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Is this the year of Sacha Kljestan on U.S. national team?

Dec 28, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT

Three goals in four games so far for Sacha Kljestan in Belgium. Getty Images

It might be a tad early to proclaim 2013 as “The Year of Sacha Kljestan.” But the man sure is finishing 2012 with a mighty Belgian bang!

Anderlecht won again yesterday and now finds itself a full eight points in the lead of the 16-team Jupiler League. Kljestan went all 90 minutes in a 4-1 win over visiting Lierse. That’s 10 wins in a row for Anderlecht, which is also unbeaten in 15 consecutive league matches at home.

It may have seemed like U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann had little use for the California native previously; it has always been a little hard to define Kljestan’s best role, going all the way back to his Chivas USA days under Preki, and that has probably hurt the versatile midfielder along the way.

But he kept a good attitude about it all, and a glance at recent months doesn’t look so bad when considering Kljestan’s place in the international game. Kljestan appeared in each of the Americans’ last three matches, including two critical World Cup qualifiers and the fashionable 2-2 draw with Russia for finish out 2012, Klinsmann’s first full year in charge.

He may already be moving in front of Maurice Edu in the order of U.S. central midfielder (considering Edu’s alarming lack of status at Stoke City, where he has become a forgotten man.) And Kljestan may have lapped Jose Torres in the field, even if the two are fairly different players.

Landon Donovan’s status has something to say about where Kljestan lands in the order, as well. (On the other hand, he’ll need to peak over his shoulder occasionally to monitor the progress of Mix Diskerud, who appears to be coming up fast.)

Either way, being a starter for the runaway leaders of a mid-tier European league (Belgium) isn’t a bad place to launch for 2013.

  1. tylerbetts - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    We can only hope so. If only to get someone to give us a giant Tifo in honor of his moustache.

    • mvktr2 - Dec 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      Vive le stache!

  2. mvktr2 - Dec 29, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Where is Kljestan’s best spot? He really does a lot for Anderlecht wether it’s in defense or attack, semi box-to-box player for them.

  3. bigdinla - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Kliejstan is to slow of foot and mind for the international level. A lot of US players go to Belgium and look good. Gooch anyone? Seriously all he does is chase plays and spray bad passes to the other team. If I am going to take a liability, I would rather take Adu. At least I k ow I will get offense from him.

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