The New York Red Bulls have been busy in the last couple of days and yesterday they confirmed that they have acquired US Men’s National Team midfielder Sacha Kljestan from RSC Anderlecht, using the top spot in the MLS allocation order.
New York moved to the top of the allocation rankings on Tuesday following a trade with the Montreal Impact that also saw Ambroise Oyongo and Eric Alexander leave and Felipe Martins move to the Big Apple.
They wasted no time in using their number spot by signing Kljestan and the 29-year-old is looking forward to return to MLS with the Red Bulls.
“I am excited for this new challenge and thrilled to be joining such an important club,” he wrote on Twitter about his move to the Red Bulls. “I can’t wait to get started and help build something that RBNY fans will proud of.”
Kljestan played with the Red Bulls new head coach Jesse Marsch at Chivas USA from 2006-2009 so the two will be familiar with each other and the USMNT midfielder arrives at the perfect time.
Red Bulls fans have been frustrated for much of the offseason, with star man Thierry Henry retiring, Mike Petke being fired and not many new names coming in.
That has changed in the last few days and Kljestan is a huge signing, not only for the quality he brings but the leadership as well, and he will slot in the centre of midfield alongside Dax McCarty in 2015.
With Alexander gone, the Red Bulls needed to bring in another midfield enforcer, and they’ve gone and acquired the perfect player for what they need, and most importantly Kljestan has not filled a Designated Player slot.
Felipe Martins will play in front of Kljestan and he will look to provide the creative spark for now-Designated Player Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Wright-Phillips and Tim Cahill are the Red Bulls’ two DP’s at this point but Cahill’s future is very much in doubt and it is unlikely that he will be returning to New York in 2015, with reports suggesting a move to the UAE is on.
If the Australian does depart in the next couple of weeks, the Red Bulls will have two Designated Player slots available and supporters will want to see those filled in order to compete with clubs in what is set to be a fiercely competitive Eastern Conference this season.
Kljestan comes at a time when New York needed him and he ticks several boxes in terms of what the team needed, but there is still work to be done with regard to strengthening the squad.
How good a signing was Sacha Kljestan for the New York Red Bulls?