FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It doesn't take a particularly incisive piece of analysis to explain why the New England Revolution wanted to sign Rajko Lekic.
The 29-year-old forward scored goals regularly in Denmark. New England desperately need a consistent source of offensive production after struggling to create and convert chances during the opening stages of the campaign.
It seems like a perfect match on paper. There is, however, one problem with the scenario: The Revs must supply Lekic with the proper service to allow the striker to do his job.
“His scoring record in Denmark is like one in two,” Revolution manager Steve Nicol told MLSsoccer.com. “I don't care where you play – that's a phenomenal record. Hopefully, he can bring that here. But we have to get him the ball in order for him to put it in the back of the net.”
Lekic's pedigree – 76 goals in 121 appearances in two spells at Silkeborg IF (2003-04, 2008 to '11) – suggests that he knows what to do once he receives the ball in promising areas. He thrived in Denmark because he ruthlessly polished off the moves constructed by his teammates and he hopes he can replicate that production when given the opportunity to do so for the Revolution.
“For every striker, it's important that the team creates chances to score goals,” Lekic said. “I hope that we will create chances because if I get chances, I think and hope that I will score many goals.”
It remains to be seen whether a Revolution side that has mustered just five goals in five matches can provide Lekic with the service he requires to hit the back of the net consistently.
The recent recovery of a pair of key regulars should aid the Revs in their quest. Marko Perovic's recent return from a left hamstring strain should inject an added dose of creativity in the final third, while Ousmane Dabo should boost the Revs' work in possession as soon as he is fit enough to shake off the lingering effects of a right quadriceps strain.
“I think once we get everybody we're hoping to get and have everybody at 100 percent, then I have no doubt we'll get him the ball,” Nicol said.
When that service arrives, Lekic hopes that he can do what he has done over the past several years in Denmark to bolster his new side.
“I'm here to help the team as I can,” Lekic said. “I hope that we can score a lot of goals.”