UPDATE: Turns out the Revs freed up the international slot by moving Diego Fagundez to the unavailable list. That means he's a Revolution player but can't feature in a game. It makes sense, really; he was never going to make a first-team appearance this season anyway, it's too early.
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For those of you who've been following along with me, this is vindication. According to a team press release, the Revs have signed Radivoje "Rajko" Lekic to a contract and he will be eligible to play once his ITC goes through.
Per usual policy, the team and MLS have not disclosed the terms of his deal. However, I can confirm that he is not a designated player. This means there's no way he doubled his Danish salary, since that would have put him at just under $600,000 per year, which is above the $335,000 DP threshold. In fact, unless the figures released in Denmark about his transfer were incorrect, he has to be making less than $145,000 per year in Foxboro. The fee we were told was $191,000, which would count against the cap (and therefore could take him into DP territory) for a year.
That said, MLS salary, allocation and compensation rules are total gibberish to the uninitiated (and many of the initiated, for that matter) so he could be making close to or more than $335,000 but not be a designated player, or only a portion of his transfer fee might count against the cap, or something else equally ridiculous.
I have also received confirmation that he is not yet in the country. More after the jump.
There is no estimate on how long it will take the ITC to go through. It has to come from the Danish FA to US Soccer, so it could be in a matter of hours, or a matter of days. To correct a statement I have made already today, Marko's issue last season wasn't the ITC, it was his visa, so we may be looking at a much quicker turnaround. Either way, Lekic can't play until he has an ITC.
A quick look at his career stats:
As near as I can gather, he has scored 114 league goals in 221 appearances for clubs in Denmark, Hungary and Spain. For Silkeborg (the club the Revs bought him from), he's put in 76 goals in 121 appearances over two stints, including 24 in 47 over his most recent stay with the club. If this tells us anything, it's that "Psycho" is lethal in front of the net.
I've also heard rumblings that he's a problem in the locker room. I'm not sure how much the Revs have really had to deal with that in the past; Shalrie Joseph has had disciplinary issues but has never been disruptive. I think the nearest incident I can remember is when Clint Dempsey socked Joe Franchino, but despite the fact that Franchino was then the team captain, it didn't seem to mess too much with team harmony. Unless I'm remembering things wrong.
Either way, if Lekic is playing regularly and scoring goals, I doubt he'll have problems and I don't see anyone else having problems with him. Then again, I can totally see Rajko dressing down Sainey Nyassi on the field after he dribbles into touch instead of putting in a cross for the fourth time that half.
Steve Nicol now has a happy dilemma on his hands. If he's committed to playing this 4-3-3, there's only room for one striker playing in the middle. Zack Schilawski has been playing pretty well this season, and Ilija Stolica staked his claim for a starting spot with the equalizer on Wednesday. But neither player can boast the pedigree and killer instinct of Rajko Lekic.
One thing is for certain: exciting times look to be ahead.
What do you think of the signing? Give us your thoughts below!