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MLS First Kick 2013 Countdown: 5 days - For Dejan Jakovic, the key word is "consistency"

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As the 2013 MLS season approaches, we're counting down the days to March 2 and running the proverbial rule over each player on D.C. United's roster. Today's subject: Canadian international center back Dejan Jakovic.

Patrick McDermott

The 2012 season was generally very good one for Dejan Jakovic. D.C. United's Canadian-by-way-of-Serbia center back solidified his starting spot for the Black-and-Red, using his elite speed and underrated tackling ability to help the D.C. defense, particularly down the unbeaten stretch run.

But the real story of Jakovic's 2012 was the elimination of the mistakes - the brain farts - that had plagued his game since he first came to East Capitol Street in 2009. He still made the occasional marauding run out of the back, but he gave the ball away less following those runs. He lost his mark less often. He was plugged in with the rest of the back four and properly positioned more of the time. He was forced to use his speed and tackling on last ditch efforts less often in 2012. And United's #5 was rewarded for his improvement with a new contract this offseason.

Really, Jakovic took the flashes of potential he'd shown in his three previous seasons at RFK Stadium and made them appear with more consistency last year. The question for the 27-year-old is whether he can keep that consistency in 2013. Fortunately, all signs are pointing toward yes. He's injury-free for once and will have a second full season partnering the more vocal/organizational Brandon McDonald. Judging on ge, heis entering what should be the top few years of his soccer-playing ability. If that McDonkovic partnership continues to gel, and if Jakovic can stay off the injury list, the Canadian international should be in for another good year for United.

What do you think? Should we expect another good year from Jakovic, or do you see some regression in his future? Let us know in the comments.

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