Editor's Note: We'll be making the "Once a Goat" series a regular feature here on The Goat Parade, in order to help you keep up with the exploits of former Chivas USA players. Today, Stephen Brandt brings us an update on Sacha Kljestan.
Former Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan, a Californian, continues to make it big in the European soccer arena. He's playing for RSC Anderlecht in the Belgium First Division (called the Jupiler League). Since showing up in Belgium he's scored eight goals in 72 appearances. His first year with Anderlecht, in 2010-11, he took time adjusting to a new team, style, and culture. However in his second season, he became a mainstay in the midfield, as Anderlecht won the league title. This year, his third with Anderlecht, he's started four of the eight matches he's played and so far, has no goals, no assists, or perhaps the most important aspect, no yellow or red cards.
What's the ex-Goat been up to lately? He didn't play against Zenit St. Petersburg (Champions League) on October 24th, but over the next two weeks Anderlecht step back into league and have three games with clubs lower in the table than them. Anderlecht is currently fifth in their league table, just three points behind OH Leuven. On Saturday they had an away match at Charleroi which they lost 2-0 and Kljestan was an unused sub. Coming up, Anderlecht has a home match on October 30th against Gent, and an away match on November 3rd against KV Mechelen.
Internationally speaking, Sacha has been part of the US National team set up from the youth system on up, accumulating 34 caps on the international level. On October 11th US National team manager Jurgen Klinsmann added Kljestan for two crucial World Cup Qualfiers against Antigua and Barbuda, and Guatemala. During the Antigua and Barbuda match, he helped spark the USA to a late winner (2-1) with his insertion in the last fifteen minutes. He was brought on in the 66th minute for Herculez Gomez in the Guatemala match, and helped the Americans earn a 3-1 win, good enough for them to advance to the hexagonal round.
Around the web, people are pointing to his play with Anderlecht is what got him back into the mind of Klinsmann. Kljestan discussed his USMNT call-up with ProSoccerTalk recently. In addition, Kljestan talked to Andrew Wiebe about how he might be able to help the Americans on MLSsoccer.com. It appears to be so far, so good this season for Sacha.
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