Report: Anderlecht, USMNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan linked to MLS return with LA Galaxy

Sacha Kljestan

Photo Credit: 
REUTERS

US national team midfielder and former Chivas USA star Sacha Kljestan could be returning to MLS this summer, according to Belgian reports by La Dernière Heure and La Meuse.

And according to the reports, the Huntington Beach, California, native would return to sign with his old club's crosstown rival, the LA Galaxy. Kljestan has played for Belgian powerhouse Anderlecht since 2010 and set a career high with eight league goals this season. After signing a new three-year contract in March 2013, Kljestan appeared in five of six UEFA Champions League games last fall and scored once, although he received three yellow cards and a red card in the tournament.

Having been sold to Anderlecht in June 2010 for an undisclosed transfer fee, Kljestan would be subject to the MLS allocation process as a returning US international. In the current allocation order, Toronto FC have the No. 1 spot and the Galaxy are 12th. When contacted by MLSsoccer.com, an LA spokesman declined comment on reports linking the midfielder to the club.

Kljestan has seen minimal action during Anderlecht's current playoff campaign, making just two substitute appearances in seven games. La Meuse described Kljestan as "put on a [train] siding," and his last start was March 16, before the 10-game Belgian postseason (in which points are added to a portion of each club's regular-season total) began.

Two-time defending Belgian champions, Anderlecht currently trail Standard Liège by one point with three games remaining, although none are head-to-head.

Kljestan has rarely gotten a chance to start for the US national team under head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but did make five appearances, four as a substitute, during the 2014 World Cup qualification process. He started in a holding midfield role in the 2-0 loss to Ukraine on March 5.

Drafted by Chivas USA with the No. 5 pick in the 2006 SuperDraft after signing a Generation adidas contract out of Seton Hall University, Kljestan notched 27 assists in his first three MLS seasons. He was named to the MLS Best XI in 2008 and represented the US at the Beijing Olympics that same year.