Dejan Jakovic named to 20-player Canada Men’s National Team roster ahead of camp and two friendlies

Canada to square off against Japan on March 22 and Belarus on March 25

D.C. United today announced that defender Dejan Jakovic has been named to the 20-player Canada Men’s National Team roster for training camp and two friendlies. Canada will first face Japan on March 22 and then Belarus on March 25, both in Doha, Qatar. The defender will miss the Black-and-Red’s second home match of the season when United plays host to the Columbus Crew on Saturday, March 23 (3:30 ET p.m.; NBC Sports Network).

Jakovic was most recently called up for two international friendlies in January, featuring in a 4-0 loss to Denmark on Jan. 26 in Tucson, Ariz., and a 0-0 draw with the United States on Jan. 29 in Houston, TX. Jakovic started both games and logged a pair of solid 90-minute performances, which earned him Canada Men’s Soccer Player of the Month for January. Last October, Jakovic was called up for Canada’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Cuba and Honduras, which resulted in a 3-0 win and an 8-1 loss, respectively. Although Jakovic was named to the qualifying roster, he did not feature in either game. In total, Jakovic has appeared in 14 fixtures (13 starts) for the country since 2008.

Last season, Jakovic became a stalwart in the Black-and-Red back four, playing in 23 games (21 starts) and adding a goal to his name. Jakovic originally signed with D.C. United on Feb. 27, 2009 from Red Star Belgrade (Serbia) and has become one of the team’s longest-tenured players – only teammate Chris Pontius has played for the Black-and-Red longer. The defender then signed a new contract in November ahead of the 2013 campaign. Jakovic has started each of D.C. United’s first two regular-season matches of 2013, going 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo and a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake.