Orlando City SC acquires midfielder Sacha Kljestan and $150,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for forward Carlos Rivas and defender Tommy Redding. Orlando City will retain a percentage of any future transfer of Rivas and Redding.
“We are thrilled to bring Sacha to Orlando,” Lions general manager Niki Budalic said. “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 joins the Lions following three standout seasons in New York. Kljestan played 97 regular season games for the Red Bulls since 2015 and his 51 assists since then are the most in the league. Kljestan scored 16 MLS goals for New York, led the league in assists in 2017 (17) and 2016 (20), and led the Red Bulls to the 2015 Supporters’ Shield. He also scored two goals in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2016.
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 RSC Anderlecht. In five years at Anderlecht, he scored 25 goals in 180 appearances across all competitions, helping the team win three consecutive league titles and four Belgian Super Cups.
The California native represented the United States at the U-20 and U-23 levels before making his senior international debut on June 2, 2007, when he earned an assist to help the U.S. to a 4-1 win over China. Kljestan has six goals in 51 senior appearances for the U.S. and also represented the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Kljestan was an MLS All-Star in 2016 and was selected to the 2008 All-Star team, but chose to play in the Olympics instead. Kljestan was selected to the MLS Best XI in 2008 and 2016. In his eight years in MLS, Kljestan has played in seven MLS Cup Playoffs, scoring two goals and four assists in 17 appearances.
Rivas was one of the Club’s first three Designated Player signings ahead of its inaugural MLS season in 2015. The Colombian recorded eight goals and 13 assists in 42 starts among 78 MLS appearances. Redding was the team’s first MLS signing in March 2014 at age 17. The Oviedo, Fla., native made 31 starts among 38 MLS appearances for Orlando City.
“I want to thank Carlos and Tommy for all they’ve done for our Club,” Budalic added. “I would also like to recognize Tommy for the five years he spent with our organization from USL to MLS, and Carlos as well for being with us since the inaugural season in 2015.”