Sacha Kljestan - New York Red Bulls - August 18, 2017
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Red Bulls trade Sacha Kljestan, TAM to Orlando City for Rivas, Redding

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade

The New York Red Bulls and Orlando City SC completed a major trade on Wednesday morning, with Red Bulls captain and MLS assist king Sacha Kljestan and $150,000 in 2018 Targeted Allocation Money moving south in exchange for Lions forward Carlos Rivas and center back Tommy Redding.

“We are thrilled to bring Sacha to Orlando,” Orlando general manager Niki Budalic said in a club release. “His ability to see the field and make the final pass will be huge assets for us. But more than that – he’s a winner. He’s won everywhere he’s gone, and we look forward to that continuing here.”

The transaction marks the second year in a row in which RBNY have traded their team captain, echoing Dax McCarty’s stunning move to Chicago last winter.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, I’d like to thank Sacha for his three years with the Red Bulls,” said Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett in a club release. “His career here was among the most productive of any player in team history, and he is a true professional on and off the field. We wish Sacha and his family all the best.”

Kljestan notched two goals and 17 assists in 32 appearances last season, plus a goal and an assist in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, continuing a consistent run of quality that’s seen him bag 22 goals and 54 assists across all competitions in three seasons since returning from a sterling stint in Belgium in 2015.

During that time New York won the 2015 Supporters’ Shield, reached the 2017 U.S. Open Cup final and advanced to at least the conference semifinal round of the postseason in all three years.

“It’s never easy to trade a player, especially one that has been as impactful as Sacha,” said Hamlett. “That said, this move is in the best interest of our club now and for the future. We are adding two young, exciting players that have MLS experience.”

Rivas, 23, was one of the first Designated Players in Orlando’s history, joining the club ahead of its 2015 expansion campaign. Last season was the former Colombian youth international’s best in MLS with five goals and five assists in 30 games, running his career MLS totals to eight goals and 13 assists.

Redding, 20, became the first Homegrown Player in Lions history in 2014, but the center back has made only 38 MLS appearances (31 starts) over the past three years, partly due to US youth national team commitments.

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