While Sacha Kljestan was signed by the New York Red Bulls back in January, he was not formally introduced by the team as they had him join training camp in Orlando immediately. Yesterday, the Red Bulls took care of that with a 35 minute press conference at Red Bull Arena to present Kljestan.
Kljestan comes to the Red Bulls after a successful stint with RSC Anderlecht. He was with the team for five years. He helped the Belgian team to three Belgian Pro titles, four Belgian Super Cups, and multiple UEFA Champions League appearances.
The press conference was sort of a homecoming for Kljestan, who played his college career at local Seton Hall. Kljestan coming to New York is also a little bit of a reunion. The US international spent time playing under Jesse Marsch while at Chivas USA, and while Marsch was an assistant to Bob Bradley. Jesse Marsch praised Kljestan during the press conference, referencing the player's time at Anderlecht and the hero status he achieved before leaving.
Kljestan had good words to say for Ali Curtis and Jesse Marsch, and the roles they played in bringing him to the Red Bulls, along with wanting to bring the Red Bulls a MLS Cup trophy.
But the challenge arose to try to come to New York with the Red Bull organization and try to be a leader, a team that has never won an MLS Cup; it's a huge challenge. We want to make something that the fans are proud of, and the sporting challenge was the biggest draw.
When Marsch was asked about Kljestan's role on the team, while he admitted that Kljestan was a holding midfielder with Anderlecht, he envisions more of an attacking role for the player. Marsch said that they have seen good things so far in preseason, and it's promising.
While Kljestan was directly asked about being the face of the team, Marsch added in with his own comment.
We're trying to shift this club to be more about each other, what it takes to be a winner. I get the comment, because it been like that. But the face of this team is going to be the team.