Sacha Kljestan was the New York Red Bulls' leading assist-maker in 2015, and he has filled the same role for the team so far in 2016. Last year, Kljestan tallied 16 assists in all competitions for RBNY: the joint-second best single-season assists total in team history (and 14 of those were in MLS regular season games - the joint-best single-season league assists total in team history). This year, the team's slow start notwithstanding, he has tallied four assists in eight appearances; the two most recent arriving in RBNY's last match - the 3-2 win over Orlando City.
Sixteen plus four is 20: Sacha Kljestan has reached 20 career all-competitions assists for RBNY, and that is a milestone in the context of the club's history. He is just the 13th player in the team's 20-year existence to tally 20 career assists for the club.
It should also be noted that Sacha is racking up these assists at an impressive pace. With the caveat that Kljestan is doubtless abetted by the fact MLS seems to take an increasingly indulgent view of what might be considered an assist, it should be noted that he has charged into the company of RBNY's all-time assist-making elite at an unprecedented pace (with thanks to MetroFanatic.com's inimitable archive of team stats):
|Name||Games Played||Games Started||Minutes Played||Assists||Minutes Played/Assist|
An assist every 204 minutes or so is a startling pace by the historic standards of RBNY's top tier of goal creators. If Kljestan sticks around with the Red Bulls and continues to contribute to goals at the same rate, he will match Thierry Henry's all-time club assist-making record before he plays his 10,000th competitive minute for the first team. If he retains the same pace and plays as much as Henry did for RBNY, Kljestan will have around 56 career assists to his name by the time he has logged as many minutes as the club's current king of goal-making. And that might make him the first player to register 50+ career assists for RBNY.
Kljestan will doubtless measure his achievements at RBNY in trophies rather than personal milestones, but it is still worth acknowledging those milestones when he reaches them - and worth acknowledging the fact that Sacha is currently sustaining an assist-making pace this club isn't used to seeing from even the most productive goal creators in its history.