Jones eager to start new career chapter with Revolution

JermainesJonesRevolutionTraining1

Photo by USA Today Sports Images

By CARL SETTERLUND

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — For Jermaine Jones, the New England Revolution’s desire to sign him was more than enough to convince him that the club should be his future home.

Jones was awarded to the Revolution via a two-team blind draw to much local fanfare on Sunday, and the 32-year-old U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder began his MLS career by joining the rest of his New England teammates for Tuesday morning training. He was a full participant in the session despite having not played or trained with a team since the U.S. tam’s elimination from the World Cup on July 1 and stated afterwards that he was plenty pleased to a be member of the Revolution given how much interest they showed in him in recent weeks.

“The New England Revolution, they pushed so bad that they want me,” Jones said at an introductory press conference Tuesday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. “If you have that feeling that somebody is really interested and pushed it so far, I would say, ‘Okay, I will go to New England.'”

A dual-national who spent the first 14 years of his career in Europe and predominantly in his native Germany, Jones had been without a team since before the World Cup. German outfit Schalke had loaned him to Besiktas of Turkey during the winter transfer window, but his contract expired at season’s end and neither side brought him back.

That left Jones to contemplate what it would be like to try something new at this phase in his career.

“Before the World Cup I was thinking about making that move to the States, to MLS,” Jones said. “I talked with the national team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, a lot about that stuff. I would say he was one who pushed me to make that step, to come back here and play for an MLS team.”

Jones, who spent part of his childhood in Chicago, took the opportunity to refute rumors that he preferred to joined the Chicago Fire – the other team involved in the blind draw – over New England.

“I have to say a lot of people were tweeting that I was saying that I want to play in Chicago,” Jones said. “The point was not true. I already said that on my Twitter.”

The veteran defensive midfielder would seem to be a perfect fit for New England, who have lacked bite in the center of the park since Andy Dorman went down with an injury in early July. Although not yet fully fit, Jones should also eventually provide the kind of high motor that will free up more offensive-minded players like Lee Nguyen or Kelyn Rowe.

“The minute you hear that a player of Jermaine’s caliber is out there, we jumped at the opportunity,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “If you look at a spectrum of players, he was exactly the player we wanted, so I want to thank as a staff (team president) Brian (Bilello) and (general manager) Mike (Burns) and, of course, the Kraft family for pursuing this as hard as they did.”

Jones joins the Revolution on a contract worth $4.7 million that will take him through the end of the 2015 season, at which point he will be 34.

The immediate focus will be on the stretch run of the season as New England (9-12-3) currently sits one point behind the New York Red Bulls for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

“His presence on the field is going to give us a huge lift,” Heaps said. “I think most importantly was just, when (Jones) walked in the door today, there’s an instant respect. I think our players, last game, we averaged an age of 23 years of age. … They’re looking for someone to lead.”

One surprise detail that became public today was that forward Charlie Davies was in the recruitment process. Davies said he has known Jones since 2010, when he was still tight-knit with many of the players on the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“I kind of knew already because I’d been talking with Jermaine for a little bit,” Davies said. “Obviously I’m excited as anybody. He’s a good guy, we get along really well and I think he’ll fit right in. I think he’s just the player that we were missing, really that bite in the midfield, that experience.”

Jones said Davies reassured him that the FieldTurf at Gillette Stadium would not be a problem to play on. Davies added that he tried to sell Jones on living in the Boston area.

Bilello said that the front office had approval from the Kraft family ownership to pursue Jones dating back several weeks.

“The process probably started a month or so ago when we got a call from Jermaine’s representative that he was interested in signing with MLS,” Revolution general manager Mike Burns said. “I think it’s important for us to note that, while we weren’t so public with our interest, both MLS and his representatives were well aware of our interest in Jermaine and we kind of kept it quiet until the end.”

Heaps did not say whether Jones would be available for the Revolution’s game this weekend at Toronto FC, but Jones hinted at possibly coming off the bench.

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37 Responses to Jones eager to start new career chapter with Revolution

  1. Old School says:

    RIP knees.

  2. Ivan says:

    He must be super excited being forced to join a 3rd rate team, playing on horrible artificial turf in front of 6,000 people during home games.

    MLS: the gift that just keeps giving…

  3. bryan says:

    despite the drama, i’m glad he’s in MLS.

  4. Brain Guy says:

    August 7, 2015 (New York) — MLS today announced the long-awaited return to the league of forward Jozy Altidore, who began his professional career with the then-MetroStars before heading to Europe and, most recently, scoring only one goal for Sunderland in two full seasons. Altidore has not yet been assigned to a specific team, and will not know where he will be playing until the completion of a single-elimination, head-to-head miniature golf tournament involving the GMs of all interested clubs. “Jozy is a special talent,” said MLS Commissioner-for-Life Don Garber, “and we just couldn’t figure out a way to assign him that wouldn’t make lots of people mad. ‘Trial by ordeal’ seemed a little dangerous, so we decided to inject a little competition into what is usually a completely opaque and weird process.” Asked if he was concerned that a process involving windmills and other props might make MLS look silly, Garber responded, “Of course not. Clowns have been part of this system since the beginning.”

  5. LouisZ says:

    A year from now, he will probably will look for a way to transfer to LAG.

  6. MiamiAl says:

    I am happy for Jones and I am happy for MLS. Great signing! An elite Champions League talent that will revolutionize the position in MLS. The dream is finally coming true: The best American players are now playing IN America! How can the league expect to get the best players in the world if the best American players aren’t even playing here? Now they do. A new Golden Era for MLS is upon us!

