New England have declined the pending contract options for midfielder Marko Perović and striker Ilija Stolica, according to a club release issued on Thursday afternoon.
While Stolica's recent loan move to USL Pro side FC New York foreshadowed the end of his Revolution career, Perović's impressive debut season in 2010 — in which he collected seven goals and four assists on his way to team MVP honors — and the season-ending surgery on his left knee on June 2 seemed to cement his future with the club.
Revolution vice president of player personnel Michael Burns told MLSsoccer.com those plans changed when Perović asked the club not to pick up his option to continue his contract with the team and MLS.
“We feel like we've granted Marko's wish,” Burns said. “He asked us and the league not to exercise his option. He said he wanted to return home. We granted him that wish. Obviously, we think the world of Marko, we wish he wasn't injured and we hoped that he was playing for us this season.”
Perović's departure will give the Revs additional flexibility within the salary budget to acquire a sought-after attacking piece when the summer transfer window opens on July 15.
“We all wish that Marko was playing, was healthy and was playing for us on the field,” Burns said. “In granting him his wish to not have his option exercised, it gives us some flexibility to add a player to the roster. That's what we're going to try to do in the summer window.”