FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England striker Rajko Lekic likes to live on the edge of the offside line. It is a dangerous existence from time to time — sometimes, the flag goes up, sometimes, it does not — but it yielded dividends in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City
Lekic scored his fourth goal of the season by surging past the Sporting back four to latch onto Matt Reis's long hoof up field and slot coolly past Jimmy Nielsen to give the Revs the lead seven minutes before halftime.
“To be honest, every time I see a long ball, a goal kick or a [long] shot, then I just take a chance,” Lekic told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday after the match. “I took maybe 10 chances [against Sporting], just running behind the line. I need maybe one or two chances and then you have a free run on goal.”
Although Lekic benefited from his willingness to take a chance against Sporting and strayed offside only one time on the evening (he has 21 to his name out of New England’s 48 total this season), his formula hasn't produced the success he has wanted so far during his spell with the Revolution.
Lekic said he judges his contribution on scoring goals because that is his role in the side, but he noted that he is trying to ramp up other areas of his game to help the Revs even if he isn't finding the back of the net.
“I'm just trying to keep on,” Lekic said. “I know it's difficult to get chances here. I'm trying to fight and run to help the team in that way. I'm just trying to keep the ball a little bit. I think, honestly, that [the game in Kansas City] was my best game.
“I'm happy, but still a little bit disappointed because they scored a goal when the 90 minutes were almost over,” he added.
Coria awaits Caraglio's introduction
Lekic reportedly watched from the sidelines as new Designated Player Milton Caraglio went through his paces with the Revs for the first time on Thursday morning.
Revolution defender Franco Coria didn't play against Caraglio when the two players featured for teams in their homeland, but he said he liked what he saw from the former Rosario Central striker when he caught highlights on television.
“He's a strong forward who likes to attack,” Coria said through a translator on Wednesday. “He's a lefty. He can score goals. I'm excited for him to be here.”
Coria — who also noted that he expects to miss a month with a MCL sprain in his left knee — said he looks forward to having another player from Argentina on the squad.
“We'll be able to talk to each other and we have the same customs,” Coria said. “We can share that here so far away from home.”
Cochrane on the mend
With Coria ruled out through injury and A.J. Soares removed from contention through suspension, New England face a shortage of options at center back ahead of Saturday's date with Chivas USA.
Revolution center back Ryan Cochrane trained on Wednesday and said he hopes to overcome his left foot issues in time to feature against the Red-and-White.
“I got a cortisone shot in it last week, so we were just waiting for it to calm down after that,” Cochrane said. “It's calmed down pretty well. I still have a little bit of feeling and the same sort of problem in there, but, overall, it feels so much better now.”
Cochrane missed the past two games after coming off during the first half in a 1-0 victory at D.C. United on July 22, but he said the patience he has shown with his injury should help as he attempts to return to the starting XI this weekend.
“It's always tough when you have this type of little injury that keeps lingering around,” Cochrane said. “It's not serious, but it's just there. It limits the way you want to be able to move on the field. It's frustrating, but, at this point, we've got a lot of guys out with suspensions and [injuries], so it's time to put the injuries behind us and do our best to get on the field.”
McCarthy back on the training field
Revolution midfielder Stephen McCarthy tweaked his troublesome left shoulder at Livestrong Sporting Park on Saturday night, but he made a surprising appearance on the training field on Wednesday morning.
McCarthy said he met with his doctor earlier this week and noted that he took heart from the doctor's personal experience with a similar shoulder issue and his ability to fight through it without doing further damage.
“I don't know if I would have come out this soon without that knowledge,” McCarthy said. “I told them that I thought I could probably train. It might still hurt, but if you have the brace, it's safer. It's pretty difficult to pop it back out if it's strapped in.”
With a new, lighter shoulder brace on the way, McCarthy said he hopes to place himself in contention for Saturday's game against Chivas USA.