of the perfect example...Try to put your stamp on your performances when you're with us, in order to deserve to come back to the next camp.

The October friendlies have Klinsi looking at a number of fringe players, though earlier in his Facebook chat he noted that the rough pitch in Cuba made that match of limited value in terms of any evaluations of player performance. With regard to Kljestan, however, Klinsmann was broadly positive:

He's making a very strong case right now for a starting position in the team.