USMNT: Kljestan in, Brooks out

Sacha Kljestan, who has not played for the USA since before the 2014 World Cup, was called into the U.S. national team camp in Jacksonville, Florida, where the team is preparing for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers against St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago. Defender John Brooks will miss the camp after suffering from back issues.

Kljestan, who leads MLS with 15 assists -- a new single-season record for the New York Red Bulls -- and could be a valuable option in central midfield, at least against St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Captain Michael Bradley is suspended and Jermaine Jones has not played in seven weeks with a knee injury.

Kljestan, who turns 31 on Sept. 9, made the last of his 46 caps against Ukraine in March 2014. He represented the United States at the 2009 Confederations Cup and played in every game for the USA at the 2011 Gold Cup. He was a late cut for the 2010 World Cup team.

Brooks started for the USA in its first five games at the 2016 Copa Centenario, where it finished fourth. He went the distance for Hertha Berlin in its 2-1 win over Freiburg on Sunday.

In the past, Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai has criticized Brooks' national team trips. A year ago, Brooks was injured in a friendly against Peru, setting him back for much of the first half of the fall Bundesliga season. Dardai said before the Copa Centenario that it was "unfortunate" that Brooks was released.

The USA has plenty of depth at center back with Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler, plus Omar Gonzalez, back after missing out on the Copa Centenario. Michael Orozco, who has played on the outside and in the middle, is suspended for the SVG game (red card against Colombia).

U.S. Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough/ENG), Ethan Horvath (Molde/NOR), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids).
DEFENDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER), Michael Orozco (Tijuana/MEX), *DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG).
MIDFIELDERS (10): Paul Arriola (Tijuana/MEX), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), *Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (NY Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz/LIE), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC).
FORWARDS (5): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht/NED), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER).
*Carrying yellow cards.
Note: Roster consists of 14 players from MLS, nine from teams in Europe and three from teams in Mexico.
2 comments about "USMNT: Kljestan in, Brooks out".
  1. Wooden Ships, August 30, 2016 at 9:45 a.m.

    Brooks and back issues. Watched his last game, he looked strong, maybe I missed an injury. Did he report to camp? If so, is Jurgen conducting ironman competitions and it happened to prove something. I hope not as John Brooks is regarded as one of the premier young center backs internationally.

  2. Brooks Cochrum, August 30, 2016 at 11:42 a.m.

    Wood / Morris
    Acosta / Pulisic / Nagbe / Bedoya
    Fabian / Cameron / Gonzalez / Yedlin

    If Kljestan, why not Feilhaber or Dax.
    Why Beckerman, Why Wondo and certainly why why why why Orozco.
    FCD best in MLS, but neither Center Back on list! silly!!
    sorry never a fan of Guzan.

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