Top Stories

Red Bulls use top spot in allocation to sign Kljestan

SachaKljestanAnderlecht1-OlympiakosUCL (AP)


Following Tuesday’s trade with the Montreal Impact, the New York Red Bulls have wasted little time in using the club’s newly acquired top spot in the allocation order.

The Red Bulls announced Wednesday that they have completed a move for Anderlecht and U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Sacha Kljestan. There was no immediate mention as to whether the 29-year-old midfielder – who was previously a teammate of Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch while at Chivas USA – was on a Designated Player deal.

“Sacha is a great player with tremendous experience,” Marsch said in a statement. “We feel that he is a great addition to our roster. He fits into the style of soccer that we want to play, but more importantly he is a man with tremendous character. We are excited to add him to the club and feel that his presence will pay dividends both on the field and in the locker room.”

Kljestan’s signing was made possible following a deal with the Impact on Tuesday. The trade saw the Red Bulls send Ambroise Oyongo, Eric Alexander, an international spot and allocation money to Montreal for midfielder Felipe Martins and the top spot in the allocation order that was used to add Kljestan on Wednesday.

“This was an extremely complicated transaction that we worked on over the last few weeks,” Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis said in the same statement. “There were multiple variables that needed to be managed during the process. Ultimately, we were able to reach a point where we could bring Sacha aboard. I am elated to have Sacha join the club. We are confident that he will have a positive impact on the field, in the community, and with our fans.”

Kljestan, who has 48 caps with the U.S. to his name, appeared in both the UEFA Europa League and Champions League with Anderlecht. He made 131 league appearances for the Belgian club and scored 14 goals.

Prior to his move to Europe, Kljestan played four seasons for Chivas USA and contributed 15 goals.


What do you think of the Red Bulls move for Kljestan? Does this make Tuesday’s trade feel more like a win now? How do you see the team lining up next season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Would have preferred going into 2015 with the known quantity that was McCarty and Alexander in the middle along with a strong push to bring Mix Diskerud in that the creative midfield to sit in front of them. Diskerud seems to have more upside than Sasha. Mix is 24 and is an active member of the USMNT pool. Sasha is 29 and the USMNT pool door is closing fast.

    The common denominator on the last two moves is that Jesse Marsh knows the two players,…coached Felipe at Montreal and played alongside Sasha at Chivas USA. Hoping that is worth something.

  2. Once again Curtis has found a way to flub this…”challenging”??? “my experience helped”…??? This isn’t about Curtis, and yet he tried to make it seem as if he was the only one that could get the deal across the finish line…

    But more than that, by focusing on SK being a “leader” you made it seem as if the team had none, especially with how it was presented to the media. Wonder how that’s going to sit with the current leaders…Robles, McCarty, etc…

  3. RB needs to fill that giant hole on the left side of the midfield now that Oyongo is gone. The trade and acquisition of SK hinge on that.

    The defense is going to be a mess this year. Armando, Miazga, Sekagya, Zubar, Perinelle, AJB – six CBs and not a quality starter among them. Miller is good and I believe Duvall is capable, but I don’t know how you can go into a season with 6 backup CBs.

  4. Pretty anti climactic. I saw in my Instagram feed that 3 hours before the announcement was made, NYRB started following Kljestan. I like the move and him as a player. Out of all of the USMNT pool players, he has the most CL game experience. Granted it’s not great but it’s more than most will have. That’s gotta count for something on his return. A little wiser, a litter better. I’ll grade it a B with potential to move to B+/A when it’s all said and done.

  5. This roster still has some holes, but I am pleasantly surprised by the events of the last couple of weeks. I would not be shocked to see them deal some of their midfield depth to fill some of those holes. I suppose the real litmus test will be whether they sign any additional DPs (or retain Cahill). To read some of the comments, though, it seems that the only way the new regime will be able to please some folks would be by signing CR7 and Vincent Kompany.

  6. Good move for NYRB. I’m sure MLS is thrilled by their new rules regarding USMNT players….because it’s working in getting players to stay/come back to the US.

    The biggest change though in MLS for non-US player is the signing of Giovinco. This is one of the biggest signings in MLS history in my opinion. Not that he’s the biggest signing of course, but because of his skill level, HIS AGE, and the money he is getting. Simply because it’s a 27 year old who is a great player from Italy. Times are changing.

