Revs lose out on Marko; clear cap room

Posted on 01 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution parted ways with its 2010 MVP and leading goal scorer Marko Perovic on Thursday June 30th, along with his countryman Ilija Stolica.

The move occurred on the last day before guaranteed contracts kicked in for MLS, as players on the roster as of July 1st are guaranteed salaries throughout the rest of the season.

However, both Perovic and Stolica had contracts that were set to expire on June 30, with options for the team to extend them through the rest of the season.  Stolica, who had been loaned out in April, seemed destined to be cut as the deadline approached. But Perovic, who had suffered a season ending knee injury earlier this season, specifically asked for his contract option not to be picked up by the team.

To Marko’s credit, he was done for the season, and could have continued to collect salary while he recovered from his ACL surgery.  Asking for his release allows the Revolution to get cap room and roster relief.  Coupled with Stolica’s salary, the Revs now have a bit more wiggle room to try and sign a true impact player that can help the Revs reach the playoffs in October.

But who that player will be  is anybody’s guess. Looking at the Revs roster moves over the last three seasons, one has to wonder what it is about this MLS franchise and it’s inability to secure decent players. Jeff Larentowicz did not want an extension in 2009, and opted to be traded in 2010 to Colorado, where he signed a lucrative contract and won a championship. Stories of designated players who almost have signed but backed away have plagued this team since the “Beckham” rule went into effect. And now Marko has asked for and been granted his unconditional release.

Perhaps the reason has to do more with the teams infrastructure and technical staff than it does with MLS as a whole.  Steve Nicol is a Liverpool legend, but that only goes so far when your support staff and assistant coaches are made up of former college coaches and youth directors.  Hardly the infrastructure one would find in the top leagues in Europe.

Furthermore, Mike Burns, Vice President of Player Personnel, seems limited in his ability to attract and retain talent. This could be due to the ownership not providing him with the resources he needs, or it could be his own failing.  Regardless, it is his job to make sure the team has the players it needs to compete, and he has fallen short in that regard over recent years.

Stevie Nicol has already made multiple trips to Europe, Africa, and even Turkey.  Rumors are starting to form that a Designated Player could be on the way to New England.  One can only hope that Nicol has a player in mind that can make an immediate impact on the field. Hopefully that player is more akin to Perovic rather than Jankauskas or Niouky.

 

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