Sacha Kljestan won’t play for the U.S. national team against Jamaica Friday night.

The Red Bulls midfielder is heading back home to be with his wife as they await the birth of their son later this week.

U.S head coach Bruce Arena said that he had given Kljestan permission to leave, after the USA played Serbia to a scoreless draw in San Diego Sunday.

“Always an honor to play for #USMNT,” Kljestan said on twitter. “Wish we would have won. Thankful to Bruce for releasing me to be home for the birth of my son this week.”

Kljestan, who was slapped with a yellow card in the 57th minute, was replaced by Benny Feilhaber in the 77th minute

One Red Bulls player is still with the national side — Luis Robles, who did not play Sunday (Nick Rimando did). A reason why Robles was kept was that he could very well start Friday’s international friendly against Jamaica in Chattanooga, Tenn.

After the birth of his son, Kljestan will join his Red Bulls teammates for preseason training in Tucson, Ariz. They are prepping for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

The Red Bulls host the Vancouver Whitecaps in the first leg of the CCL quarterfinals at Red Bull Arena Feb. 22 before flying cross country to meet their Canadian rivals March 2.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at