U.S. Men's National Team

Jones delivers star performance in USA win


photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com


WASHINGTON D.C. – Even before Jermaine Jones officially joined the U.S. men's national team, much was expected of him. An upgrade in technical ability, an enforcer, a never-ending motor, and nastiness that few in the pool could lay claim to were just some of the things Jones was expected to bring to the table.

Jones hasn't always been able to combine those well since making his U.S. debut in October of last year, but on Sunday night at RFK Stadium he brought all of that. And then some.

Playing in his ninth game for the U.S. team, Jones put forth his most complete performance for head coach Bob Bradley in a 2-0 quarterfinals victory over undefeated Jamaica. That Jones scored his first ever goal in a U.S. jersey, the first of the two American tallies, was just an added benefit in a dominating display from a player that is still adapting to his new surroundings on the international stage.

"We've seen in recent games that the understanding in the center of the field with Jermaine and Michael (Bradley) has been good," said Bob Bradley. "In different moments you see each one on the move, the other one thinking about cover.

"This way also plays into, on certain days, when we're starting to play out of the back, who is getting the ball deeper and that kind of thing. Certainly, Jermaine has a good engine and has the ability in certain moments to get forward and be a threat and that was nice to see."

Along with helping stymie a Jamaican side full of world class pace with timely tackles, Jones had two standout offensive moments where he got forward well, and both ended up being vital parts in the game.

In the 49th minute, after Jermaine Taylor headed a ball out of the penalty area, Jones raced onto the ball and hit a volley that deflected off of Taylor and into the back of the net. The goal sent Jones and the Americans into a frenzy, and Jones celebrated the goal with a salute.

The second time came 18 minutes later when Jones raced onto a loose ball near midfield, kicked it into high gear and looked to be free on goal before Taylor nipped him from behind, earning the Jamaican defender a red card. Jones clearly embelished the foul but there was contact, and Taylor's ejection gave the Americans a man-advantage that helped Clint Dempsey score an 80th-minute insurance goal.

Those two plays by Jones, combined with the rest of his strong showing, earned him Man of the Match as voted on by media members in attendance, meaning Jones would have to, by rule, talk to the media following the game. It was one of – if not the – first times Jones spoke to the media during this past month, as he has turned down interview requests unless they're conducted in German or with a translator.

"The first time you score with the national team is always special," said Jones about his goal through Steve Cherundolo, who translated Jones' response from German to English. "Most of all it was a very important goal for us tonight."

As strong as Jones' game was on Sunday, it wasn't flawless. On one instance in the first half, Jones missed a would-be goal as he slipped when anxiously trying to knock in a rebound from close range, resulting in the ball hitting off his knee and rolling out of bounds. The other was when his temperament got the best of him; he drew a yellow card for an unneccesary frustration foul in the Reggae Boyz's own half with the Jamaican attacker facing away from goal.

Jones will have to be wary in the semifinals not to pick up another card or he'll miss the final, assuming the United States gets that far.

But that fearlessness is part of what Jones' teammates like about him.

"He's one of the midfielders that's not afraid to lose the ball and take chances," said Juan Agudelo, who shares the common theme of relative newcomer to the U.S. team with Jones despite the age difference between them. "On long balls he's always looking forward and that's great as a forward because some midfielders lack looking forward and taking chances on through balls. I really enjoy playing with him."

That's probably the case for the rest of the U.S. team as well, especially after he produced his most complete performance to date on Sunday.

  • RB

    ‘The only way you could shoehorn this into some kind of prejudice angle is if you leap the logical chasm “diving = German, therefore anyone who hates diving must be anti-German.” ‘

    Not at all. You only have to read through blogs like this one and see the various types of xenophobic comments made, including when referring to members of one’s own national team, for the idea to be plausible.


  • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

    Perhaps I misunderstand the definition of a “dive”, (there is no such term in the “Official Laws”,so I’ll assume “Simulation” which in the interpretations, (http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/worldfootball/clubfootball/01/37/04/28/law12.pdf), states:” attempts to deceive the referee by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation)”

    Since Jones WAS clipped, then there can be no simulation.

    So, in your opinion, what is the definition of a ‘dive’? An exaggerated movement?

    I say sign the “Jones is not a diver petition” and embrace that he was fouled, it was a goal scoring opportunity and thus a red-card offense and


  • Seriously

    The fact that there was zero argument from Jamaica in itself lets you know that the player knew he had fouled him. Jones sold the crap out of it and before that nice replay that has been posted here twice I didn’t think there had been contact. Now I know there was contact and you can tell with the way the Jamaican player walks off with zero protest that he knew he fouled him.


