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.
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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.
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.