USMNT Daily Update

USMNT Daily Update: Jones' suspension bad news for Schalke, but could be good news for USA

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


Jermaine Jones wasn’t the least bit happy with the news that his first career straight red card was going to earn him a four-match suspension from German Bundesliga action, but somewhere Jurgen Klinsmann might have cracked a smile when he looked at the calendar and what the suspension might mean.

Based on the Bundesliga schedule, and the length of Jones’ suspension, he could suddenly be available to take part in the USMNT training camp slated for the second half of January. It is a camp that was expected to feature mostly MLS players, and few first-team national team players. But much like last year, when Jones was hit with an eight-match suspension for stomping on an opponent’s foot, Jones could wind up spending his suspension with the USMNT.

Jurgen Klinsmann has made it clear that Jones is a key figure on the national team, and any notion that Jones will be too old in 2014 to be a part of the U.S. World Cup team seems laughable right now considering Jones is playing at a high level in a tough league. He has also taken on a leadership role within the team, with his Alpha dog persona, and his presence is even more dominant in January camp, when the squad is made up mostly of fringe national team players and young newcomers.

Klinsmann will want Jones in the upcoming January camp, not only to lead, but also to help keep him sharp ahead of the Feb. 6th World Cup qualifier in Honduras. As things stand, Jones is slated to miss all of Schalke’s matches before the Honduras World Cup qualifier, so joining the USMNT in January would allow him to play in the Jan. 28th friendly ahead of the Honduras qualifier.

Getting Jones to the January camp this time around may not be a slam dunk. Schalke recently fired manager Huub Stevens, which means whoever is hired as the full-time replacement isn’t a lock to be okay with having Jones join the USMNT while on suspension. Jones is also spending time with his newborn daughter, which make a two-week trip away from home less appealing.

If Klinsmann can make it happen, he definitely should work to have Jones in camp because Jones brings a unique element and edge to the camp. He was like a man among boys in the last January camp, setting a high standard for the new faces in camp to aspire to. Jones also works well with younger players so he would help set a good tone in the camp.

If Jones can’t make it, Klinsmann will have to turn to other players to fill the leadership void, like a Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman. Two good locker room guys, but two players who don’t carry the same edge as Jones.

You can try and argue about the merit of calling in a player who is suspended from club soccer, but all that really matters is preparing for the February World Cup qualifier, and having as good a January camp as possible. That camp will be better with Jones there, and that fact alone should help ensure that Jones spends January in California for a second year in a row.

    • OPMG

      I saw that floating around twitter too. That would be a huge step forward in terms of a reserve league for MLS. I’m sure the USL sides wouldn’t mind having a few more teams and access to MLS players looking to break into the 1st team either. Seems like a natural fit for both parties (but I basically know nothing about the USL).

      That would be pretty fun to go watch a few of those games and see the up-and-comers in action. Similar to AAA baseball teams that get MLB players for a stretch of games while they rehab or regain sharpness before going back to their team.


      • slowleftarm

        Actually they’ve done a lot of smart things in taking the league from not existing 17 years ago to where it is today.


    • The Imperative Voice

      It doesn’t sound brilliantly thought out that if you have a nearby team you donate players but if there’s not a nearby team you enter your whole reserve team. That being said, 19 into 13 doesn’t go perfectly. But to me you really either need to go either the donated players direction or the separate minors team direction, it sounds like a muddled mix.

      Perhaps the best start would be everyone donates a few players to the minors, pays their salaries, the minors teams cover the travel and such. MLS doesn’t have to own full minor teams just yet but gets a more sincere reserve system. The minors teams cut overhead, improve the product, and create an additional reason to invest your interest. “Catch a rising star.”

      The push-pull between MLS and the minors is interesting. There was that period where the low low end of the bench MLS salaries built up some decent minor league teams like PR that could pay better, some of those teams started outplaying MLS in CCL, MLS magically expands the rosters and the paychecks, dominance restored, but now it’s that the reserves don’t actually play, so we’re gonna maybe send the players back down, the minors will improve, etc……..interesting cycle. Until the teams get real academies where they can train up their own people I guess this is the defining tension.


