By FRANCO PANIZO
Jermaine Jones will open 2013 the same way he started this year: with a hefty suspension.
The German federation (DFB) has handed Jones a four-game ban for the challenge that saw him earn the first straight red card of his career in Schalke 04′s 3-1 loss to Stuttgart this past weekend. Jones committed a slide tackle from behind in the 73rd minute of the Bundesliga game and was immediately ejected, but DFB has ruled that the challenge deserves a bigger punishment than a one-match suspension.
The ban means Jones will miss out on the club’s upcoming league games against Freiburg on Dec. 15, Hannover on Jan. 18, Augsburg on Jan. 26 and Greuther Furth on Feb. 2. He would be eligible to return for the club’s match against Bayern Munich on Feb. 9, which comes three days after the U.S. Men’s National Team is slated to begin the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying vs. Honduras.
Jones and Schalke have 24 hours to appeal the decision.
With Jones slated to be out of action until February, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann could call the 31-year-old midfielder up for the Americans’ January camp to keep him sharp and in shape ahead of their qualifier in Honduras.
Jones was similarly given a lengthy ban at the start of this year, and Klinsmann opted to summon him to his January camp. Jones played in both friendlies, 1-0 wins against Venezuela and Panama, at the end of that camp.
What do you make of this development? Expect Klinsmann to call up Jones for the upcoming January camp? Still worried Jones might not be fit enough to start against Honduras?
Share your thoughts below.