Sacha Kljestan

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Sacha Kljestan
Sacha Kljestan'14.JPG
Kljestan in 2014
Personal information
Full name Sacha Bryan Kljestan
Date of birth (1985-09-09) September 9, 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth Huntington Beach, California, United States
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
New York Red Bulls
Number 16
Youth career
2003–2005 Seton Hall Pirates
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2006 Orange County Blue Star 2 (1)
2006–2010 Chivas USA 114 (15)
2010–2015 Anderlecht 132 (18)
2015– New York Red Bulls 0 (0)
National team
2004–2005 United States U20 16 (1)
2007–2008 United States U23 16 (3)
2007– United States 46 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 August 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 March 2014

Sacha Kljestan (/ˈsɑːʃə ˈklɛsən/;[1] born September 9, 1985) is an American soccer player who currently plays for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Kljestan played for the Region IV Olympic Development Program team. He then played three years of college soccer at Seton Hall University. He was named NCAA Division I First-Team All-America in 2004 and earned third team honors in 2005. Kljestan was named Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2005 and earned first-team All-Big East in 2004 and 2005. He holds the single-season assists record at Seton Hall with 15 in 2005 and ranks fifth all-time at the school with 28 over a three-year career. Kljestan finished his college career with 20 goals and helped Seton Hall University to three NCAA Tournament appearances. He then signed a Generation adidas contract with MLS, and played USL Premier Development League soccer for Orange County Blue Star in 2005. Kljestan was taken fifth overall at the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.

Chivas USA[edit]

Kljestan playing for Chivas USA in 2010

Kljestan was a finalist for 2006 MLS Rookie of the Year as he appeared in 32 league matches for Chivas and recorded seven assists. He improved his performance in his second year as he recorded four goals and provided 13 assist in 25 matches, helping Chivas to a first place finish in the Western Conference. He was nominated for the Starting XI in the 2008 MLS All-Star Game, but chose instead to play for the U.S. Olympic Team in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. His performance for club and country drew attention from many clubs overseas, and he left the U.S. team's winter training camp in mid-January 2009 to go on trial beginning January 17 at Celtic,[2] the Scottish Premier League reigning champions. After the trial he returned to Chivas and continued his fine form as he made 25 league appearances during the 2009 season and scored 5 goals and provided three assists. He began the 2010 season with Chivas before being transferred to top Belgian side Anderlecht. In his time with Chivas, Klejstan finished with fifteen goals and 33 assists in 114 league matches.

Anderlecht[edit]

In June 2010, he signed a 4-year contract with 2009–10 Belgian Pro League champions Anderlecht.[3] He made his competitive debut and scored his first goal in the same game on July 27, 2010 in a 3–1 win over Welsh club The New Saints in the third qualifying round of the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League.[4] In his first season in Belgium he appeared in 34 matches across all competitions scoring 3 goals and helped Anderlecht capture the 2010 Belgian Super Cup. The following three seasons he remained a key player as Anderlecht captured three consecutive Belgian Pro League and Belgian Super Cup titles.

In March 2013, Kljestan signed a new 3-year contract with Anderlecht.[5] During the 2013/14 campaign Kljestan scored a career high 9 goals as he appeared in 30 matches. He made a total of 180 appearances for the club, scoring 25 goals, before leaving the club in the winter of 2015.

New York Red Bulls[edit]

In January 2015, it was announced that Anderlecht had agreed to transfer Kljestan to New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer.[6]

International career[edit]

