Preseason Notebook: Perovic signs in Thailand, Ogunjimi joins camp in Tucson
TUCSON, Ariz. – At least for now, there will be no return to MLS for Marko Perovic.
The 30-year-old midfielder joined the New England Revolution for the club’s recent 12-day preseason camp in Bradenton, Fla., sparking discussion of a potential return to the club he played for from 2010-11. But that possibility dematerialized on Tuesday morning when it was announced that Perovic has signed with Chanait FC of the Thai Premier League.
Revolution General Manager Michael Burns was informed of the move by Perovic’s agent shortly after the deal went public, but the news wasn’t totally unexpected.
“It’s not shocking. It’s not surprising. We knew there was a chance Marko was going to sign (elsewhere) before he even came to Bradenton,” Burns said. “He chose to sign after with another club in another country. We understand that, we respect that and we wish him well.”
Burns said the Revolution will continue to monitor Perovic, who started all three of the club’s games in Bradenton, playing on both wings and in a central attacking midfield role. But for now the Revs will turn their attention to other targets as they continue to search for attacking weapons.
“We’re looking at a lot of different players,” Burns said. “We had a bunch of trialists [in Bradenton], we have a bunch more in Arizona, and for as much as we’re looking at players, it’s obviously the same for them; players are weighing their options. Marko made a decision and we wish him well.”
Belgian forward Ogunjimi expected to see time in the DDC
One player the Revs are currently watching very closely is Belgian forward Marvin Ogunjimi, who recently joined the club’s camp in Tucson, Ariz., where he’s scheduled to stay through Sunday. The 26-year-old has been with Spanish side Mallorca since 2011, but has spent most of his time in recent years in Belgium while on a trio of loan deals.
While it’s ultimately up to the coaching staff, Burns anticipates Ogunjimi will see time in each of the Revolution’s first two matches in the Desert Diamond Cup against Real Salt Lake (Wednesday, Feb. 19) and Chivas USA (Saturday, Feb. 22).
“He’s been extremely professional on the field and off the field,” said Burns. “We’ll see how he does for the week and then evaluate the situation at the conclusion, as I’m sure he’ll do the same.”
Ogunjimi, who stands at 6-foot-1, has registered five goals in seven appearances for the Belgium National Team, one of the major dark horses at this year’s FIFA World Cup. His size and skill-set are suited for a target role, an area in which the Revs have been looking for additional reinforcements.
“We’ve been pretty open about our desire to add some forwards and Marvin certainly fits that criteria in terms of a target guy or an underneath guy,” said Burns. “But he’s clearly more an out-and-out forward and a striker. We’re hoping he does well.”