Although the US national team roster announcement won’t arrive until Monday, expect plenty of speculation and some names to be leaked over the weekend.
And the first has already arrived.
According to Belgian champions Anderlecht, US national team midfielder Sacha Kljestan has been called up for the qualifier versus Bosnia on Wednesday August 14 in Sarajevo.
In a roundup of internationals on their website, RSC state that Kljestan has again been selected by Klinsmann. Looks like the Belgians slipped up a little there.
So with Kljestan set for a place in midfield, will we be seeing more of a mixture in the squad, rather than just European based players next week in Bosnia? It’s too early to say, but this indicator that Kljestna is included may means the likes of Mix Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya won’t be involved as they settle back into the season in Europe following a summer spent stateside.
But for Kljestan — given the incredible Gold Cup performances from Diskerud and Kyle Beckerman plus the emergence of player such as Joe Corona and Jose Torres — this friendly will be massive to prove how far ahead of the Gold Cup pack he really is.
Yes, Kljestan is one of the most gifted players the USA has in their pool, but he has flattered to deceive when given the chance in recent World Cup qualifiers. Okay most of his appearances have been off the bench, yet this match with Bosnia is crucial to solidify his spot as the 12th man, if you like. The 27-year-old midfielder can slot in anywhere across the middle and do a decent job but plenty of players proved they could do that at the Gold Cup.
Bosnia are a very good team, ranked 14th in the latest FIFA rankings and have huge hopes of making the World Cup next summer. This friendly will go a long way to showing the progress Klinsmann’s squad has made over the past 12 months. He may well learn much more about his squad from one game in Sarajevo, than he did during the whole of the Gold Cup campaign.
Like I said, for Kljestan and plenty of others this friendly represents a huge chance to impress. If he’s in the squad that is…