On Sunday afternoon, Jurgen Klinsmann announced his 23-man roster for the US Men's National Team's October friendlies. Once again, his list included New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan, along with seven other compatriots from MLS. Kljestan was left off the squad for over two years, but with his recent success in MLS, he made his way back. This season, he leads MLS with 17 assists, after tallying 14 in 2015.
When Kljestan was called back up, he registered a goal and two assists in 24 minutes of action against St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Then followed it up with the opening goal against Trinidad & Tobago to seal advancement in World Cup qualifying.
Kljestan and the US are probably looking forward to November's World Cup qualifier against Mexico, but there are two matches to play first. On Friday, they will travel to Cuba for an historic match in Havana. The last time the US played Cuba was in the 2015 Gold Cup quarterfinals, when the US walked away victorious 6-0. The following Tuesday, they face Oceania front runner, New Zealand, at RFK Stadium in DC. In their only two meetings, the US won 2-1 on both occasions: the group stage of the Confederations Cup in 1999 and a friendly on US soil in 2003 in Richmond, VA.
Kljestan and RBNY are fortunate that their next game isn't until October 16th. This means Kljestan has the ability to play in both friendly matches without jeopardizing time away from the team during a critical run to the playoffs. Hopefully the success in the last two matches and potential success in the next two will be enough to get him a position in the World Cup qualifying squad against Mexico and Costa Rica.