Crew notebook: Mirosevic won’t be back, source says
Milovan Mirosevic will not return for a second season with the Crew, a source close to the situation has confirmed to The Dispatch.
The Chilean midfielder is under contract with the club for the 2013 season, but he will not report when the team gathers on Thursday for preseason training. The Crew holds his international transfer certificate, meaning he could not play for another team unless the Crew releases him.
Once he was signed from Universidad Catolica of the Chilean first division, Mirosevic quickly became a fan favorite for his style of play and personality. He scored in the team’s home opener, but was shuffled around in the lineup and found himself assuming more of a defensive role as the season progressed.
After battling injuries, Mirosevic finished with four goals and two assists in 25 appearances, including 24 starts. His status was a hot topic during the offseason, with multiple reports out of Chile that he was trying to swing a deal to allow him to return to Catolica.
Mirosevic was close friends with defender Sebastian Miranda, who was not brought back when his contract expired this offseason. That was rumored to have an impact on his desire not to return to the Crew.
Last week, Crew technical director Brian Bliss denied both rumors.
“(Mirosevic) assured us that (the rumors) were not coming from his side,” Bliss said. “We told him that we will be sending out the information in terms of when you need to be back and we’ll see you then and he said, ‘Great, we’ll see you in January.’ ”
Without Mirosevic, the Crew now has 21 players under contract for next season. Of them, 13 are 24 years old or younger.
Asked yesterday for comment, Crew spokesperson Alex Caufield said, “As this stage, we expect him to report as planned.”
Rogers leaves Leeds
Robbie Rogers and Leeds United have mutually agreed to release the former Crew midfielder from his contract.
The Crew holds Rogers’ Major League Soccer rights after extending him a qualifying offer for the 2012 season. His next step is uncertain.
“As of now, Robbie is considering other opportunities,” Rogers’ agent, Shaun Higgins, said in an email.
In a May interview with The Dispatch, Rogers said he was sure he would be back in Columbus “in home or away colors” one day.
After signing with the English Championship League team a year ago, Rogers made four appearances, including one start, for the first team before missing time because of head and ankle injuries. He scored a goal during the preseason for Leeds before being loaned out to League One club Stevenage, where he made nine appearances.
A Crew spokesperson confirmed that the club retains Rogers’ MLS rights but declined further comment.