On Tuesday the long-rumored trade between the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact took place as a bevy of players and cash were exchanged for the all important top spot in the allocation order.
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New York sent midfielder Eric Alexander, defender Ambroise Oyongo, an international player spot, and allocation money to Montreal in exchange for attacker Felipe Martins and top spot in the allocation order.
Why have the Red Bulls sent two important players, an international spot and allocation money away up to Quebec? To land U.S. national team midfielder Sacha Kljestan.
The 29-year-old who currently plays with RSC Anderlecht in Belgium has been lined up by the Red Bulls for some time but per MLS rules, as a USMNT player Kljestan has to go through the allocation order before returning back to the league where his career began.
Now everything is in place for Kljestan to link up with his former Chivas USA teammate Jesse Marsch, who is the new head coach of the Red Bulls.
Despite the strong links to Kljestan, Red Bulls sporting director Ali Curtis said the club have a “top target in mind” but are “considering all options” with their top pick in the allocation order.
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Who did better in the trade? Montreal or New York? The Impact have picked up Cameroon international Oyongo and dependable MLS midfielder in Alexander, but they have lost one of their most influential attackers as Felipe has scored 12 goals and added 24 assists with the Impact in the past three years after Marsch signed the Brazilian during Montreal’s inaugural MLS season in 2012.
If New York can successfully seal the deal for Kljestan then this trade could set them up to stay ultra-competitive in the Eastern conference during 2015, even after Thierry Henry’s retirement, coach Mike Petke being replaced and Tim Cahill’s impending departure.
Times, they are a changing at Red Bull Arena. Could Kljestan be the new face of the franchise?