  • Brett

    Defender came in late, on the ground, from behind, made contact, did not win the ball, and Jones hit the ground. Dive or no dive, the ref had to show a card, and if its a last-man situation, the card has to be red.


  • abc

    “granted it was Jamaica”?

    This is the Gold Cup, Jamaica are one of the better teams! You could say “granted it was X” about every team that’s not the US or Mexico, and we can’t play against ourselves, so….


  • Bigmeat

    Jones has done a great job. I just do not want him to get another yellow. We will need him in the final. If the U.S. gets a comfortable lead, sub for him early. Hopefully Honduras will tire Mexico out- win or lose. USA has better conditioning than Mexico. Those five-layer burritos Chicharito has been making for the team is going to slow the Mexican team down. By the way, I think Wado did Chico’s girlfirend.


  • Diego

    Honduras beating Mexico is like Bolivia beating Argentina!

    Oh wait!-I think that actually happened recently!


  • primoone

    Round 2 for the jones haters…

    Man did u see the way jones played? I stii can’t believe how effective he was at stopping jamaica’s counters…man….jones passing out of the back was so simple yet brilliant! He hustled for every 50 50 ball ….man of the match performance…it was such a great moment that he saluted his father after he scored the goal…what a nice gesture. That move to rangers really was a godsent for the us team…playing time at rovers has him really sharp….

    Haters have been put on notice


  • Brendan

    Man I’m tired of seeing people defend that dive, and I say this as someone who believes that accusations of diving are thrown around WAY too easily these days. I hope the fan boys take a moment to think back on this the next time they’re accusing an opponent of cheating.


  • Kevin

    I loathe diving, but I feel better after seeing the replay that showed contact. No, the contact didn’t cause the fall, but it absolutely was a foul. As a defender, you know the risk you take with that tackle. Either you get the ball clearly, or there will be consequences.


  • primoone

    What dive? I saw what the official saw…and what a great official he was!

    +1 for chiqidracula


  • Brian

    Just a question, I’m not from Germany but I speak decent German (took it in high school and my grandparents are from there) why would Steve speak with a Hessisch accent, when he’s been in Hannover his whole career? I thought Germans in Hannover were generally considered to speak Hochdeutsch (standard German) with no accent or regional dialect.


  • Paul Thomas

    Feel free to point me to any “xenophobic” comments that I’ve made which would justify me basically being accused of ethnic prejudice… doubt you’ll find anything…


  • AV_13

    These people don’t understand man! Jones is probably the only player that can sign to a big team and get playing time. He’s only played 9 games and maybe 4 or 5 as a starter, so the day will come when people realize why a club like schalke wants him back. He’s our best CM (along with Holden) people just need to give him time time together used to playing with the USMNT.


  • Annelid Gustator

    “To think of it another way, imagine two players are running shoulder to shoulder and one goes down. There is contact, and a player went down, but that does not mean it was not a dive.”

    Also not necessarily a foul. The actual situation to hand, however, fits all the definitions of a last-man foul.


  • RB

    I didn’t say you said any such thing. You didn’t frame your comment in that personal way, you just referred to the logic of the point at issue. I responded on the same way.


  • RB

    I didn’t say you said any such thing. You didn’t frame your comment in that personal way, you just referred to the logic of the point at issue. I responded on the same way.


  • dan

    Jones can become our best player, I’d say he is already in the top 5. PLEASE I hope Timmy Chandler joins in, he would give us the real attacking threat from the wing back that we need.

    the future looks bright for US :) …Bradley i’m still iffy about, he is a good coach but is he good enough to win us a world cup? FINALLY trying a 4-2-3-1 worked, which i’ve been preaching forever, but it took him long enough to try it


  • dan


    You need to learn the definition of a dive and an embellishment.

    A. Was there contact on Jones? YES (this rules out dive, proceed to step B)

    B. Was the fall warranted on the type of tackle? Probably not (This then states he embellished his fall but he did not dive)


  • terry143

    Jermaine Jones reminds me of Felipe Melo. Some skill, but a destructive attitude and temperament. Jermaine Jones DID help the team in this game, but start him every game and he will burn you over and over.


  • Americans against Diving

    If Blanco or any other Mexican player had flopped like Jones, we’d be up in arms calling him a cheat. As good of a games as Jones had, the fact is that he cheated in a way that directly affected the outcome of the game. The USMNT will lose support if we continue this kind of diving that we saw from Jones and Bedoya.


  • PetedeLA

    I don’t get it either. You’re right on all counts.

    I’ve heard him in interviews and the accent is noticeable enough that both a friend (from northern Germany) and I noticed it pretty clearly.

    Maybe a good friend or tutor was from that region.


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