The United States men's national team defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 6-0, in a 2018 World Cup Qualifying match at the Arnos Vale Stadium in Kingstown, SVG.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan entered the match as a substitute in the 66th minute.
Five minutes later, he assisted on a Christian Pulisic goal.
In the 78th minute, Kljestan scored, finishing a centering pass from Pulisic.
Kljestan added a second assist in the 92nd minute, finding Pulisic again.
The U.S. faces Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, Sept. 6 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Kljestan made the most of his substitute appearance with the national team. He put on a show in his first match since March 2014, combining with the 17-year old Pulisic for three second-half goals.
For anyone who has watched the Red Bulls over the past two years, this performance wasn't a surprise. Kljestan has been a force in MLS, thriving as an attacking midfielder since moving over from Anderlecht. He has an innate ability to find space between opposing defenders and can put passes on a dime. His first assist to Pulisic was a phenomenal through ball, splitting two defenders with his weaker left foot.
This was a timely performance, as the U.S. national team is looking for an attacking midfielder. It's unlikely that Kljestan would be taking Clint Dempsey's place in the lineup, but he has surely earned another call-up in the future. His performance wasn't perfect (he misplayed a few passes), but it was incredibly productive. Some will attempt to downplay the level of the opponent, which is a valid criticism. However, Kljestan fit in well with his teammates and seemed to elevate the team after entering the match. He left everything on the field, which is all that can be asked of a player.
Benny Feilhaber, another American player who thrives at the club level but is ignored by Jurgen Klinsmann, weighed in on Kljestan's performance:
Oh weird?! @SachaKljestan is good?!- Benny Feilhaber (@b_feilhaber22) September 2, 2016
Michael Bradley will be available for Tuesday's match against Trinidad, so it's possible that Kljestan won't play. If this is the last appearance he makes in a national team jersey (as unlikely as that would be), then he at least proved that he belongs and should have been receiving call-ups for last two years. Klinsmann's hand has been forced, and he will be under a fair amount of scrutiny if he goes back to ignoring Kljestan.