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dcunited.com: Hello everybody this is Tony Limarzi with you on dcunited.com. We are pleased to be joined by a very special guest today – joining us on the telephone is D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic. Dejan, thanks a lot for taking the time to be with us.
Jakovic: Hey Tony how are ya?
dcunited.com: Doing great. Dejan is away from D.C. United right now, in training with Team Canada as they prepare for a friendly match, this weekend, in Kingston, against Team Jamaica. So, tell us, how is everything going in camp?
Jakovic: Things are going great, actually. I've been here since the 18th and training everyday and feeling good again. Feeling fresh and excited to start the new season.
dcunited.com: That's wonderful. The MLS preseason begins for D.C. United next week. Do you feel that you have a little bit of a head start with the national team?
Jakovic: Yeah, of course, I mean this definitely helps, you know. Coming in a few weeks earlier, getting the rust off . . . it's awesome and I'm happy to be here and things are going well so far.
dcunited.com: Wonderful. Now this past weekend, US fans saw a bit of a lackluster performance in a CONCACAF friendly when Team USA took on Honduras. Now, Canada is set to take on Jamaica in a friendly. In these types of matches without a whole lot at stake, what are some of the things that can keep players like you motivated to be at your best?
Jakovic: Everygame is a big game . . . mostly the players in this camp are the MLS players, but, you know it is going to be a tough game, playing on the road and going into Jamaica . . . . I think we are going to be fine. We have been preparing well for it, the game, and we should be ready for it
dcunited.com: You mentioned the roster that the Canadians have, there's nine players from MLS rosters on the Team Canada list. How well do you know those guys, and what's it like to interact with them when you are not competing against them?
Jakovic: I know most of the guys from previous camps and stuff like that, it helps when you know everyone . . . and everyone is in here at the same time and training, and you see them at games – so, definitely a plus.
dcunited.com: D.C. United made some big-time player acquisitions in the past few weeks, probably the most significant of which and most important for you, I guess, as a center back is the signing of Troy Perkins. He's already, just by signing with D.C., one of the top two or three goalies in the whole league. What did you think of that acquisition by D.C.?
Jakovic: I think it was a great move. We definitely needed a little bit of help on the defensive end. Perkins, a US National Team goalkeeper, definitely a big signing and I'm very excited about that and looking forward to meeting him and having him in the back line there with us.
dcunited.com: And another big deal since the last time you played for D.C. United is the new coach, Curt Onalfo. Now last season there were some changes in the back, from the 4-back to the 3-back system, and Curt Onalfo has said it is going to be a 4-back system. Is knowing that your going to have something set in place, is that something to help the defense sort of tighten up from the way things went down at the end of last season?
Jakovic: It's definitely going to be a new look. You know, towards the end, we kinda played with four in the back . . . a new coach coming in, probably plays differently, there's gonna be a lot of changes there . . . the type of style we play with the four in the back. I'm just very excited and excited to be back with the guys and start training, again, with them.
dcunited.com: Did you get a chance to speak to Curt Onalfo at all?
Jakovic: I haven't. I haven't had a chance to speak with him, no.
dcunited.com: Well, it's a lot of things moving forward for D.C. United - a new goalie, a new coach, a new famous attacking player in Christian Castillo - so, there is a lot of excitement coming up to opening day. Are you started to get excited about it?
Jakovic: Yeah. I'm very excited. I'm looking forward to getting back with the guys. I saw a video clip of him . . . I think that is a good signing for us and is going to help us in the near future. Can't wait to get back, can't wait to start the season.
dcunited.com: Excellent, Dejan. Everybody is looking forward to it back here in D.C. So, good luck with Team Canada and your trip down to Jamaica, but most importantly try not to get injured, OK?
Jakovic: Alright, thanks Tony.
dcunited.com: Thank you, Dejan.
Jakovic: Alright, bye.
dcunited.com: That's D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic taking some time out with us here on dcunited.com.