The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) announced today the acquisition of defender Dejan Jaković. The 32-year-old center back will join the team in California for preseason training prior to LAFC’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer.
“Dejan is an experienced player that knows this league extremely well,” said EVP of Soccer Operations and General Manager John Thorrington. “He is technically sound and has all the physical tools to contribute to what we are building here at LAFC.”
The former D.C. United center back arrives in Los Angeles after spending the 2017 campaign with the New York Cosmos of the NASL. In his only year with the club, Jaković appeared in 22 matches, tallying one goal and two assists.
From 2009-13, Jaković saw action in 111 matches across all competitions for D.C., including the 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. The 6-foot-2 defender surpassed the 1,000-minute mark in all five seasons, tallying one goal in 9,447 minutes along the way.
Internationally, Jaković earned his Canada National Team senior debut in a win over Martinique on January 30, 2008. The following year, he would appear in five matches for the U-23 squad, including participation at the CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
In all, Jaković has earned 38 senior caps for Canada, with appearances at the 2009, 2015 and 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cups, as well as five FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
“Dejan is a proven MLS veteran who will bring valuable experience to our group,” said LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley. “We are delighted to have Dejan join us and we look forward to his contributions on-and-off the pitch.”
Born in Karlovac, Croatia but raised in Ontario, Canada, Jaković was a collegiate standout at University of Alabama-Birmingham. In his three seasons at UAB, Jaković was a two-time NSCAA All-Region First Team selection and finished his career with eight goals and five assists in 49 games.
Jaković began his professional career in Canada prior to moving to Serbian side, Red Star Belgrade in 2008. Following his five-year stint at D.C. United, Jaković joined Shimizu S-Pulse of the Japanese first division where he appeared in 53 matches from 2014-16.
Transaction: Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) signs center back Dejan Jaković to an MLS contract.