Dejan Jakovic has made a sound transition to D.C. United this spring, adapting to a new league and fortifying a back line that sprung leaks last year. Jakovic joined United from Red Star Belgrade, the former European Cup champion that he adored while growing up in the former Yugoslavia and then as a refugee in Canada.
Jakovic, 23, left Red Star because of lack of
playing time under a new coach before the club faced crippling economic turmoil. "It's sad to see a big club like that go down," Jakovic told the Washington Post's Steven Goff, shaking his head. "That
was my family's team. That was my team. When I signed for them, it took me a while to realize I was really playing for Red Star Belgrade."
Jakovic, who played college soccer at
University Alabama-Birmingham, moved to Canada from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. He represented Canada with the U-23 national team at the Olympics in 2008 before joining Red Star. Jakovic expects a
call-up to the national team for the Concacaf Gold Cup this July. He has started all nine of D.C. United's MLS matches this season, mostly in central defense, where he has impressed with his cool
passing and defensive savvy. Read the original story...