Last chance for Sacha 

February, 3, 2010

This time last year, Sacha Kljestan was pretty much the man. His hat trick against Sweden in a late-January friendly had vaulted him onto the national team's starting squad, and a lucrative transfer to Scottish power Celtic seemed imminent.

But the move to Europe never materialized, and after starting the first two games of the Americans' final round of World Cup qualifying (a home win against Mexico in February and a tie in El Salvador the following month), Kljestan began a downward spiral that had him off Bob Bradley's radar by early August.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.