Veteran midfielder Sacha Kljestan has re-signed with the LA Galaxy for the 2022 MLS season.
The 36-year-old has been with the five-time MLS Cup champions for two full seasons now, registering five goals and one assist in 46 appearances during that time.
All five of those goals came in the 2021 campaign where he was outscored only by Chicharito (17) among Galaxy players, though he was unable to help the club finish above the Playoff line.
Kljestan – a two-time MLS Best XI midfielder – was eligible for free agency this off-season but will remain in LA for at least another year.
“We are pleased to bring back Sacha, who provides a wealth of experience to our group and adds depth and leadership to our midfield position,” LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney said in a club press release.
“He’s one of the most experienced players to have ever played in Major League Soccer and our club will continue to benefit with him on and off the pitch.”
Though his advancing age means Kljestan is unlikely to be a regular starter in 2022, tying down someone of his quality and experience could prove vital to the Galaxy. The midfielder has 52 USMNT caps to his name, as well as over 300 appearances in MLS regular season play alone.
The California side had already allowed Mexico international Jonathan dos Santos’ contract to expire this off-season and suffered a further blow in midfield with Sebastian Lletget joining the New England Revolution for up to $1.3m in General Allocation Money (GAM). Center-back Daniel Steres also departed to the Houston Dynamo.
There is plenty of work for Vanney to do if the Galaxy are to become Playoff contenders once again next season. There’s still plenty of time for him to revamp his roster ahead of LA’s opening match of the 2022 campaign – at home to champions NYCFC on February 27.