The New England Revolution will enter the upcoming campaign with a completely new strike tandem after Rajko Lekic cinched his return to Denmark on Monday.
Lekic has signed a one-and-a-half year deal with Danish SuperLiga side Lyngby Boldklub, according to a press release posted on the club's website. The 30-year-old forward will leave MLS after scoring six goals in 23 appearances during his one season with the Revolution.
The deal secures Lekic's future after the Revolution opted to decline its option to retain his services in 2012. Revolution general manager Michael Burns told MLSsoccer.com earlier this month that his club had submitted a revised offer to Lekic earlier in the offseason and left the discussions open after the forward decided not to agree to those terms.
Lekic told examiner.com earlier this month that he rejected the Revolution's proposal at least in part because he wanted a fully guaranteed deal for the upcoming campaign.
The Dane's confirmed departure reinforces the Revs' scant options up front at the moment and shows why New England boss Jay Heaps has voiced his desire to sign a proven forward prior to the start of the campaign.
Zack Schilawski is the only out-and-out forward on the roster at the moment. Fernando Cárdenas can play as a second striker, while Diego Fagundez, Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi have also featured in that position in the past. In addition to the quartet of players already assured of a spot in the squad, the Revs have three forwards – David Foley, Michael Roach and Rick Smith – on trial at the moment.
Seven players remain on trial as Revs wind up Arizona spell
Foley, Roach and Smith aren't the only players still attempting to earn a roster spot as of Monday.
Cameroonian defender Junior N'Tame and former Wake Forest star Jeremiah White remain in the mix after featuring in the Revs' 2-1 victory in a friendly against FC Tucson on Saturday, while supplemental draft selections Kevin Garcia and Alec Purdie are also trying to procure a contract offer.
The group dwindled by one over the weekend after Bayern Munich II striker Saër Sène completed his training stint with Revs on Friday. Sène is searching for a new club after FCB II manager Andries Jonker told fcbayern.de that the French forward isn't in his plans for the second half of the Regionalliga Sud (fourth division) season.
Heaps has plenty of latitude to add to his squad if he decides he wants to sign Sène or any of the current trialists. New England currently has 22 players (including four internationals) on the books for 2012 and must add another six players (including no more than three internationals, barring a trade for further international slots) over the next several weeks in order to meet the 28-player minimum.