  7. g says:

    I’m not a fan of this blind draw ridiculousness, but I think it’s a good situation for everyone.
    Jermaine gets the leading role he needs, Revs get their middle man (10?), MLS gets more viewers, and we all get to see a higher quality of ball from the Revs.
    I’m excited to see what the state of the league is like in a few years.
    Welcome to MLS, Jermaine!

  8. Nico C. says:

    “The minute you hear that a player of Jermaine’s caliber is out there, we jumped at the opportunity,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said.

    Caliber as in a 32-year-old defensive midfielder that no other clubs wanted except for MLS. Revs will only get a little more out of a year from him – turf, age, travel, physicality in the league. Sure, Revs will make the playoffs, but what about in the long run – 2015 and beyond?

    Chicago will be fine. The Fire don’t need a defensive midfielder right now, especially at $4.7 million. The Revs did what they needed to do – Heaps fostered young talent, embedded a system, and now they have this Jones spark. It will work. Chicago is not at the same stage…yet. Yallop is just starting to foster young talent and implement his system. Chicago just saved themselves some money for a DP they actually need.

    And for Bob Kraft to supposedly to push for Jermaine Jones is baloney. Please. He doesn’t give a damn about his soccer team. He doesn’t pay attention. Instead of paying $4.7 million for Jones, why not build a stadium? Why not put that money into marketing? As long as the Kraft family own the Revs, they will always be the red-headed stepchild of the Patriots. I’d rather have my own soccer-specific stadium with grass in the city than just one player. So for all those Revolution fans defending this move and laughing at Chicago’s face – please, you’re lying to yourself.

    • Lava Lamp says:

      Nonsense, Kraft had his hands in this. Oh by the way, Putin was wearing the ring.

    • User222 says:

      JJ wanted the glamour of LA, he seems to enjoy that… his second best would a team in or near the city that never sleeps, NYC… JJ has his onw plans.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      “no other clubs wanted except for MLS”

      Source? I mean, is there somewhere where clubs publicly announce their “do not want” list?

      “Revs will only get a little more out of a year from him – turf, age, travel, physicality in the league.”

      Ask Thierry about age, travel, and physicality.

      “Sure, Revs will make the playoffs, but what about in the long run – 2015 and beyond?”

      Their team that until recently averaged 23-yrs old will be 2 years more experienced. Jones is there to help the inexperienced become veterans.

      “Instead of paying $4.7 million for Jones, why not build a stadium?”

      Because that would have to be a stadium designed by Nigel Tufnel.

      “Why not put that money into marketing?”

      Signing one of the USMNT’s superstars from the recent World Cup is the marketing.

      • Nico C. says:

        “Source? I mean, is there somewhere where clubs publicly announce their “do not want” list?”

        Was there a “do want” list? Yes, it was Chicago and New England, that was it. No other clubs wanted him publicly. There doesn’t have to be such list, otherwise we would have heard it in the rumors.

        “Ask Thierry about age, travel, and physicality.”

        Unfortunately, I do not know the former French international.

        “Their team that until recently averaged 23-yrs old will be 2 years more experienced. Jones is there to help the inexperienced become veterans.”

        Which further proves my point that Jones is the perfect time for the Revs during the Heaps’ project. This Jones spark will only make them more dangerous and push them to the playoffs.

        “Because that would have to be a stadium designed by Nigel Tufnel.”

        Touche. Of course I know a stadium costs more than $4.7 million.

        “Signing one of the USMNT’s superstars from the recent World Cup is the marketing.”

        If that’s their only idea of marketing they have so far, they have a stale front office, which of course they do.

        • bryan says:

          i certainly get the heat you are putting off on Kraft and the Revs. i don’t think anyone likes the way Kraft runs that team and how he treats them. especially in a great market like Boston. but, to two of your other points:

          “No other clubs wanted him publicly.”

          that’s pretty standard procedure outside of players like Di Maria, Suarez, etc.. either way, last night Craig Burley asked Jones on ESPNFC if he had any European offers from teams in the top 4 leagues. Jones said yes but that he had already decided he wanted to play in MLS and live in the US. to me, this effectively confirms my suspicion that he was using Euro offers as a bargaining chip to get the salary he wanted. he’s basically making $65,000 (just under €50,000) a week, which he could find in Europe without too many problems.

          “If that’s their only idea of marketing they have so far, they have a stale front office, which of course they do.”

          i don’t think anyone is claiming the Revs have a good marketing campaign, as a whole, but at least this is a step in the right direction. spending money on Jones is marketing, like King said. on top of that, i’ve seen more marketing material for the Revs in the last few days then I ever have before. but i don’t live in the Boston area, so maybe i’m exaggerating.

          point is, Jones to the Revs is a good move for them (even if it was BS how it happened) and it’s nice to see the MLS team based in (sort of…) Boston spending some money…finally.

      • Del Griffin says:

        hahaahha, Nigel Tufnel, stadium architect.

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers says:

        +11 for the Nigel Tufnel reference. Stonehenge Stadium.

      • bryan says:

        HAHA this was awesome.

  9. AH says:

    Rock Paper Scissors, best two out of three, live-streamed on MLS.com > eeeny meeny miny mo > “I called it first” > blind draw

  10. JB says:

    Anyone who thinks this league isn’t Mickey Mouse is just in denial.

  11. lando says:

    Finally a reason to tune into Revs games! I really don’t like NE, but Jones, for me, is reason enough to pay attention again. Hopefully they can use this publicity and push for a decent stadium in a decent location.

    I seriously can’t wait to watch him each week tear it up. I just hope with the turf he can last 3 seasons.

    • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

      Zach Scott is playing his 12 season on turf.

      But then again, it IS Zach -the monster- Scott…..