Kljestan completes move to Anderlecht

Chivas USA midfielder signs 4-year deal with Belgian champions

Who says an American player needs to make it to the World Cup in South Africa to earn a move to Europe?

On Thursday it was officially announced that Belgian champions RSC Anderlecht had secured the transfer of Sacha Kljestan from Chivas USA on a four-year deal.

Watch this video highlight reel featuring the best of Kljestan in MLS

“Chivas USA prides itself on developing young talent,” said Chivas USA Head Coach Martín Vásquez. “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.”

The move to Anderlecht comes as somewhat of a surprise as the 24-year-old Californian has not played his best soccer in the last two seasons. He is best known for his international hat trick against Sweden in January 2009 and after a failed trial with Celtic, Kljestan’s form appeared to dip. However, he was a member of the US provisional 30-man roster in early May. He did not make the cut for the trip to South Africa.

Now he could even get his shot at UEFA Champions League soccer as Anderlecht have advanced to the third qualifying round of the tournament by virtue of capturing their 30th league title. 

A midfielder for the Goats since the 2006 season, Kljestan played 114 matches and started 111, with 15 goals and 33 assists. He leaves as the club leader in appearances, starts, and assists. 

Anderlecht says its newest acquisition will be introduced late next week.

With Chivas' other co-captain, Jonathan Bornstein, rumored to be a target of Mexican clubs as he enters the final months of his MLS contract, Chivas USA could be in for a real makeover this season. The team has lost five matches in a row going into the two-week World Cup break.