U.S. Soccer
Men's National Team

Sacha Kljestan

Midfielder Caps/Goals -
  • Date of Birth

  • Height / Weight

    6-1 / 170

  • Hometown

    Huntington Beach, Calif.

  • Club

    Anderlecht (Belgium)

A rangy and skillful midfielder, Sacha Kljestan’s effusive personality shines through in his play. His fourth career goal in February 2010 against El Salvador helped put him in the final mix for South Africa. A product of the U.S. youth national teams and a member of both the 2005 U.S. U-20 World Cup team and the 2008 Olympic team, he brings a different element to the expanding pool of U.S. midfielders. After four plus seasons at Chivas USA, he made the jump across the pond to defending Belgian league champion Anderlecht, where in 2011, he became a regular starter.

  • Played in every game for the U.S. in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • Part of the 30-man preliminary squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • His hat trick against Sweden on Jan. 24, 2009, put him in unique company as only the second player to open his national team scoring account with a hat trick. The only other player to accomplish the feat was Aldo “Buff” Donelli, who tallied four goals in a 4-2 victory against Mexico on May 24, 1934
  • Moved to Belgian league champion Anderlecht in the summer of 2010 and immediately started in Europa League qualifying matches

2011: Made a total of nine appearances, tying his 2009 career high …  Featured in all six of the U.S.’s CONCACAF Gold Cup matches, starting two … 2010: His fourth career goal for the full team proved the game-winner as he tallied in second half stoppage time of the 2-1 win against El Salvador in Tampa … Collected a total of four appearances, starting on Jan. 23 against Honduras and entering as a halftime sub on May 25 against Turkey and Aug. 10 against Brazil … 2009: Made nine appearances, starting four games … Started at center midfield during the 2-0 victory against Mexico on Feb. 11, to open the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying … A member of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup team, he made two appearances in the tournament … Started against Brazil during the FIFA Confederations Cup before being red carded in the second half … Came on as a sub during the final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg … Scored a hat trick against Sweden on Jan. 24, his first three goals for the USA … The three goals put him in unique company as only the second player ever to open his national team scoring account with a hat trick. The only other player to pull off the feat was Aldo “Buff” Donelli, who tallied four goals in a 4-2 victory against Mexico on May 24, 1934 … 2008: Earned U.S. Soccer’s Young Male Athlete of the Year award … Made eight appearances in 2008, starting five games … All of his career-high five starts came in World Cup qualifying, tied with a host of players for third-most on the team … Tallied a career-best two assists, both in the 6-1 qualifying win against Cuba on Oct. 11 at RFK Stadium … His slide-rule pass set up DaMarcus Beasley for the team’s first goal and earned Kljestan a “Best of” nomination for Best Assist … Added a second assist on Brian Ching’s goal … 2007: Earned his first cap with the U.S. MNT when he started against China in June of 2007 … Also tallied an assist in that game when he played Benny Feilhaber through for the second goal of a 4-1 victory … Part of the team for the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela, he earned two caps with starts against Paraguay and Colombia … Appeared as a sub in a friendly against South Africa in November … Under-23s: Featured in all three games in Beijing, finishing as the team’s leading scorer with two goals and playing every minute of the competition … Latched onto a Freddy Adu throughball to finish past the goalkeeper and level the game against Netherlands at 1-1 … Tucked away a late penalty against Nigeria, but the U.S. fell 2-1 and was eliminated from the competition … Appeared in four out of five CONCACAF Olympic qualifying games, earning an Honorable Mention to the All-Tournament Team … Served as vice-captain to Maurice Edu … Scored the third goal of a 3-0 win during the crucial semifinal match against Canada in Nashville when he finished off a full-field passing move … Captained Peter Nowak’s U-23 squad in a December 2007 trip to China … Under-20s: Was a part of the U-20 World Cup team that competed in Holland in 2005 … Played in two of three qualifying matches, starting and registering an assist against Costa Rica in 2005 … Played in 12 matches, starting nine … Five appearances for the team were in international matches, with two of them being starts … Registered two international assists over the course of the year, tying him for the most on the team … Scored a goal against Borussia Mönchengladbach … Came into camp for the first time with any youth national team for the U-20s in July 2004 for the Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland … Got his first U-20 cap coming on as a sub against Denmark on July 17 in 1-1 draw … Started first match against Wales in a 1-1 draw on July 21 … Also invited into the final camp of 2004 at The Home Depot Center … Started against Canada on Dec. 20 … Got his first goal against Mexican first division club team Necaxa on Dec. 18 … First Appearance: June 2, 2007, vs. China … First Goal: Jan. 24, 2009, vs. Sweden.
2011: Has started every game in which he featured for Anderlecht in all competitions … Added three goals and four assists … Opened Anderlecht’s scoring in the Europa League match against Lokomotiv Moscow on Dec. 14 with an equalizer before his team went on to win 5-3 … Notched a goal and set up another in the 4-0 win against SK Lierse on Oct. 30 … Scored his first goal of the season in the 3-1 win against Mechelen on Aug. 5 … 2010-11: Moved to RSC Anderlecht in the summer and got tossed straight into the mix, starting and scoring in the 3-1 victory against TNS on July 27 in UEFA Champions League qualifying … Started in the 3-0 victory in the return leg a week later … Tallied his first league goal on Aug. 21 in 3-0 win against Lokeren … An injury put the brakes on his otherwise promising beginning to the season … Upon return, he appeared in 14 straight matches, including starts in Europa League group play against AEK, Zenit and Hajduk Split … Ended his first Belgian league season with 25 appearances … Made 10 appearances for Chivas USA to start the year before transferring to Belgium … 2009: Made 25 appearances, coming on strong in the second half of the season to score five goals and tally three assists … His five goals tied a career best … Helped Chivas into the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year … Made two appearances during the first round of the playoffs, grabbing one assist in the postseason … 2008: Featured in 22 games for Chivas USA, starting 21, while earning MLS Best XI honors for the first time in his career … Scored a career-high five goals and added seven assists, good for second-best in the league … Helped Chivas USA overcome significant injury problems to return to the postseason for the third consecutive year … 2007: Started all 25 games in which he appeared for Chivas USA, playing 2,186 minutes … Scored four goals for the team as Chivas captured their first Western Conference title in club history … Was third in Major League Soccer with 13 assists during the regular season … 2006: Appeared in 32 regular-season games for Chivas USA … Including 31 starts, he played 2,676 minutes and contributed seven assists, the highest number among MLS rookies … In the first ever trip to the postseason for Chivas, he played in both games in the conference semifinals, logging 112 minutes and registering one assist.
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