  7. No proven defenders outside of Miller and no other reliable striker but BWP.

    If stockpiling a bunch of midfielders makes you a good team then I guess the Red Bulls are going to have a great season.

    Unfortunately that’s not the case.


      • Yeah Cameron is only starting every week in the PL. We don’t need that. We have Chris Duvall and Armando instead.

      • While Cameron is a everyday starter in the EPL so are alot of guys that you would never want to be DP in mls. A DP is special and while some teams do go low level the DP was meant to bring in higher quality players and Cameron doesn’t fit that. In fact neither does Jozy but TFC was willing to pay him. Just because one team made that mistake doesn’t mean another has to.

      • If Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Mo Edu and Graham Zusi are DPs. Then you sure as hell better believe Cameron is a DP.

        Cameron is on the same level of experience as Bradley and Dempsey. Played regularly for a mid-level Euro club. You just aren’t crazy about it because he is not an attacking player.

        We agree however Toronto FC overpaid for Jozy and Bradley. Seattle overpaid for Dempsey, but that is what it takes.

      • I totally agree mls overpaid for those guys but the guys you named aren’t worth a DP contract either. If they weren’t American they aren’t getting that money. Which kinda scares me that we over pay our own even if they aren’t worth it. Are they good players yes but the system forces them to be dps not because they are worth it.

  8. “…man with tremendous character…”

    Unlike the coach and especially the sporting director. If Sacha has character then he’s going to feel awfully alone when meeting with the RBNY leadership team.

  9. Not totally convinced by these moves. Kljestan, Stolz, Felipe, Dax – tons of central midfield depth but a bunch of marginal defenders. This team conceded way too many goals last season and lost by far their best defender. Plus the refusal to spend any real money is pretty weak. If Cahill leaves, they’ll have only BWP as a DP? How about a DP defender? Or does that not fit in with Red Bulls’ marketing plans?

      • All the depth seems to be at CM, though. There are only 3 legit fullbacks on the roster: Miller, Duvall, and Lade (who hasn’t played in 2 years). There are only 2 real wings in Sam and Zizzo (who is constantly injured). Whereas you look at the guys whose best position is CM: McCarty, Martins, Kljestan, Peggy, Stolz, Christianson, Stevenson, and Davis. Even Cahill (if he comes back) is best used as a CM. I’d imagine they must play 3 midfielders in a 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 Diamond. They really need someone like Bustamante or Bover to break through and provide some quality depth wide and I’m not sure they’re really true wide players, either, from what I’ve seen. Hopefully with the Cahill spot, they’ll target a quality wide player.

      • Lade is not a legit full back or any other position in MLS. And Cahill is a best as a striker IMO, as he shows for Australia, not a central midfielder. Otherwise I pretty much agree.

      • Let’s just say I fail to share Wagner’s optimism. I’m a big Roy Miller fan so I agree with you about left back but Duvall has not shown that he is a consistent right back in this league. Not yet at least. The CBs they signed yesterday just don’t impress me. Zubar is the best of the lot but that isn’t saying much. I’ve seen a lot of comments about how he played in the Premier League but that was 3 years ago now. AJB has already entered re-tread status and Perinelle, well come on now.

        I will grant you that Miazga has potential and I hope he gets more starts next year. But the overall state of the back line is pretty bad and this team is going to concede a ton of goals. And they don’t have Henry to bail them out any more.

    • Perhaps do not follow RB like you, but doesn’t SK play as more of an attacking or offensive CM? Complemented by ankle-biting-richie-williams’esk Dax?

  10. Dempsey, Altidore, Bradley, Mix, Edu, Kjestan…….MLS
    Gerrard, Lampard, Villa, Kaka,….MLS
    Wow…..I remember the days when Freddy Adu coming to MLS was considered a failure hahahahahaha. We have sure come a long way and home based/MLS players no longer mean B Team (for the GOLD CUP…lol)

  11. So it was essentially Oyongo and Alexander for Martins and Klejstan. It also looks like they have made all the moves they plan to make with the back line (with Miazga’s ststus still uncertain). The biggest remaining piece of the puzzle is Cahill.

    Will Klejstan be a DP?


Leave a Comment