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Sacha Kljestan enjoyed a breakout season in 2008, both for club and country. In his third year in MLS, Kljestan was a member of the league's Best XI, led Chivas USA in scoring, and was an All-Star. He also participated in the Olympics for the United States, scoring twice in the team's three games. The midfielder has also made 20 appearances with the U.S. National Team (as of Sept. 1, 2009), and hit a hat-trick in the U.S.'s win over Sweden in January of 2009. Kljestan also was part of the United States squad that earned second place at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. A Huntington Beach native, Kljestan joined the Red-and-White as a first round pick in the 2006 SuperDraft after a distinguished career at Seton Hall University.
2009: Kljestan played in 25 games (24 starts) for Chivas USA. He finished with five goals and three assists, tying his goal total from the 2008 season. All five goals came in the last ten games.
2008: Captured numerous team and league awards, including the Chivas USA Budweiser Golden Boot after scoring five goals and adding seven assists, as well as Chivas USA MVP honors. Was named to the MLS Best XI, as well as the All-Star Team, though he missed the match due to commitments with the Olympic Team.
2007: : In his second season with the Red-and-White, notched 13 assists, tied for second in MLS with Landon Donovan, just one behind Steve Ralston, and the most ever by a Chivas USA player. Helped the team to a first place finish in the Western Conference.
2006: Was a runner up in MLS Rookie of the Year voting (losing out to teammate Jonathan Bornstein) as he notched seven assists while playing in each of the team's 32 games (starting 31). Was second on the team in assists, and first among MLS Rookies.
Was a mainstay on the United States U-23 National Team through Olympic Qualifying, and was an important part of the team that traveled to China for the Beijing Games in August 2008, scoring two goals in the team’s three matches. Has also appeared in 21 matches for the full U.S. National Team (as of Jan. 12, 2010), and helped the team to its best-ever finish (second) in a FIFA tournament, the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa. In 2008, Kljestan was in the squad for each of the U.S.’ World Cup Qualifiers. Also played on the U.S. U-20 National Team while at Seton Hall.
In 60 total matches at Seton Hall University under head coach Manfred Schellscheidt, Kljestan recorded 20 goals and 28 assists, and set the school record for most assists in a season in 2005. Picked up numerous awards in his four years on the team, including first team NSCAA All-American (2004), third team NSCAA All-American (2005), Big East Offensive Player of the Year (2005), and Seton Hall Freshman Male Athlete of the Year (2003).
Attended Huntington Beach High School in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he scored 11 goals and added 11 assists in his senior year, earning first team All-Sunset League honors. Also played for the Region IV ODP team, and was the leading scorer for the Cal-South ODP team in the Regional and National Championships.
Parents are Slavko and Kim. His father immigrated the United States in 1980. Sacha's brother, Gordon, was a teammate of Sacha's at Seton Hall and is also a professional soccer player, having played for the New York Red Bulls. Also has a sister, Vanessa… Favorite movies include Training Day, Catch Me if You Can, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Listens to all kinds of music, from The Game to the Red Hot Chili Peppers… Is a fan of all sports; enjoys watching Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, and is a big Los Angeles Clippers fan… Favorite soccer memories are from the Olympics in 2008; walking in the opening ceremonies and scoring against Holland.
MLS Best XI (2008)
Chivas USA MVP (2008)
Chivas USA Budweiser Golden Boot (2008)
NCAA First Team All-American (2004)
NCAA Third Team All-American (2005)