LAFC announced on Monday the signing of goalkeeper Eldin Jakupović. He is signed to a one-year contract with a club option for 2024.
“It became apparent from our first conversation that Eldin will be a great asset to what is already a strong group of goalkeepers at LAFC.” said co-president and GM John Thorrington in a team statement. “He is a goalkeeper with vast experience and tremendous leadership qualities, and we are excited to have him, his wife, and family as part of the club. I would also like to thank his representative Haydn Dodge for his help throughout.”
Jakupović, 38, joins LAFC after playing his previous club career in his native Europe. Born in Yugoslavia, he moved to Switzerland as a boy during the wars taking place in the Balkans. Turning pro with Swiss club Grasshoppers in 2004, he moved to FC Thun, then moved abroad, to Lokomotiv Moscow in 2006. After returning to Grasshoppers on loan during his time with the Russian outfit, Jakupović move to Greece in 2010, joining Olympiakos Volou and then Aris, before moving to England in 2012. He went to Hull City that season, with two stints on loan at Leyton Orient in 2014. In 2017, he signed with Leicester City, and spent five years there, before joining Everton at the start of this season.
Jakupović has served as a backup for almost all of his time in England, with his last run as a regular back in 2016-17 at Hull City. A citizen of both Bosnia and Herzegovina and Switzerland, he has one senior cap, with Switzerland in 2008, before deciding not to continue with international football.
LAFC have two goalkeepers under contract in addition to Jakupović, in Maxime Crepeau and John McCarthy. Crepeau, the No. 1, is recovering from a broken leg and is expected to miss weeks, perhaps months of the 2023 season, while McCarthy has had short runs previously as a starter but has primarily served as a backup himself in MLS. It sounds like Jakupović will backup McCarthy while Crepeau is out, but I guess you never know — there are some examples of goalkeepers at his age who actually do play regularly. But coming it it looks like Jakupović will serve as the No. 2 to start the season, and from there, we’ll see what happens.
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