Boston Cannons vs California Redwoods 2/14/24

Motor City Hitman turned Queen City Stinger: Sergio Perkovic signs with Carolina Chaos

By Hayden Lewis | Mar 5, 2024

Free agent midfielder Sergio Perkovic has signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Chaos.

Perkovic is a known goal scorer. However, after back-to-back poor years offensively, it was time for a change.

A factor in Perkovic’s struggles offensively in recent years has been his shooting percentage. In 2022, Perkovic shot 19% from the field and 17% from deep. He followed up the 2022 season with an abysmal 0% in both categories in 2023.

In 2021, Perkovic’s best year as a pro, he shot 33% from the field and 42% from deep. This is the version of Perkovic that Carolina Chaos Head Coach and General Manager Andy Towers is hoping to see in 2024.

On the Redwoods, Perkovic began to compete with other midfielders for offensive opportunities because of his dropoff in scoring. With competition came the added role of taking some runs as a defensive midfielder. 

The change in position made it harder for Perkovic to consistently crack the lineup this past season, leading to Perkovic’s lowest number of games played since 2020. 

What Carolina fans can expect from Perkovic

On Carolina, Perkovic will have plenty of opportunity to hop back on the offensive side of the field. On top of that, he’ll have some great teammates to mold his game around. 

Jules Heningburg is excellent at dodging and feeding his teammates and will have a chance to play attack for the Chaos. The last time Heningburg played attack professionally for an entire season, he had 12 assists in 10 games. Not to mention, Heningburg amassed 90 assists while playing attack in college at Rutgers. 

Josh Byrne, a three-time All-Star and matchup nightmare, will only make Perkovic’s life comfortable from a stylistic standpoint. Byrne had 12 assists during the 2021 Championship run and consistently finds open teammates when he draws slides, dodge after dodge. 

Byrne loves to work the two-man game from anywhere on the field, which could lead to Perkovic becoming a key component in the pick-and-pop game. If Bryne sweeps from left to right and gets a pick from Perkovic, Perkovic can almost certainly pop off the pick with time and space because the defender guarding him will have to help with Byrne.

Perkovic does not need a crazy window to get his shot off, and every shot that comes out of the crosse of Perkovic has some spicy Dijon mustard on it. The right-handed step down from Perkovic may be one of the scariest sights for goalies across the league.  

What Perkovic can provide to the Chaos

Perkovic can provide many things to Carolina this upcoming season, one of those being experience. This upcoming summer will be season eight of professional field lacrosse for Perkovic, and his veteran experience on a younger Carolina offense will be massive.  

Perkovic can provide a stretch shooting ability outside his veteran presence. Stretch shooting has been an issue for the Chaos the past two years, only scoring 10 total two-pointers. In 2022, Carolina shot 10.5% from range, the second-worst in the league. In 2023, the team shot 12.2% from distance, improving on the prior year's number, but was third-worst in the league.

To put the Chaos’ lack of two-point scoring in perspective of other teams, the only team with fewer two-pointers in the league the past two years was the Denver Outlaws, formerly known as the Chrome LC, who had a mere five two-pointers scored.

Here, Perkovic scores on the powerplay with all the time and space in the world to do so. Last year, the Chaos went 43.8% on the powerplay, which was good for third in the league. Adding a two-point threat like Perkovic on the powerplay can lead to more dynamic performances from the unit in the future. 

At the height of his career, Perkovic scored four powerplay goals and could bag even more this upcoming season on the dynamic Chaos unit. 

Perkovic will be the Chaos’ most dynamic shooting threat from deep since Mac O’Keefe. The Chaos won the PLL Championship in 2021, and a vital piece of that team and its winning ways was stretch shooting from players like O’Keefe.

A change in scenery in Perkovic’s career allows him to evolve his game and return to the 2021 Sergio Perkovic that Redwoods fans fell in love with. The only glaring issue with this is whether or not Perkovic can get out of his shooting slump.

Perkovic may have to take the quote “shooters shoot” out of NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller’s quote book and let the rock fly to get back on track this year.