Chivas USA’s Kljestan officially joins Anderlecht

i-9c649bfcc2900d74c8a12f4fb0f121e8-SachaKlj.jpgAs was telegraphed all week long, Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan officially joined Belgium’s Anderlecht today, the clubs announced.

“I’m very excited and proud to be joining a club like Anderlecht, and I wouldn’t be there to sign with them today if I hadn’t been for Chivas USA. I’m thankful to everybody at Chivas USA, from the coaching staff, management, all the fans, and teammates over the years that have helped me mold into the player I am today,” said Kljestan. “I’m ready to take this exciting step in my career.”

Kljestan, 24, has become the club’s all-time leader in assists and games played since Chivas USA made him the Huntington Beach native the fifth overall pick in the 2006.

From the club’s press release:

During his four and-a-half seasons with Chivas USA, Kljestan played 114 matches and started 111, with 15 goals and 33 assists. His marks for games played and games started are current club records, just ahead of teammate Jonathan Bornstein (111 and 109), and his 33 assists are 11 ahead of second place for the all-time Chivas USA lead. He has played in every Chivas USA playoff game, with a goal and two assists in eight matches, and was Chivas USA’s MVP in 2008.

“Chivas USA prides itself on developing young talent,” said Chivas USA Coach Martn Vsquez. “Having been here for Sacha’s first two years as a professional, and then coming back this season, it is easy to see that he has made great strides. I am sure he is ready for the next step in his career, and we all wish him the best at Anderlecht.”

About Anderlecht, via Chivas USA’s press release:

Founded in 1908, Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, known commonly as Anderlecht, is Belgium’s most successful club, having won the Belgian First Division a total of 30 times, 17 more than its closest rival, Club Brugge. The Purple & White have also won five continental titles, including the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) in 1983, and both the European Cup Winners’ Cup and European Super Cup in 1976 and 1978. The team is the reigning champion of the Belgian First Division, qualifying it for the 2010-11 edition of the UEFA Champions’ League.

Chivas USA has a photo gallery of Kljestan’s career with the club up here.

Reporter Phil Collin has more here.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Brian

    Big Galaxy fan but have to give my respects to Sacha. You will be missed, and I wish you the best of luck overseas. I can now “officially” cheer you on and hope to see you with the USMNT in 2014.

  • Limey

    So I talked to Sashas Dad in the stadium club before a game, he was so critical of the Chivas back office. Sounded a little like a Beauty Pageant Mom. It was all about money for him.

    I still thank Sasha blew it when he cut his hair, but I certainly respect him as a player and I hope he does well in Belgium. Hopefully he will enjoy mayonnaise with his French fries.

    Good luck Samson!!

  • Boris Badenov

    Comrade Soccer Blogger, this is terrible news! Comrade Putin very pissed off! Our spi..er, scouts make big mistake by not signing decadent capitalist Kljestan for Nincompoop Novgorod! Now, will not be able to get promoted from Fifth Division of Great Socialist Football League! Spi..er, scouts must do better! Have been scouting all games involving galactical and big-horned locals to abduc..er, sign players. Must send spi…er, scouts back to Siberian training camp for refresher courses in talent evaluation!