Last week news came out that the New York Red Bulls were in the market for the services of RSC Anderlecht, and US international, midfielder Sacha Kljestan. Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported the same news last Thursday, January 8th.
Jeff Carlisle, reporting for ESPN FC has confirmed the Goff report via multiple sources. He is reporting that not only are the Red Bulls a possible landing spot for the US International, but so are MLS sides LA Galaxy & Philadelphia Union. There is also an unnamed domestic club interested in his services as as well as an unnamed club in the English Championship.
Carlisle's piece throws an interesting wrinkle into the situation. The previously unknown "Designated Player of a certain threshold" rule that was used to bring Clint Dempsey to the Seattle Sounders and Michael Bradley to Toronto FC is no longer around.
Earlier on Sunday, ESPNFC.com reported the allocation order will be used in determining where Sunderland forward Jozy Altidore lands if he comes to MLS. Recently, the league had been able to place players of a certain salary threshold essentially at its discretion. That is no longer the case.
Klejstan played college soccer at Seton Hall, and it seems he wants to return to the area. However, given that the DP threshold is now removed the equation, the Red Bulls aren't the front runner, that would be the Philadelphia Union who have a higher allocation spot.
In light of that development, the Union and the Red Bulls are thought to be the frontrunners for Kljestan's services, as the Galaxy are far down the allocation order and recently used their third Designated Player slot on Steven Gerrard. At present, New York lies 12th, while Philadelphia occupies eighth spot, though willingness to meet the player's financial demands is also a factor.
Given the lack of transparency in MLS rules the last few years, it wouldn't be surprising to see Kljestan in New York, Philadelphia, or not even in the league at all. We'll have to see how this plays out, but if the Red Bulls do land Kljestan, what does that mean for Tim Cahill?
Cahill occupied the bench for most of the end of the year after performing poorly in New York despite stellar play with Australia. He's made overtures that he has other opportunities and is looking to keep playing so as to appear at the 2018 World Cup. With the Red Bulls seemingly starting a youth movement, his time at the Red Bulls is limited. He has one year left on his contract, and it doesn't seem likely that the team would be willing to renew.