Getting ready for the 2018 Los Angeles Football Club season? Yeah, we are too. We’re gearing up for the expansion team’s campaign with a look at each of the players who have been officially added for the season. Today we look at defender Dejan Jakovic.
How LAFC acquired him: Signed on a free on Jan. 30, 2018.
Position(s): Central defender
Previous pro playing experience:
New York Cosmos (2017):
- 24 NASL matches (all starts), 1 goal
- 1 U.S. Open Cup appearance
Shimizu S-Pulse (2014-16):
- 41 J-League appearances (40 starts)
- 1 J2-League appearance/start
- 8 domestic cup appearances (all starts)
- Earned promotion to first-tier in 2016
D.C. United (2009-13):
- 98 MLS regular season appearances (94 starts), 1 goal
- 4 MLS Cup Playoffs appearances (all starts)
- 4 U.S. Open Cup appearances (all starts)
- 4 CONCACAF Champions League appearances (2 starts)
- Title: 2013 U.S. Open Cup
Red Star Belgrade (2008-09):
- 3 Serbian SuperLiga appearances
- 2 UEFA Cup appearances (1 start)
International: Canada (2008-present):
- 40 senior caps, 1 goal
- 5 U-23 caps
- Played in 2009, 2015, and 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cups
- Played in World Cup qualifying for 2018 World Cup
Dejan Jakovic had a lot of challenges to overcome when he arrived at the Cosmos. Joining New York very late in the preseason, he had little time to build chemistry with his partners in defense, and quickly had to readjust to the physicality and intensity of playing in the United States after a stint in Japan. However, he was able to hit the ground running, quickly solidifying a place in the Cosmos’ back four because of an injury to Carlos Mendes. Although the backline as a unit didn’t have the best of years due a lot to the uncertainty around the club during the preseason, Jakovic was a very good defender for the Cosmos, and I expect him to be a very solid option for LAFC especially with a full preseason under his belt. ~ Michael Chiara, Twice a Cosmo
How will he feature for LAFC in 2018?
Jakovic will be an insurance policy for Walker Zimmerman and Laurent Ciman, a veteran with experience here and abroad who can fit in in a pinch. If Ciman goes to the World Cup this summer, there are a handful of games that he’ll likely miss, and Jakovic will be the likely candidate to step in. As a center back who has been known more for his physicality than his speed, he is not at the level of the two presumed starters, but if neither of the guys ahead of him suffers a significant injury, Jakovic will likely be in line to play roughly 7-10 games across all competitions during the season.
Have you ever wanted to watch nearly NINETEEN MINUTES of Jakovic highlights? Say no more, fam:
- Born in Yugoslavia (what is now Croatia), Jakovic immigrated to Canada with his family as a boy
- Played under legendary manager Zdenik Zeman at Red Star
- Played a vital role in one of the weirdest seasons in MLS history, at D.C. United in 2013. The team had a historically bad regular season, but rather miraculously won the U.S. Open Cup that year
- During the 16-17 NASL Season, Jakovic was the only New York Cosmo in FIFA 18 available for clubs to sign as a free agent
What do you think? Leave a comment below!