The Revolution did not have to look far for most of its guardians. But with the signing of 22-year-old Serbian Djordje Petrovic on Wednesday, they went out of the country to seek a keeper for the first time in more than 20 years.
The 6ft 4in Petrovic is set to replace United States international Matt Turner, who is set to join Arsenal on a $7million transfer later this year.
Meanwhile, the Revolution (1-3-1, 4 points) will go with Earl Edwards Jr. or Brad Knighton in goal when they visit Inter Miami on Saturday, while Turner recovers from a broken foot right and Petrovic expects a P-1 visa and international transfer certificate.
Petrovic, who signed a three-year contract with the Revolution, is a starter for FK Cukaricki, a Belgrade club which occupies third place in the Serbian SuperLiga. In 27 appearances, he has allowed 26 SuperLiga and Europa Conference League goals this season, and had 86 games and 33 shutouts in three seasons with Cukaricki.
Petrovic played for Cukaricki’s junior teams and was with IMT Belgrade in 2018-19.
“Djordje is a welcome addition to our roster,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said. “He’s a young goalkeeper with great physical qualities and potential. His game in the Serbian SuperLiga has been impressive and we believe he has a great future with our club.
Pozarevac-born Petrovic made one appearance for the Serbian national team, a 0-0 draw on a visit to the Dominican Republic last year, under the management of former Revolution striker Ilija Stolica. Petrovic was a reserve for Serbia in the Nations League but was not with the team as they qualified for the World Cup. Petrovic also competed for Stolica in Serbian national youth teams.
Petrovic told tvarenasport.com that he discussed the decision with former Chicago Fire goalie coach Aleksandar Saric. While Saric was with the Fire as Veljko Paunovic’s assistant, the team brought in midfielder Luka Stojanovic from FK Cukaricki.
Foreign-born titular Revolutionary Guards include England’s Aidan Heaney (1996), Italy national team star Walter Zenga (1997, 1999) and Bolivian Jose Carlos Fernandez (2001). Other Serbs to play for the Revolution include forwards Bojan Vuckovic, Marko Perovic and Stolica.
Turner has been out since being injured in a behind-closed-doors preseason game against Los Angeles FC on February 9. Edwards started the first three games of the season, plus two CONCACAF Champions League games, completing two shutouts. Knighton was in goal as the Revolution lost 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls last Saturday.
Frank Dell’Apa can be contacted at [email protected]