When the LA Galaxy announced its Thursday press conference, everybody assumed the team would be announcing the acquisition of Sacha Kljestan. That turned out to be drastically wrong, but the underlying assumption remained unchanged. If Huntington Beach-born midfielder was going to come back to Major League Soccer, if was going to be to the Galaxy, the thinking went. Having starting his professional career in the area before joining Anderlecht four years ago, the 28-year-old would be willing to end his European excursion to join LA’s marquee club.
While that very well may have been the case, it turns out another MLS club was in pursuit. According to the league’s web site, FC Dallas was also working to bring the U.S. international back across the pond.
The Toros aren’t usually a team that’s in the mix for these type of players – returning internationals whose high price tags and preferred landing spots usually work against FCD. This time, however, Dallas may have had reason for hope.
Dallas president Dan Hunt, from MLSSoccer.com:
“I know that the guys at the league office worked extremely hard to make this happen in conjunction with Sacha and his agent Richard Motzkin,” Hunt said. “Unfortunately it didn’t work out this time, but there is always the January window.”
When I read the league’s report, my jaw almost dropped; not because Dallas was involved, but because of the opportunity lost. Fabián Castillo’s back, Mauro Díaz is returning to full fitness, and Tesho Akindele has emerged up top. Once health at the back allows Je-Vaughn Watson to return to right wing, this team has the potential to do damage in the postseason.
But add Klejstan to the mix? With him and Díaz working together in front of Adam Moffat in the middle? Dallas becomes a lot more dangerous, adding more intrigue to what’s become a dense Western Conference playoff picture.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, but given Hunt’s allusion to the next transfer window, Dallas fans should feel encouraged. As fast as things are moving in the West, every team needs to look for their own Matías Pérez Garcías, Sebastián Jaimes, and Liam Ridgewells. That Dallas is willing to join that arms race is a positive note for fans around Toyota Stadium.