USMNT Notes: Jones to decide club future after World Cup, Johannsson talks AZ extension, and more

Jermaine Jones

photo by David Bernal/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jermaine Jones is in no rush to make a decision on his future.

Jones is currently unsure as to where he will be playing next season after Turkish club Besiktas passed on the option to buy him outright from Schalke, but he is in no hurry to find a resolution. In fact, the 32-year-old midfielder is not planning on sorting that out until after representing the U.S. Men’s National Team in Brazil this summer.

“Besiktas have the option to take it, they don’t take it and now what I tell them is I will wait, I will make my decision after the World Cup,” Jones said in a recent interview. “They (had) the chance to hold me there, they missed the chance, and now it’s my situation to play World Cup and make my decision after World Cup.”

Jones fell out of favor at Schalke this season and was loaned to Besiktas at the end of the winter transfer window in January. He made eight starts in 10 league appearances for Besiktas, which finished in third place in the Turkish Super Lig and with a UEFA Champions League qualifiers berth.

Here are more U.S. Men’s National Team notes:

JOHANNSSON DISCUSSES AZ EXTENSION, ALTIDORE INFLUENCE

After lighting up opposing defenses with AZ Alkmaar this past season, Aron Johannsson was more than pleased to extend his stay at the club.

Johannsson signed a contract extension with AZ late last week and his decision to do so came down to him simply feeling comfortable and content at the club. The 23-year-old forward scored 26 goals across all competitions, and that impressive season left him feeling plenty good about what could lie ahead with the Eredivisie team.

“It just says that I’m happy there and they’re happy to have me,” said Johannsson in a recent interview. “Hopefully, I can go on next season or two and make similar things and hopefully become the top scorer of the Dutch League.”

Johannsson replaced Jozy Altidore as the club’s main scoring threat this past season after the latter moved on to Premiership side Sunderland. There were rumors that Altidore helped play a pivotal role in helping Johannsson switch from Iceland’s national team to the U.S.’s, but Johannsson said that was not the case.

“Jozy never said, ‘If you don’t come and play for the U.S., I’m going to come and hurt you,’ or something like that,” said Johannsson. “He told me things, good about the federation and about the team and he was just one of many that talked really well about the team.

“In the end, it was my decision and I had to decide what was best for me and my family.”

YEDLIN SURPRISED BY WORLD CUP INCLUSION

DeAndre Yedlin may have had a dream first season with the Seattle Sounders, but not even that was enough to convince him that he had a shot at making it on the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup roster.

Yedlin enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign in 2013 by starting in 30 of the 31 matches he played in for the Sounders, and his performances quickly sparked talks about his U.S. prospects ahead of the World Cup. But the 20-year-old defender was viewed by most observers as a long shot to make it to Brazil, and Yedlin himself did not envision being on a World Cup squad this early into his career.

“Honestly, I didn’t really think I’d be at this point right now,” said Yedlin in a recent interview. “I had hoped for it and I had dreamed for it, but I didn’t realistically think I’d be at this point. But the time has come now and it’s just one of those things that you’ve got to put your head down and do whatever you can do for the team. That’s what I’m looking forward to do.”

—–

Where do you think Jones should play next season? Think Johannsson is going to have a bigger season at AZ Alkmaar? Do you see Yedlin receiving any minutes at the World Cup this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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112 Responses to USMNT Notes: Jones to decide club future after World Cup, Johannsson talks AZ extension, and more

  1. iggy says:

    How much longer is Jones under contract at Schalke? I kind of like him playing for a job while at the WC. He seems to play better when he has something to prove.

    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

      Agreed! He, like Dempsey, are much better players when they use the external motivation of being slighted or disrespected as a sharpening agent for their game.

    • beto says:

      +1 a little extra fire for JJ. Im not complaining! We need a big WC from him

    • Gary Page says:

      He has talked before about going to MLS. He just might do it if the money is right. He reportedly has a home in the LA area.

    • jay says:

      i like Jones always. the challenge he has is the age factor. there are not many doors opened to a 32 y.o. in top euro leagues. i am sure he will land somewhere but may not be top teams in top leagues.

