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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Dejan Jakovic
The 2014 opening day roster for D.C. United will look markedly different than the previous year's roster.
D.C. United, last in the Eastern Conference, has won just once in its last nine matches after Saturday's 1-1 tie against Toronto FC at RFK Stadium.
Bruin, who now has four goals this season, has scored nine times in nine career appearances against United. He notched the first multi-goal game of his career with a hat trick in a 4-1 win over United in Houston on April 29, 2011.
"You feel good one day and think, 'Oh, I'll be back on the field in a week or so,'" Woolard said. "And then the next day, you have a headache again. So it's frustrating because you never know the time frame."
This past February, D.C. United coach Ben Olsen spoke of his club's arduous quest to bring in a true goal-scorer, then looked to prized signing Hamdi Salihi and declared, "We think we've found him."
It's tough to imagine Chris Pontius lagging behind. But sometimes, the man just can't keep up.
To Dejan Jakovic, there is a simple explanation for the intensity behind the Atlantic Cup rivalry between his D.C. United side and the New York Red Bulls.
In his fourth year, Dejan Jakovic has been around the block in a D.C. United uniform. More so, in fact, than all but one of his teammates. While the club has overhauled its roster, the 27-year-old lingers as a rare remnant from another era.
Once revered as perhaps the toughest place to play in Major League Soccer, RFK Stadium in recent years has been all too welcoming to visiting teams. Last season, D.C. United's tendency to let points slip away at home was the fatal flaw that kept it out of the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
For the better part of three weeks, D.C. United have had the luxury of enjoying their perch atop the Eastern Conference without the trouble of defending it. That time is coming to an end.
D.C. United had just taken a pair of punches to the gut. Up 2-0 at halftime against the New England Revolution, they watched that lead evaporate in the opening minutes of the second stanza. But they had an answer.
For all the uncertainty the D.C. United back line has gone through in recent weeks, with a plethora of moving parts dictated by injury, fatigue and form, there has been a constant for the team to rely on: Brandon McDonald.
When D.C. United kicked off at the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, the visitors were riding high, owners of a seven-game unbeaten stretch and the team's first winning streak in nearly three years.
Daniel Woolard isn't exactly the most attention-grabbing individual.
Emiliano Dudar has enjoyed a long, fruitful career. But the D.C. United defender still thinks he has plenty to prove.
"It's on all of us," said defender Dejan Jakovic, downplaying his compatriot's slow start. "We're struggling as team. You can't put it on him. There are definitely guys who need to step up and make plays, so we're in this together."
As center back Dejan Jakovic said, "A lot of people underestimate his speed. He's got some wheels on him, and I think he's actually a very good one-on-one defender. You don't see a lot of guys getting by him."