Jesse Marsch has been talking about Sacha Kljestan getting picked for the US Men's National Team almost from the day the player was signed by the New York Red Bulls, so it would be curious if he complained about Kljestan's first national team call since joining RBNY.
No complaints at all from Jesse, who detailed the various personnel and tactical options at his disposal to Big Apple Soccer. Also in that report from Kristian Dyer, the RBNY head coach's latest evaluation of the fitness of Dax McCarty and Damien Perrinelle:
As of today, I think they’re both ready to go
Of course, Marsch teased both players might be on the bench for RBNY's last match. That didn't happen, but perhaps they were being held back for the Red Bulls' upcoming game against Vancouver.
Absent Kljestan, the lineup isn't just missing its primary playmaker, it is missing veteran leadership on the field. Club captain McCarty won't play Sacha's position, but he is the team's designated on-field leader.
Perrinelle is arguably the squad's most tactically astute defender: positioning and anticipation are his strengths. If he is able to return to the lineup, perhaps he can cure the back line's tendency to collapse under pressure on the road.
The FIFA international window has robbed RBNY of two starters - Kemar Lawrence and Sacha Kljestan - but if McCarty and Perrinelle are back in the team, they are returning well ahead of schedule. Any MLS squad can only hope it loses a few players to national team games during a season - it's a sign it has players worthy of the international level. Losing Kljestan and Lawrence to CONCACAF World Cup qualifying is simply a cost of doing business, when the business is playing good soccer.
Getting McCarty and Perrinelle back in the team ahead of schedule is an unexpected gift to a team that has had generally bad luck with injuries all season. And that good news - promised for a while now, but seemingly finally a reality - surely amply compensates for the inconvenience of the call-ups for Kljestan and Lawrence.