  2. Eric W says:

    Yedlin being surprised himself does not inspire confidence in me.

    • shawn says:

      I have confidence did you see him vs turkey.

      • Jesse says:

        I saw him. He was okay. He still has a LOT to prove.

      • Diego Fagundez says:

        I do not, did you see him against us a few weeks back? I had a field day!! My boy 2fast2farrell is more deserving of a spot!

        • Mark says:

          You had a field day against what? When he was on the opposite side of the field covering a short corner? Or when neither of the TWO defensive midfielders decided to cover for him when he went forward down 3-0 in the first half?

          This narrative is getting old.

  3. shawn says:

    There are rumors Tottenham are bidding 5 million euros for Julian green.

  4. Ryan says:

    I am traveling in South America right now and am headed to Brazil in a week. Everyone I meet and talk football (soccer) with asks, “What happened with Donovan?” Honestly I don’t know I answer them. Donovan 1000% should be in Brazil. Fine, he comes off the bench. How pumped would you be knowing Landon Donovan is a 70th minute spark down a goal? I still just don’t get it…

    • iggy says:

      I think your response to them is what you have written here!

    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

      Let it go.

      The answer we are a team. We are more than one player.

      • Ryan says:

        I’m just sharing what others are saying and asking. And I really enjoy watching him play. And he’s really good.

        • Mason says:

          Can any of these people even name another USMNT player?

          • Ryan says:

            No but they know enough about soccer to question why a good player like LD is not on the roster. Hey I’m fired up for our young guys. I am. But Landon has always delivered. Would have loved one more shot to see him perform at a World Cup. That’s all. Maybe Julian Green is this year’s version of LD circa 2002. Let’s hope! (Watch youtube highlights of that US v Germany match in the quarters. LD was explosive!)

            • Mason says:

              There’s “knowing soccer” and “knowing a particular national team,” and they’re not the same thing.

              And youtube? Pfft… I woke up at 4AM to watch that. I don’t need no steekin’ u-tube.

              • Jesse says:

                I didn’t wake up at 4AM like you, I just never went to bed. That was such an amazing game. We went toe to toe with one of the best in world for a spot in the Semi-finals. With all that said, rewatching it on youtube on occasion isn’t a crime. I’ve been know to do that.

              • malkin says:

                You mean you didn’t watch Brazil v England beforehand?

              • Mason says:

                I can’t watch it on youtube.

                Too much pain. That was a team that didn’t know it was supposed to lose, and shouldn’t have.

            • Chicago Pete says:

              Then teach these people about the other players!!! Move on people. He is not on the team for whatever reason. Let it go.

      • Jesse says:

        more than one coach too!

      • Michael says:

        Nope. Not letting it go. Ever.

    • Stinky Pete says:

      Be grateful you only have to answer questions about Donovan. The US invaded Iraq while I was traveling around South America and everyone I talked to asked me “why are you invading Iraq?” Try answering that question over and over again when you have been gone from the US for 3 months and you have no idea why your country is invading another country. I even missed my chance to go watch River Platte play Boca Juniors because my Argentine friends begged me not to go to the game because the hooligans from River and Boca agreed before the game that they wouldn’t fight each either but were instead going to find a Shankee (Yankee) to kill before the game.

      • Mason says:

        I had to explain Bush v Gore to Spaniards. Less anger – more bewilderment.

        • Gary Page says:

          I am a political scientist who studied constitutional law and I also worked in the elections area for a local government. There is no understanding Bush v. Gore since it went opposite to just about every other decision made by the Court than and before.

          • Michael says:

            It’s easy to understand in light of the utter lack of ethics displayed by the Roberts Court in the ensuring decade-plus.

            • Dirk McQuigley says:

              Wrong. It was not the Roberts Court that decided Bush v. Gore. Roberts was not appointed until the fall of 2005. It was the Rehnquist court that decided BvG.

          • Michael says:

            Sorry, I should clarify: the majority of the Roberts Court.

