Los Angeles Football Club added central defensive depth on Tuesday, announcing the signing of Canadian international Dejan Jakovic, presumably on a free from the New York Cosmos.
Jakovic, 32, has considerable experience, both here and abroad. The Yugoslavia-born center back started his professional career in 2008 with Red Star Belgrade after playing collegiately at UAB. In 2009, he returned to North America, joining D.C. United, where he stayed until 2013, establishing himself as a regular and winning the 2013 U.S. Open Cup (while United had the worst MLS season in league history, simultaneously). While there, he played with LAFC GM John Thorrington.
In 2014, Jakovic was transferred to J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse, playing there for three years, before returning stateside last year to play for the Cosmos in the NASL, where he was a regular starter.
Jakovic also has 40 caps for Canada. The Toronto-area native made his debut in 2008 and with the regular turmoil in the CanMNT program, he’s featured periods where he’s been a regular and been completely out of the mix, but last year he was back in, playing in Canada’s best CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign in a decade and scoring his first career goal for his country at Red Bull Arena in the tournament.
“Dejan is a proven MLS veteran who will bring valuable experience to our group,” said LAFC head coach Bob Bradley in a statement. “We are delighted to have Dejan join us and we look forward to his contributions on-and-off the pitch.”
The signing of Jakovic appears to be designed to provide center back depth for LAFC. An experienced hand, he most likely will used in relief of Laurent Ciman and Walker Zimmerman, available for spot starts or shudder if either player gets hurt during the season.
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