Orlando City delighted to acquire U.S. int’l Kljestan

USA international Sacha Kljestan (pictured) has played in seven Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League games and 20 in the UEFA Champions League. (Photo: Mexsport)

ORLANDO, Florida – After a disappointing 2017 Major League Soccer campaign, Orlando City SC upgraded its roster Wednesday, with the acquisition of midfielder Sacha Kljestan from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for forward Carlos Rivas and defender Tommy Redding.

Kljestan enjoyed three standout seasons in New York, playing in 97 regular season games and registering a league-best 51 assists over that stretch. He scored 16 MLS goals for New York and led the league in assists in 2017 (17) and 2016 (20). The 32-year-old also scored two goals in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play.

“We are thrilled to bring Sacha to Orlando,” said Orlando City general manager Niki Budalic. “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 spent his first five seasons in MLS with Chivas USA from 2006-10, when he scored 15 goals and added 33 assists in 114 appearances, before transferring to Belgian first division side Anderlecht. In five years at Anderlecht, he scored 25 goals in 180 matches across all competitions, helping the team win three consecutive league titles and four Belgian Super Cups.

In 51 games for the U.S., Kljestan has six goals. He struck for two goals and registered two assists in three CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA Wolrd Cup. Kljestan has competed in the CONCACAF Gold Cup (2011: 6 games/0 goals), the Copa America (2007: 2/0) and the FIFA Confederations Cup (2009: 3/0).

"On behalf of everyone at the club, I'd like to thank Sacha for his three years with the Red Bulls," Red Bulls Sporting Director Denis Hamlett said. "His career here was among the most productive of any player in team history, and he is a true professional on and off the field. We wish Sacha and his family all the best."