      • Ryan says:

        I have traveled under similar circumstances many times. Even claiming I was a Canadian to deflect the ire of others. When I was in Germany for the ’06 Cup we were all in Munich at the Hopfrehaus (spelling?). EVERYONE was taking turns to chant a different country as many countries were represented at the beer garden. Everyone was in great spirits. When the US chant came the whole place started booing. Loudly. Vehemently. Here we are in a beer hall. Watching soccer. Drinking. Celebrating others. And still an opportunity presented itself to bash on the US. I travel as a traveler. Not as an American. But I must say I was very hurt that day. Saddened.

        • Stinky Pete says:

          I met a few Americans that were claiming to be Canadians to get around the stigma at the time, I could just never bring myself to claim to be Canadian. I discovered that if I just told people I was from Hawaii (which is true) that everyone loved me and wanted to come visit– surprisingly most people didn’t know that Hawaii was part of the US.

          • beachbum says:

            I never ducked being American. Simply be yourself with the issues, whatever they are, and be informed when you discuss them. That seems to earn respect for me but to each his own

            • Ryan says:

              Less to do with respect than with personal safety. Trust me I wouldn’t “duck” being an American unless someone threw something at me and/or it was a safety issue. Being “myself” is all well and good but sometimes being from a certain country carries weight and incurs malevolent intent. Just being careful.

              • beachbum says:

                cheers Ryan. Your story above saddened me too, it’s a sad story as a fellow American, and many other things too. I’ve experienced plenty BS in my travels as well which I attributed top be an American, and it sucked every time. It hurts.

              • patrick says:

                the most important thing you can do, as an american traveling abroad, is tell everyone you’re an american, and show them we’re not what they may expect. I was in Italy when we invaded Iraq. They’d learn I was American and say something like “Bush is an asshole” and ya know what I’d say? “yes, he is”. The bewilderment on their faces would slowly turn to aproval, and a better understanding of the US people, and government.

            • Mason says:

              State Department advisories Americans to “duck” it by keeping a low profile on a regular basis.

              Funniest one of those I ever read was one for Berlin during semifinals of the Euro 2008. I suppose there was the potential for violence during/after GER-TUR, but it looked and felt more like a giant party.

        • Mason says:

          I was at Wembley for the ENG friendly a few years back (Early 2008) and an old tubby small-eyed bloke behind me was trying to start some anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war chant. I turned around, and asked him, “Who was Bush’s lapdog?”

          He mumbled something about, “Well, I didn’t vote for Labour – he wasn’t my PM.” and sat down, and shut up.

          • Del Griffin says:

            You can guarantee any story that includes the teller shouting some pithy quip at a stranger who shrivels under the weight of the comment is 100% false.

            • Mason says:

              That one is 100% true.

            • Mason says:

              I didn’t shout it. It was a conversationally-toned question. It was the second half, so he was probably somewhat mollified by the scoreboard, but he realized that his country had engaged in just as much international adventurism or regime-changing as the one he was targeting.

        • Good Jeremy says:

          You pretended not to be American?
          Low.

          • bakunin says:

            As a frequent world traveler, I often claim to be Canadian. You will get more smiles, better service and cheaper prices. Try shopping in a Moroccan souk telling everyone you are American. Quite frankly, I’m surprised people are as tolerant of Americans as they are with our imperial brutality and “American Exceptionalism”. I am ashamed of our country.

            • patrick says:

              then renounce your citizenship, and move elsewhere. No ones forcing you to be an American citizen

              • Michael says:

                This is an idiotic comment: dissent doesn’t equal disloyalty. It’s partly on account of mindless “America right or wrong” chatter like this that the Bush administration got away with treating the Constitution like toilet paper.

            • BraveCajun says:

              I have traveled to Europe & Asia several times and I have never “ducked” about my nationality. As my much as I am proud of being Cajun, I am equally proud of being American! When someone perceives you as top dog, shots will soon follow.

              • BamaMan says:

                Agreed. My experience was that when I explained to people I was from the South (obviously, I’d say “American South”), they’d have much more interesting questions. By and large my politics were more in line with theirs than what was going on in the US at the time (pro-universal healthcare, anti-Iraq War) so that probably always helped too.

