Forge FC sign veteran Canadian international defender Dejan Jakovic

HAMILTON — CPL champion Forge FC has signed veteran defender Dejan Jakovic.

The 35-year-old centre back will replace fellow Canadian international David Edgar, who retired at the end of last year and is now a Forge assistant coach.

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Jakovic spent the last three season with Los Angeles FC but was out of contract after the 2020 campaign. He also played five seasons (2009-13) with D.C. United in Major League Soccer.

Between his MLS stints, he spent three seasons (2014-16) with the Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan and the 2017 season with the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.

He started his pro career in 2008 with Red Star Belgrade in Serbia after playing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"Dejan is a proven player with vast experience at the club level and internationally representing Canada," Forge FC director of football Costa Smyrniotis said in a statement. "We are looking forward to bringing in a Canadian player with his background and leadership qualities to Hamilton and into our league."

Jakovic, who grew up in Toronto, has 41 caps for Canada including three as captain.

Forge is currently unable to train as a team due to pandemic-related restrictions.

The club was allowed to have groups of 10 people at Tim Hortons Field at any given time, but couldn't practice as a team because it wasn't on the high-performance exempt list.

Under the current stay at home order in Ontario, players aren't allowed at the stadium at all so are essentially working out at home by themselves.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2021.

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