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United States

  • Sacha Kljestan 17'
  • Sacha Kljestan 40'
  • Sacha Kljestan 75'

3 - 2

FT

Sweden

  • player 74'
  • player 89'

U.S. 3-2 Sweden: Kljestan stars with hat trick

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- Sacha Kljestan became the first American in 75 years to score his first three international goals in the same game, leading the United States over Sweden 3-2 in an exhibition Saturday night.

Making his 12th international appearance, the 23-year-old midfielder beat goalkeeper Johan Dahlin with a 34-yard free kick in the 17th minute, then converted a penalty kick in the 40th following a foul on Marvell Wynne by Adam Johansson.

After Daniel Nannskog scored for Sweden on a diving 14-yard header in the 73rd, Kljestan made it 3-1 on a 12-yard shot a minute later off a pass from Brian Ching. Mikael Dahlberg put an 8-yard header past U.S. goalkeeper Troy Perkins in the 89th off Alexander Farnerud's second assist.

"It's good to start the year with a win," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. "We still know there's a lot of things to work on."

Kljestan and Ching were the only regulars to start for the United States, preparing for a World Cup qualifier against Mexico on Feb. 11. Midfielder Daniel Andersson was Sweden's only player with more than 12 international appearances.

"We're moving forward as a national team," Kljestan said.

Kljestan had just the 11th game of three or more goals for the U.S. national team, the first since Landon Donovan in a 3-1 win over against Ecuador on March 25, 2007. The only other American player to score his first three international goals in the same match was Aldo "Buff" Donelli, who scored four times as the U.S. defeated Mexico 4-2 at Rome on May 24, 1934, in a World Cup qualifier. Donelli later became coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Boston University and Columbia University.

Kljestan plays for Chivas USA and was on his home field. He is just back from a training stint with Glasgow Celtic.

"I had a good experience over there," he said. "I was happy to come back and be fit enough to play in this game."

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins made three saves to win his international debut. Perkins, MLS's goalkeeper of the year for D.C. United in 2006, plays for Norway's Valerenga.

Also playing for the United States for the first time were Columbus Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers and Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert.

Dahlberg, Dahlin, Johansson, Rasmus Elm and Gustav Svensson made their Swedish national team debuts.

"It was a good test for us. The U.S. played a little bit better than us in the first half," said Sweden coach Lars Lagerback, whose team meets Mexico on Wednesday in Oakland.

Scoring Summary

  • United States
  • Sweden
(74') player
(89') player