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.
The Red Bulls got rid of Mike Petke today. You think you’ve done well after everyone wrote you off. You think you finally bring a trophy to the Red Bulls and they’ll keep you. Not so in a world of “big name” desires.
Mike Petke was a name well-known in the league, but only as a player, not the big name coach NYRB were after. So, after arguably the best season in Red Bulls’ history, he is out and ex-Montreal boss, Jesse Marsch steps in. Big name with big experience but a tough task ahead for him. Red Bulls lose its biggest name and hope to fill it with another world-class type star. Time will tell who that star is. Still baffled by this move.
And finally, new logo, new coaches and the 2015 MLS Schedule. Check it out here: 2015 MLS Schedule Of course there are an outrageous amount of great rivalry games to catch this coming year but more importantly, the only date that really matters is Sunday, August 23rd. LA Galaxy host a new and improved NYCFC team. This beckons to be a lovely battle of English midfielders since Mr. Gerrard and Mr. Lampard will both be in the mix after finishing their Premier League seasons. Who knows, maybe even Mix Diskerud could be in the mix: Diskerud to NYCFC No matter how you look it, as the long as the MLS season starts on time (which could be in question if things fall through with the CBA negotiations) it will be a fun year for us all.
KICKTV recruited Rugz D. Bewler to create an original track to pay homage to Thierry Henry who, for the past four seasons, has brought not just New York fans but Major League Soccer fans some truly unforgettable moments. A legend in England and France, Henry spent the final years of his career in the city that always had his heart – New York City. At the forefront of New York City’s musical resurrection is Harlem rapper Rugz D. Bewler. A Red Bulls and Henry fan himself, he paid close attention to Thierry’s craft on the field, which helped inspire him while writing the lyrics that accompany the KICKTV video. Thierry Henry ended his 20-year career with the New York Red Bulls scoring 51 goals and assisting on 42. He goes down as one of, if not the best, to ever wear a Red Bulls jersey.
It is a pity Thierry Henry’s time with the New York Red Bulls didn’t end with an MLS Cup. That year him and the Red Bulls won the Supporter’s Shield was his best year to win the cup and the Red Bulls just couldn’t get it done in the playoffs. He was the player that put the New York Red Bulls “on the map” but it seems that the old Red Bulls strategy of centering the team around big name Designated Players is going out the door. If the Red Bulls win the MLS cup going with a more balanced approach then Thierry Henry’s time at the Red Bulls will look like an expensive and decadent failure. However his time in New York is remembered, the highlight reel of goals and skills he gave MLS during his four years will always be the stuff of legend. Bon voyage Thierry Henry!
The Red Bulls signed a special player on Thursday to a one-day contract. Five-year old Irelyn Maloney of Brick, N.J., was signed by the Red Bulls, fulfilling her wish of being part of a soccer team. Maloney was presented with her own locker and jersey, and got to play a small game with the team after practice at the team’s training facility in Hanover.
“If she could play soccer every day, and every minute of every day, she would,” said Shannon, Irelyn’s mother. “She wears her cleats to school, she wears her cleats to the food store and to the doctors. She just absolutely adores it.”
Irelyn’s parents and four sisters were on hand to see her sign a contract with head coach Mike Petke. The Maloney family then got to see Irelyn’s locker and Red Bulls uniform, complete with a number 31 jersey to match her favorite player, Luis Robles.
To learn more about Irelyn and her family, or to see a list of upcoming events and fundraisers on their behalf, check out their Facebook page. You can also see photos from Irelyn’s special day with the Red Bulls..
According to Pro Soccer Talk, Irelyn Maloney is a New Jersey native who loves soccer but cannot play it with a team due a spinal cord injury that’s come as a result of a rare and horrible genetic disease called Familial Mediterranean fever. It is always heartbreaking when a little boy/girl can’t play the sport she loves because of a disease which is why these make a wish efforts by professional sports teams always get me teary-eyed. This will be one of the highlights of her life all because the New York Red Bulls took some valuable time out of their busy MLS schedule to make a little girl smile. Bravo New York Red Bulls! Now please excuse me as I go get more tissues.
Several different sources are claiming that the Red Bull ownership is interested in selling their stake in the NY Red Bulls to better focus on their European sports ownerships. The rumors are not a reflection on the state of the team or the league but based more so on business interests since global Red Bulls profits are down.
One source says that if a buyer approached Red Bull and offered $300 million for the Red Bulls and their stadium, the deal would get done within 48 hours. In fact, team and stadium sale talks were indeed held by Red Bull a couple years ago with a New Jersey-based investor group and then again with Manchester City before the club acquired its MLS expansion franchise along with the New York Yankees, but neither set of talks led anywhere.
This rumored split is supposedly directly intwined with the rumors of Thierry Henry not being resigned by the club after this season. Since the new club may not be around for much longer they do not want to sign a large contract that could become an albatross for future owners of the club. No contract extension for Thierry Henry along with shelved plans for a USL Pro Club all seem to be indicators of the New York Red Bulls impending sale.
These rumors are not confirmed but there seem to be many signs that point to some truth behind them. It remains to be seen if a sale is made but if it did it would be interesting to see who would make the purchase and what changes it would bring to the club.
Arsenal is set to visit the US for the first time in 25 years to play the Red Bulls on Saturday, July 26th at 5:00 PM. This will be the only match Arsenal plays in the US in 2014. Personally, I’m flabbergasted that Arsenal has not been to the US in 25 years. Considering the huge market for Premier League teams to garner fans from, on top of the fact that there are already a lot of Arsenal fans in the states, it’s wild that Arsenal hasn’t made the trek to America in so long.