Sacha Kljestan: “I want to get our first win and even better if can be against my former team.” (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
Sacha Kljestan did not hide his feeling about taking on his former team, the Red Bulls.
“I want to win this game very badly,” he said.
And for several reasons.
Orlando City SC (0-2-1) enters Saturday’s 1 p.m. game against New York at Orlando City SC winless.
And then there’s the fact it’s the Red Bulls, who dealt him to their Eastern Conference rivals during the offseason for forward Carlos Rivas and defender Tommy Redding.
“I feel good. I’m excited to play,” Kljestan told reporters in Orlando earlier this week. “I want to get our first win and even better if can be against my former team.
“It will be fun to see the guys again. I spent a few good years and had some very good relationships with those guys. You always want to win against your friends and your brothers. I want to win this game very badly.”
The former Red Bulls captain said neither side had any junk talk before the match, at least not earlier this week.
“I know they’re going to be here for a few days after the game, so they’re trying to plan a pool day at my house on Sunday,” Kljestan said. “So, I hope it’s a fun pool party for me and they’re having a bit of a down day. So, I hope it’s a win for us.”
The Red Bulls will depart Orlando for Guadalajara, Mexico to face Chivas in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series.
Then Kljestan gave the media a scouting report on New York, which every Red Bulls supporter already knows.
“They’re very organized and they have a very good style of play that they stick to and they don’t deviate from so we should know what to expect coming in — a lot of pressure, a lot of turnovers, a lot of transition opportunities,” he said. “So, we’ve got to be good with the ball and then be good at tracking back when we do turnover the ball because they’re going to want to counter fast.
“And then some very good players — Luis Robles, one of the best goalies in the league, Bradley Wright-Phillips, one of the best strikers. So, at all times we’ve got to know where Bradley is, really not give him any chances because when he gets a few chances, he buries then. A good team.”