        • Joamiq says:

          I went around Germany in ’06 draped in the American flag and found that most people were really nice to me. The Germans in particular went out of their way to be gracious hosts. I think they were just stoked to see dedicated American soccer fans. Maybe it’s because I’m brown skinned or something, but no one treated me like a US gov’t representative.

          • BraveCajun says:

            I had the same experience in Germany in 2006. Most of the adults were very polite and the teenagers loved to start conversations asking about America. On one occassion, I ventured into an internet cafe owned by Iraqi immigrants. One was pretty upset about the invasion of their home country and another praised US & Bush for liberating his country. He stated that “now I will be able to bring my grandkids to my home”.

        • Dirk McQuigley says:

          It’s pretty douche-y that all of those people couldn’t separate Americans from the American GOVERNMENT. It’s the policies they object to (I assume) rather than the people. Maybe some don’t like stereotypical boorish Americans, but actually meeting and genuinely talking to people, most people are able to see past that. Moreover, it takes a Sampson-like amount of chutzpah to indict Americans for the actions of their government in Germany of all places.

      • Uncle Sam says:

        That’s funny cause when I went to Kuwait they loved me with
        On the western front in 1918 and in Normany 70 years ago they loved me also. I still have tens of thousand of my fellow Americans buried there in the defense of THEIR freedom all of South America would be communist if it weren’t for me. The Ukrainains would love for me to show up their right about now…

        Screw all the anti Americans they hate us but when there’s a disaster they can’t run to the phone fast enough to ask us for help

        • CorkSoccer says:

          +1776 well said.

        • Stinky Pete says:

          Do the people from Vietnam love us?

          • Artie says:

            The people who did love us were killed or fled because they were going to be killed, so… no.

          • Good Jeremy says:

            Do the people of South Korea? Kuwait? Any other country we have saved from despots?

            How does Vietnam feel about the French? The ones who raped them for their natural resources and bailed at the first sign of trouble?

            We lost Vietnam, but out nation building has *generally* worked elsewhere.

            • bb says:

              My experience in S Korea has been pretty positive. I don’t think there is a hatred of the US

              • Good Jeremy says:

                That was the point.
                We’re hated in some places because of our aggressive foreign policy, but loved in some places where our military acted as the protector or liberator.

                I have noticed that by and large, people treat you based on your personality more than your origin. If everyone seems to hate you…

            • Michael says:

              Care to give an example?

              And, um, saying that we behaved better than the French did in Southeast Asia is like asking me to trust you with your children because you’re not John Gacy. Try again.

            • Michael says:

              Also, we saved an oligarchy from a despot in Kuwait. Kuwait was not a democracy before Iraq’s invasion; it isn’t a democracy now.

            • BamaMan says:

              Yeah, our nation-building has almost never been successful against domestic conflicts (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan). What we were really good at for a long time was coming to the aid of people in defensive wars and then rebuilding our defeated enemies’ nation into allies after total victory. It’s the difference between preemption/aggression and defensive action.

          • User222 says:

            they do… “me love you lon time”… :)

        • Michael says:

          Normany, huh?

          How much did they love you in Hiroshima?

          And there’d be a lot of people in Central America still alive if it weren’t for you, either.

          This kind of “America f- yeah” nonsense was part of what got us into 2 ruinous, unnecessary wars. Please, step away from the keyboard and go play with your toys. At least get your parents’ permission before you post again. (Also, ask them to proofread your post.)

      • GW says:

        S. Pete,

        Not as dire but I was in Monaco in November of 2000 and had to explain to my Euro friends why we could not elect a President as if I understood that myself.

    • quozzel says:

      Because you can’t have your talisman player and face of the team on the bench, and out of Donovan’s own mouth, he can’t train hard and play well 12 days in a row. He pretty much blamed Klinsmann for “overtraining” him – hence, the reason for his poor performance against Mexico – and then went on to state how “Bruce Arena knows how to handle him” (at the ripe old age of just 32, mind.)

      Klinsmann pretty much decided right there, I think, that Donovan wasn’t hungry enough anymore. People in the know have suggested they think Klinsmann believes Donovan had passed the point of becoming a “talisman” and had become an “icon”…meaning, the rules don’t apply to him, the expectations don’t apply to him. He’s become, in Klinsmann’s words, a “sacred cow”. (Klinsmann was publicly railing against this perception in the media just a few weeks ago, which in hindsight was a glaring red-flag that he was leaning in this direction even then.)

