CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's bid to bring Sacha Kljestan home is over, after the Southern California product signed Wednesday with the New York Red Bulls, who on Tuesday acquired the No. 1 spot in the MLS allocation order in a trade with Montreal.
LA had received the No. 3 allocation spot and allocation money from Colorado in the Marcelo Sarvas trade on the day of the MLS SuperDraft, and speculation was that they would bid to bring Kljestan back to MLS from Belgian powerhouse RSC Anderlecht.
“He's a player we certainly had interest in,” Arena said following the Galaxy's 2-0 victory over the Ventura County Fusion in a closed-door scrimmage Wednesday at StubHub Center.
Kljestan grew up in Huntington Beach, about 20 miles from StubHub Center, before heading east to attend Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He later started his pro career with Chivas USA, in Southern California, before joining Anderlecht in 2010.
The Galaxy also tried to bring in Kljestan last summer, trading defender Kofi Opare to D.C. United to move up to third on the allocation list. But nothing came to fruition, and in September, Arena was handed a "major fine," according to SportsIllustrated.com, for disparaging comments about the league's handling on the potential deal.
Commissioner Don Garber told SI.com that Kljestan “wanted to come to MLS and play for six months and live in Los Angeles so that he could then go back to Anderlecht. We are not going to sign a six-month contract with any player, whether Bruce Arena wants us to or not.”
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The Galaxy are now No. 2 on the allocation list, behind California Clasico rivals the San Jose Earthquakes. But that doesn't mean the Galaxy will definitely use that allocation spot, and Arena confirmed that the club is working on some specific possiblities.
“If the right players are available, I would anticipate we do get a player or two," Arena said. "But it doesn't necessarily have to be an allocated player.”