This season has been an incredible for New York Red Bulls Midfielder Sacha Kljestan. He has been setting up his teammates on the offensive side of the ball, breaking his club's single-season record for league assists along the way. He has continued to help out Bradley Wright-Phillips and being dangerous during set pieces out in the field or at the corner flags.
But while he has earned five goals and fifteen assists this season, and caused repeated re-appraisal of his talent and ability as a player, he has consistently failed to attract the attention of USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Call-ups just wouldn't come. Not for World Cup Qualifiers, not for the Copa America Centenario tournament., not for the most recent roster for USMNT's September WCQs.
Until this Monday morning. US Soccer announced that Hertha Berlin defender John Brooks had withdrawn from teh squad due to back issues. You just lost a starting centerback, who you gonna call? Sacha Kljestan!
You do you, Klinsi. A call-up for Kljestan was always going to be unexpected, so it is fitting it is under somewhat unexpected circumstances. Sacha is (back) in the USMNT squad. He will be traveling for the road qualifier in St. Vincent/ and the Grenadines - to be played on Friday, September 2nd. And he will be at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday, September 6th, for the home game against Trinidad and Tobago.
Kljestan's last match for the US Men's National Team was on March 5th, 2014 against Ukraine.A 2-0 loss, played in Cyprus due to Russia's incursions on Ukrainian territory. Kljestan has earned a total of 46 caps and scored four times since he started with the National Team in 2007.
The call-up is reward for Kljestan's hard work and stellar play for his club. It is a good day for Kljestan. Congrats, Sacha!