Klinsmann calls Kljestan in for U.S. World Cup qualifiers; Brooks out injured
After two long years, Sacha Kljestan is finally back with the U.S. men's national team.
Kljestan, who has an MLS-leading 15 assists for the New York Red Bulls, was called in by manager Jurgen Klinsmann as a late addition to the U.S. roster for a pair of World Cup qualifying matches, U.S. Soccer announced Monday. Kljestan last played for the U.S. in a March 2014 friendly vs. Ukraine. He will replace John Brooks on the U.S. roster, with the Hertha Berlin center back out with "back issues." This comes after Brooks played all 90 minutes in Hertha Berlin's Bundesliga-opening win over Freiburg on Sunday.
Kljestan has 46 caps with the U.S., and his MLS success has been about more than just assists. According to the Red Bulls and analytics outfit Opta, Kljestan leads MLS in chances created with 88. He has the most chances created from both open play (53) and set play (35) in the league, something that could come in handy for a midfield that will be without the suspended Michael Bradley and could be without the injured Jermaine Jones for Friday's World Cup qualifier against St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Here is the updated roster after Kljestan's inclusion:
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)
DEFENDERS: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
MIDFIELDERS: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)