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Sacha Kljestan is clearly a very popular USMNT fellow

Feb 8, 2013, 11:46 AM EDT

News of Sacha Kljestan’s new deal with Anderlecht was greeted with lots of social media “atta boys!” and back slaps from some of his U.S. international teammates. See below for why that’s meaningful.

What Kljestan Tweeted out this morning on the new deal that keeps him with the Brussels club through 2016:

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And then just a few of the response from some the men who have been in U.S. red, white and blue with Anderlecht’s midfielder, who also spent four seasons at Chivas USA:

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Why is this important? Team chemistry cannot be over-emphasized when it comes to national teams. Keep that in mind when rosters are built, as you ponder why This Guy may have been selected over That Guy when talent appears roughly equal.

Every U.S. national team boss since 1998 has talked about the need to carefully build and manage team chemistry through prudent roster selection. (In fairness, before that Steve Sampson and others had less from which to pick, so their hands were more or less tied.) Not so much for a quick-stopper like this week’s match in Honduras – although you certainly don’t want any real problem children there, either.

But in longer camps and tournaments (Gold Cup, World Cup, Confederation Cup, etc.) these guys are together day and night for three, four, five weeks or more. Asking guys who don’t really like each other to keep the peace for those longer stretches is truly asking for it.

So, congrats to Kljestan – not just for the new deal, but for being the kind of guy where teammates are truly excited for him.

  1. chelseamatt33 - Feb 8, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Yeah, I enjoy watching the back and forth as well. I have a twitter list of all the USA soccer players’ twitter accounts: https://twitter.com/ChelseaMatt33/usa-soccer-players/members

  2. pmacd82 - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    But if he plays like he did Wednesday, can he really make the roster just for being a good character? One thing that stands out about the guys congratulating him, none are regular call ups except for Rimando and even his days maybe numbered.

    • dfstell - Feb 8, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      That was just a bone-headed moment for Klinsman. Is it really news that he doesn’t have the foot speed or dribbling ability to smoke a fullback? He DID do a nice job finding space on the wing. I would have rather seen him in the middle somewhere so Bradley had someone to play with.

  3. drewvt6 - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Hey that list of people congratulating Klejstan reminds me, Ale Bedoya is a MUCH better wide player than Sacha!

  4. mkbryant3 - Feb 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    I didn’t think Sacha had a bad game against Honduras. Hey, at least the was trying to make something out of nothing.

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