Anderlecht gave a heartfelt goodbye to a player who wore the club’s colors for nearly five years. As part of an emotional pregame ceremony, Kljestan was serenaded by the supporters and eventually grabbed a microphone for a final “thank you” of his own (in English).
Not too long afterward, Kljestan, who officially signed with the New York Red Bulls on January 28, made his final appearance for the reigning Belgian champs on Sunday, playing the final 17 minutes of a 0-0 tie against 10th-placed Zulte-Waregem. He leaves Anderlecht in second place in the Jupiler Pro League table, seven points behind Club Brugges.
The Jupiler League is by no means one of the premier league in Europe. However, Anderlecht is one of the best teams in that league and also a perennial contender in the Champions League so Sacha was not left wanting for serious competition. Because of his time at Anderlecht he was able to become a much better player which led to 46 appearances for the USMNT. It is evident that his time at Anderlecht greatly helped him as a player and it is nice to know that the Anderlecht fans appreciated him as a player and a person. It just goes to show that American soccer fans put a lot of stock into where their players play in Europe but sometimes it’s better to play for a team like Anderlecht (perennial Champions League contender even if they don’t usually make it out of the group stage) than to sit the bench for a Bayern Munich or be in a relegation battle with a team like Sunderland. Congratulations Sacha on your great career at Anderlecht and we can’t wait to see how you will help the Red Bulls.