Kljestan playing for the United States in 2013

Kljestan was part of the United States Under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. He had entered the U-20 program in 2004, earning a total of 16 caps, scoring 1 goal with the team up to 2005.[7] In early 2007, Kljestan was called into training camp with the senior U.S. national team, but did not earn a cap in the following games. Kljestan made his debut for the senior national team on June 2, 2007, tallying an assist on Benny Feilhaber's winning goal, a 4-1 friendly match victory over China in San Jose, California and also played for the US in Copa América 2007. He also played for the US Under-23s at the 2008 CONCACAF Men's Pre-Olympic Tournament and scored in a 3-0 win against Canada to send the US Under-23s through to the Olympics. Kljestan was selected to Peter Nowak's roster for the U-23 Olympics in Beijing. He started all three games and finished the tournament as the United States' highest goal scorer with 2, an equalizer against Holland in the 2-2 draw, which was voted goal Best U.S. Mens Soccer goal of 2008, and a penalty against Nigeria in the 2-1 loss that knocked them out of the tournament. He started consistently for the United States under Bob Bradley as a central midfielder and had two assists (three total) in World Cup Qualifying. In a 3-2 victory over Sweden on January 24, 2009, Kljestan scored a hat trick, his first three goals with the senior team. The only other American to notch a hat trick in the same game as his first international goal was Aldo "Buff" Donelli who scored four goals on May 24, 1934. It was also the 11th hat trick in national team history. On February 24, 2010, Kljestan scored a 92nd minute goal that won the USA a friendly against El Salvador. Sacha proceeded to celebrate what was his 4th national team goal in emotional fashion. The goal, along with Kljestan's performance, was enough to keep Kljestan in contention for a World Cup spot.[8] Although he made the preliminary 30 man squad he was not picked for the final 23 man roster for the 2010 World Cup, but featured in a friendly against Brazil on the next international fixture date. He has since been a regular part of USA squads under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. However, he did not make the team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Personal life[edit]

His brother Gordon once played an Open Cup match for the New York Red Bulls and also played for FC Tampa Bay Rowdies in USSF Division 2. Kljestan's father Slavko Klještan, a Bosnian Serb from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a professional player playing for Željezničar Sarajevo.[9]

Kljestan, along with Frank Lampard and Cuauhtémoc Blanco, was featured on the North American cover of FIFA 10.

Kljestan married longtime girlfriend Jamie Lee Darley in June 2012.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of February 23, 2012.
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
USA League Open Cup League Cup North America Total
2006 Chivas USA Major League Soccer 32 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 35 0
2007 25 4 1 0 2 0 0 0 28 4
2008 22 5 1 0 2 1 2 0 27 6
2009 25 5 0 0 2 0 0 0 27 5
2010 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 1
Belgium League Belgian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2010–11 Anderlecht Belgian Pro League 25 2 2 0 1 0 6 1 34 3
2011–12 36 4 0 0 0 0 10 1 46 5
2012–13 35 3 4 0 1 0 9 1 49 4
2013–14 23 8 1 0 1 0 5 1 30 9
2014–15 13 1 4 3 0 0 4 0 21 4
Total USA 114 15 3 0 8 1 2 0 127 16
Belgium 132 18 11 3 3 0 34 4 180 25
Career total 246 33 14 3 11 1 36 4 307 41

International[edit]

As of December 15, 2014.
National team Year Apps Goals
United States
2007 4 0
2008 8 0
2009 9 3
2010 4 1
2011 9 0
2012 4 0
2013 7 0
2014 1 0
Total 46 4

International goals[edit]

 #  Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 January 24, 2009 United States Home Depot Center, Carson, California  Sweden 1–0 3–2 Friendly
2 2–0
3 3–1
4 February 24, 2010 United States Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida  El Salvador 2–1 2–1 Friendly
  • Goals scored by Kljestan are marked as bold in the "Score" column.

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

R.S.C. Anderlecht

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sacha Kljestan - Team USA
  2. ^ Jones, Grahame L (January 15, 2009). "Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan to train with Celtic". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "US international Kljestan transfers to RSCA". rsca.be. R.S.C. Anderlecht. June 10, 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ "The New Saints 1-3 Anderlecht". BBC Sport. 27 July 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ Kljestan signs a new 3 year deal with Anderlecht
  6. ^ "Red Bulls sign US international Kljestan". newyorkredbulls.com. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ U-20 MNT stats
  8. ^ Sacha Kljestan Hat Trick Provides U.S. Men With 3-2 Victory Against Sweden to Open 2009 -ussoccer.com
  9. ^ Jones, Grahame L. (6 August 2008). "Chivas USA's Sacha Kljestan looks beyond Olympics". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 12 August 2008. [dead link]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jesse Marsch
Chivas USA captain
2010
Served alongside: Jonathan Bornstein
Succeeded by
Simon Elliott