TRADE FOR RED BULLS CAPTAIN?
For the second straight ‘offseason’ (those crazy Americans have a name for everything), the New York Red Bulls may be set to trade their Captain to another MLS team.
Both MSG and Kristian Dyer suggest that the Red Bulls are about to trade midfielder Sacha Kljestan to LAFC in return for allocation money. Kljestan took over captaincy after Dax McCarty was traded to the Chicago Fire last January in a transaction that netted the Red Bulls $400,000 in General Allocation Money.
The 32-year-old Kljestan, a California native, has been a star for New York since joining the club prior to the 2015 season. He has scored 16 goals in 97 appearances for the Bulls but his most valuable contributions have arguably been his 51 assists, which are the most in MLS history over three seasons. He became the first player to lead the league in assists over consecutive seasons, recording 20 in 2016 and 17 in 2017.
Twice before has Kljestan been a fixture in LAFC head coach Bob Bradley’s teams, first after being drafted for Chivas USA in the 2006 SuperDraft before appearing for Bradley in the United States national team from 2007-11.
UJAH MLS BOUND
Nigerian striker Anthony Ujah is drawing interest from both LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders after cancelling his contract with Chinese club Liaoning Whowin.
Before arriving in China, Ujah enjoyed a successful spell in Germany with Cologne and Werder Bremen. If LA Galaxy are parting ways with Gyasi Zardes, the interest in a player who achieved two double-digit goal seasons in the Bundesliga does make sense.
LA Galaxy’s problems in 2017 lay at the door of their defence but a striker who knows where the net is can never be ignored.
CAPTAIN MARVEL’S COMEBACK CONTINUES
Seattle Sounders influential forward Clint Dempsey, who returned from an irregular heartbeat that ended his 2016 season early and subsequently was named Comeback Player of the Year for 2017, has signed a new one-year deal.
Dempsey will remain a designated player after the club activated his option; “Clint worked with us and he’s taking less money than he was on before to come back,” general manager Gareth Lagerwey said. “Still well-paid, well-compensated, but yes we hope long term that creates a little more balance with respect to our DP spend.”
The former New England, Fulham and Tottenham man led the Sounders this season with 12 goals in the regular season and three more in the playoffs. Dempsey, 34, is perhaps the most decorated U.S. player ever. His 57 goals are tied with the Landon Donovan for the most in team history, and he scored in three straight World Cups. Over the course of a 14-year professional career, Dempsey has amassed 151 goals in 456 appearances across all competitions.
THE SOUTH AMERICANS ARE COMING
Ecuador international Fidel Martinez and Uruguayan Gabriel Leyes are both available according to media reports in Latin America.
Martinez is with Liga MX’s Atlas, Leyes with Peruvian side Alianza Lima. Both could well find themselves a subject of interest for MLS teams hunting for international upgrades to their attacks. Martinez has seven goals in 30 caps for his country, including action in last summer’s Copa America Centenario in the United States.
Any Other Business…
Seattle Sounders didn’t want to part ways with reserve goalkeeper Tyler Miller in the draft but accepted it was a likely possibility… Seattle team captain and club legend Osvaldo Alonso expressed his displeasure on social media after he was not protected in the draft… Fanendo Adi could follow the road travelled by Obafemi Martins to China…