It’s finally over.
The long-awaited announcement of the signing of Alejandro ‘Kaku’ Romero Gamarra came on Friday as the New York Red Bulls made the transfer official. While the details of the transfer are undisclosed, Kaku has signed as the first Young Designated Player in club history.
Kaku joins from Argentine club Huracan, where he had been a member of the first team since 2013. He replaces fellow Argentine Designated Player Gonzalo Veron on the roster and will be expected to help replace the production of assist leader and playmaker Sacha Kljestan in midfield.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
“We are very pleased to reach an agreement with all parties and complete this deal,” sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement. “When we identified Kaku, he quickly became our top off-season target. He fits the profile of the player we are looking for: highly skilled, creative, and hard-working. During our discussions, we realized that we are adding a good player and great young man to our team. We look forward to seeing him continue to grow as part of the New York Red Bulls.”
The signing ends a months-long saga in which there were reports of multiple agreements to bring Kaku to New York, only for it to fall through.
Last December, Huracan posted that the Red Bulls and it had agreed on a $6.25 million transfer fee for Kaku, but the deal was held up for various reasons until Friday.
The Argentine youth international has been given the No. 10 shirt.
There is joy in Harrison, N.J. today. Mighty Red Bulls completed the deal.
The Red Bulls continue to build off of their young roster, and got a little bit younger on Friday.
The club announced the signing of Venezuelan midfielder Cristian Casseres Jr., the son of former Venezuela international Cristian Casseres.
[ MORE: Aron Johannsson’s audacious pass sets up Werder Bremen goal ]
The 18-year-old most recently appeared in Venezuela’s first division for Deportivo La Guaira, while also representing his country’s U-17 and U-20 national teams.
On Friday night, Metro reporter Kristian Dyer reported that the Red Bulls were set to release midfielder Muhamed Keita.
PST has been able to confirm that the additions of Casseres Jr. and Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Marc Rzatkowski put the Red Bulls in a tight situation with their international roster spots, leaving the team with the decision to let Keita leave.
At the moment, the Eastern Conference side has 11 players using up international roster slots, which is one over the team limit. By losing Keita, the Red Bulls would be down to 10.
After four years away, Amando Moreno has decided to return home.
The New York Red Bulls announced that it had signed Moreno to an MLS contract. The 22-year-old forward spent the last four years with Club Tijuana, though he only made a hand full of appearances. He also spent time on loan with Dorados in Mexico’s second division last season, scoring once in seven league appearances.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]
His main playing time in Mexico came during Copa MX matches, a breeding ground for the next crop of youngsters looking to break into the first team of every team in the competition. He scored five goals in 21 appearances for Tijuana and another goal for Dorados last fall.
The former U.S. Youth National Team starter found playing time hard to come by both in the U.S. and Mexico, but perhaps he sees light at the end of the tunnel in New York. With Bradley Wright-Phillips on the wrong side of 30, a good season split between the Red Bulls and New York Red Bulls II could be a way in for Moreno, as well as a potential return to the national team picture in the future.
Orlando City has found its new playmaker.
After reports of a deal on Tuesday, Orlando City confirmed on Wednesday that it has acquired veteran attacking midfielder Sacha Kljestan and $150,000 in target allocation money from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for Carlos Rivas and Tommy Redding.
In the press release from OCSC, Kljestan was not referred to as a Designated Player, perhaps hinting that the club used some TAM to pay down his contract.
[READ: LAFC sign Jordan Harvey]
“We are thrilled to bring Sacha to Orlando,” Lions general manager Niki Budalic said in a statement. “His ability to see the field and make the final pass will be huge assets for us. But more than that – he’s a winner. He’s won everywhere he’s gone, and we look forward to that continuing here.”
Kljestan has proved to be the best assist-man in the league since returning to MLS in 2015, recording 51 dimes in 97 matches for the Red Bulls.
It’s a big loss for the Red Bulls as they lose their captain for the second-straight year, and while they bring in Rivas and Redding, both have yet to impress at this level. But at Kljestan’s age of 32, the Red Bulls may have wanted to cash in on the veteran while his value is still high.
The New York Red Bulls are at it again, sending a fan favorite and arguable Team MVP packing to a conference rival in the offseason.
A year after sending Dax McCarty to the Chicago Fire, RBNY has shipped Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City SC.
[ MORE: Danny Rose injury setback ]
In exchange for Kljestan and $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money, the Red Bulls will get promising defender Tommy Redding (20) and attacker Carlos Rivas (23).
The 52-times capped Kljestan finishes his tenure in New York with 22 goals and 37 assists in 121 matches. He is banned for the first two matches of the MLS season.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle:
Sources confirmed that Kljestan signed a new, two-year contract with Orlando, though it is unclear at present if he will remain a designated player or if his salary will be bought down with TAM
The Red Bulls dropped to sixth in the East but finished five points ahead of their closest playoff competitor, as close to the third seed as missing the playoffs. That’s a five spot and seven-point drop from 2016.
Orlando has flipped the script big time since the end of the season, with Kaka retiring and Cyle Larin preparing to sign with a European club.
The Lions have added NASL star Stefano Pinho, NYCFC’s RJ Allen, the Galaxy’s Jose Villarreal, and Partizan Belgrade’s Mohamed El-Munir.