      As a coach, you cannot demand – and get – 100%, all-out, to-the-red-line-type effort from all your players, when you’ve got an icon on the roster who’s only giving 70% or 80% or whatever he feels his body is “capable” of at the given time.

      You have to look no further than the French or Italian squads in South Africa – who both washed out in humiliating fashion in the first round – to see what happens when entitled squads become filled with players who think they’re bigger than the team and the country they represent. Or look at England – who finished second in their group behind lowly US of A, who had a fraction of their talent but who hustled and chased and fought to the bitter end. The English have been underachieving since 1966.

      • Autolycus says:

        I think this is just about exactly it. Donovan clinched his fate with the comments about not being able to train hard every day. He’s 32. He’s not 40. There are other players on the roster that are his age (or older) that are obviously putting in the work every day. If his body can’t take the rigorous training and on-field effort that Klinnsman demands of his team, then he doesn’t deserve a spot on the roster if someone else’s body can.

        It’s a shame Landon’s not on the roster, because he can certainly contribute in a WC. But if he’s not going to lead by example and give everything every time he steps on the practice or game field, then he’s probably not worth the roster spot at this point in his career.

        • Nate says:

          Do you think Donovans 32 is the same as, say, Wondo’s? Or Brad Davis? Neither of those guys were competing in Youth National setups like donovan was at age 17 (60 appearances on top of his 150 for the senior team). Wondo didnt even become a regular starter for the earthquakes until 2009, and his position doesnt require him to cover as much ground as Donovan. Bottom line is that Donovan has been going full tilt on an international level since 1998 while Davis and Wondo were playing college. No other American player has carried that burden on their body for such a long time.

      • danny says:

        +100
        you articulated my own views very well.

      • beachbum says:

        so LD is entitled and thinks he’s bigger than the program or team or country now, and that’s why? wow, I disagree. But I get the case being made against him, a multi front assault: he cannot train at a WC level (not buying it), his form is out (false to anyone with eyes), and he’s bad for chemistry because he’s entitled and above the country (seriously man?)

        if it’s the last one, why invite LD to camp?

        anyway, not trying to be a d!ck, hope you don’t take my post that way. certainly agree about your take on those other teams you mentioned and I love reading your posts.

      • GW says:

        quozzel,

        The English have always had lots of million dollar players with 10 cent hearts, David Beckham excepted.

    • Joamiq says:

      Andres Cantor gave a great interview on the ESPN Soccer Today radio show the other day in which he gave his take on the Donovan thing. You should just keep that clip handy and play it for anyone who asks.

    • Joamiq says:

      Also it’s pretty cool that people in South America are aware of this.

    • lucio says:

      redirect them to bradley, our best player, and mention that we’ve beaten Italy, Bosnia and Germany-B without Donovan.

      • bb says:

        wasn’t that a Germany-C ?

        • Sharkbait says:

          Meh, B/C a little bit. Marc Andre Ter-Stegen (who had an awful game) was the keeper and he’s moving to Barcelona this summer. Julian Draxler is an up and coming player. Several guys on that team end up becoming superstars in FIFA for whatever that’s worth…

        • GW says:

          bb,

          Is there such a thing as a Germany C?

          On paper that German team were superior to the USMNT man for man, C status be dammed

    • Mike Parmenter says:

      What is our World Cup Motto again?? Oh wait “One Nation. One Team.” I think that speaks pretty highly about what were are trying to achieve here. This is not about being a superstar and being singled out as the US’ iconic player. We are here to play as 1 collectively, not ride the back of a household name in LD.

      If it were “In Landon We Trust” then I understand where you are coming from, but the past is the past, people don’t revel in Pele saying let’s bring him back to play for Brazil and then we will win the World Cup.

      Case and point. Move. On.

    • soccerhorn says:

      The answer is “Klinsmann is an egomaniacal liar who needed to win a pissing contest against America’s greatest soccer legend. Plus, he promised a lot of Germans a trip to Brazil if they signed with US program. Donovan took the fall because Klinsmann is a small-minded punk who needed to establish his Uh-thaur-i-tay.”

