Octavio Zambrano on Dejan Jakovic (above): “He has done very well. He’s a player that I think even he still has some upside. I am looking for him to show even more down the line.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

GLENDALE, Ariz. — So far, so good for Dejan Jakovic.

Canada national coach Octavio Zambrano has liked what he has seen from the Cosmos center back during the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but he also feels there is room for improvement.

“He has done very well,” Zambrano said. “He’s a player that I think even he still has some upside. I am looking for him to show even more down the line.”

Zambrano, who directed the old MetroStars to one of the best, if not best season as coach in 2000, praised Jakovic’s progress under head coach Giovanni Savarese with the Cosmos in the North American Soccer League.

“He is in a very good environment, training environment,” Zambrano said. “He’s got a good club coach. So, it bodes well for Canada. It was a worry of mine at the beginning of the season — MLS and the U.S. soccer season — that he wouldn’t get a club here and he would have to go somewhere.

“So, I was very, very glad that Gio had seen in him what we had seen and have been now has been performing for him. I think he is a very good player.”

Canada, which reached the competition’s quarterfinals for the first time since 2009, play Jamaica at the University of Phoenix Stadium Thursday night.