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LAFC 2019 Player Postmortem: Dejan Jakovic

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Veteran provided depth in defense for black-and-gold.

Los Angeles Galaxy v Los Angeles FC - Western Conference Semifinals Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Some were surprised when Los Angeles Football Club re-signed Dejan Jakovic for the 2019 season, but perhaps it shouldn’t have been a big shock. The Canadian international was 33 when he was re-signed, but he was a proven commodity, a veteran center back who provided affordable depth for LAFC.

And he was coming off a 2018 season in which he played far more than expected and largely played well. To me, he was one of the big surprises of LAFC’s first season, someone pressed into duty who was at that time five years removed from his last stint in MLS, and potentially a huge liability. But that wasn’t the case.

Still, in 2019 Jakovic played the role most were expecting of him to a greater extent, as center back depth and a veteran presence on the squad. All of his league appearances came in July during LAFC’s busiest stretch of the season, and he came off the bench in the playoff win over the Galaxy to help ice the result.

Here are Jakovic’s statistics for LAFC in 2019:

Dejan Jakovic 2019 LAFC statistics

2019 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2019 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
MLS regular season 3 2 181 0 0 0 0 1 0
U.S. Open Cup 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MLS Playoffs 1 0 16 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4 2 197 0 0 0 0 1 0

With just under 200 minutes of first-team work in 2019, it’s hard to really extrapolate much about Jakovic’s game, although all of the games he played for LAFC turned out to be wins, nice.

Jakovic went on loan to Las Vegas Lights during the season, and while his LAFC teammate Rodolfo Zelaya also went on loan, got a taste, and didn’t seem to care for it, Jakovic embraced the loan stint, making four starts for the USL Championship side and bringing a needed veteran savvy to that team’s backline.

What does the future hold for Jakovic? He’s got a newborn and his LAFC contract option was declined. He’s 34, so the end of the playing days could be here, or near, but you never know. He’s eligible for the Re-Entry Draft, so if LAFC don’t end up re-signing him he could be taken by another team. Hard to say what his market is at this point, especially since he played less than 200 minutes this year for the MLS team. But you never know. Jakovic won’t be the first name remembered on LAFC’s Supporters’ Shield-winning 2019 squad, but the veteran back-up played a role, and hey, he was undefeated at it, too.

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