      Then remind everyone that all the big soccer countries routinely leave legends off the roster. Kaka, for example, did not make the Seleçao for the last World Cup. Maybe it’s not so bad if the USMNT is now playing the game like the big boys.

  5. Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

    Please God, don’t let Julian go to Twat-tenham! Why not Arsenal? Arsene, I know you like ‘Em green. It’s even in his name. Come on you Gunners!

    • shawn says:

      He should go to Ajax or PSV. But he will get playing time at Tottenham more than arsenal. Look at it this way Tottenham (and southhampton) helped bale become most expensive soccer player

      • HoboMike says:

        Tottenham also just became the laughingstock of the EPL when they spent $100M on 7 incoming transfers (Soldado, Lamela, Chadli, Paulinho, Eriksen, Capoue, and Chiriches) and only one can realistically be termed a success.

        • James H says:

          Patience young one… patience. The Poch will deliver on their promise…

        • Joamiq says:

          Yeah, because players’ careers are determined by a single season.

          Plus, while Soldado and Lamela bombed, Chiriches and Capoue both look promising and Paulinho and Chadli both had decent seasons (good enough to make the Brazilian and Belgian World Cup squads). And Eriksen of course became Tottenham’s best player. So it wasn’t really the major disaster you’re making it out to be.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      Arsenal would be a difficult choice. On the one hand, they may develop young talent better than any other club. On the other, he’ll be out with a ruined knee two months after becoming a regular.

  6. Landon Donavon #10 says:

    I told Klinsmann I was not impressed by a guy that can rip a phone book apart with his bare hands and it was all down hill from there.

    • Stinky Pete says:

      I knew this was the reason!

      On a side note, who is Klinsmann bringing as the motivational speaker to Brazil? Maybe Rudy? I don’t think we should underestimate how important this is!

  7. malkin says:

    I hope Jermaine comes to MLS.

    • beachbum says:

      me too. think he going to play well, especially vs Germany

      • Bac says:

        So here’s a conundrum… If JJ plays well vs Ghana, but picks up a yellow, do you play him vs Portugal knowing he could pick up another and miss out vs the German players he played against for many years??…

        • Alex says:

          I guarantee you he won’t get a Yellow against Portugal if he gets on vs. Ghana!

        • beachbum says:

          good one…if we have a chance to go to 6 points with a win vs. Portugal? If he’s fit and had just played well, then I’m with Alex!

        • soccerhorn says:

          If Beckerman’s going to play at all, the Portugal game might be when. Less physical side, he’ll be free to play his solid passing game, as opposed to Jone’s raging bull style.

          • beachbum says:

            that makes sense. if it happens he can really chalk one up for MLS if he plays well.

        • GW says:

          Win vs Ghana and win vs Portugal and Germany almost won’t matter. So yeah, you go for it.

    • beto says:

      That would be entertaining.

    • Stew says:

      Really?

      I would rather see Jermaine Jackson come to MLS

    • MiamiAl says:

      I hope he does too. And I think he will, but in a couple of years. There are still Champions League teams that can use his services.

  8. White Kix says:

    “Besiktas have the option to take it, they don’t take it and now what I tell them is I will wait, I will make my decision after the World Cup,” Jones said in a recent interview. “They (had) the chance to hold me there, they missed the chance, and now it’s my situation to play World Cup and make my decision after World Cup.”

    Bitter much?

  9. Matt bk says:

    Motto for Jones: “Not in my house!”
    I liked the way he bossed the middle v Turkey.

  10. MiamiAl says:

    I personally think that Jermaine Jones would be a good fit at Manchester United. He would give them the bite and balls they have been missing for years…

  11. Ricardo says:

    Oh I am sure the Man U players cannot wait for Jermaine to get there and start smashing passes off their shins.
    Oh this is great comedy. What next, Joan Rivers posing for Playboy?

    • iggy says:

      I agree with you that jones to man u is ridiculous, but do you think he’s that much a different caliper player than darren fletcher or michael carrick? Man u arent what they once were, and it’s not even close.