  • euroman

    Jones will NOT be made available for some B-team camp in the USA by the new manager who will be showing Jones some real disciple for the first time in his career. Stay tuned. Btw, why would Jones WANT to be away while the new guy is figuring out who’s who. I would think that any established player would hate to be clled into these camps for 3 weeks of fitness in the mid point of a already difficult season.


    • Eric

      How are you so sure the manager won’t release him? And what’s this about Jones being shown discipline for the fist time in his career? Where do you get this stuff from?


    • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper"

      Coaches repay the loyalty of the guys who get them places. If Jones’ particpation in a
      “meaningless” January camp in 2013 keeps him fit, keeps him sharp, raises the level of training and seriousness of purpose for the younger guys in this camp, doesn’t that buy him some cred with JK for 2014 WC selection.

      Now, if you are Jones which risk do you take:

      A. Bringing your daughter and wife to the States to see the grandparents while you train and stay sharp in the push for a WC selection


      B. Stay in cold ass Germany to train with the team for a spot that you already have and IF (HUGE IF) you lose it you can win back again.

      I’ll take “B” for 2000 Alex


      • drew11

        Jones has like 4-5 kids now. I don’t think he would bring the whole brood over in January for a couple weeks but who knows.


    • The Imperative Voice

      What amuses me is this is becoming an annual thing. You know, he was suspended this past winter for the whole stomping thing. Played in that camp cupcake. Maybe he wants to come here for the winter…..

      Far as the question of him coming here goes, well, the coach last year let him go, why not this one? You’re suggesting the coach would keep him for practices and discipline but I think a more cynical coach might view the US camp as a means of getting Jones first team game PT of a sort. Who knows, I don’t know how the coach is wired, but either scenario makes sense to me.


  • Yusef

    If a healthy Jermaine Jones started the WC game against Ghana instead of Ricardo Clark, the USA would have won.


    • matt

      If Maurice Edu had started the WC game against Ghana the USA would’ve won. I respect Clark, and think he receives way too much criticism on the internet, but he was out of form due to injury/lack of playing time, and Edu had been having a phenomenal WC. I also love BB, but that was a huge coaching mistake on his part. A healthy Jones was not something that team really needed though.


      • matt

        *Not saying he wouldn’t have been an asset or isn’t one now, just saying he wasn’t what we needed to win that game, Edu for 90 probably would’ve done the trick.


      • GW


        “If Maurice Edu had started the WC game against Ghana the USA would’ve won.”

        I doubt that. That’s not how it works.

        Ghana scored the first goal in the 5th minute. Rico gave up the ball at almost the halfway line so our defenders had time to close down Boateng or jockey him outside but did not. Boateng then beat Howard on his near post with a shot from outside the box. You would have thought Howard would have done better.

        But Rico was subbed out and the US came back to tie and had quite a few chances the win the thing but were just, in my view unlucky.

        And when Ghana scored their winner in overtime Edu had been on the field for about an hour plenty of time to make a difference in a very close match. As I recall he did not do much. Jones certainly could not have been any worse.

        The US lost because Ghana made more of their chances than the US did and because their keeper was better than ours.

        By the way JK has made it clear that assuming Jones stays healthy and in form he will be on the team.


      • divers suck

        If Jay Demerit would have been a step earlier, we could have possibly beat Ghana. That’s a silly analogy. Any “ifs” throughout that match and we could have beaten Ghana.


      • ec

        Edu isn’t on Jones’ level. The USA pecking order in MF is Bradley-Williams-Jones then drops off to the Beckerman-Edu level, and Klinsi seems to prefer Beckerman which doesn’t bother me.

        I would like to see Edu at CB more, since Klinsi plays such a high line, we need more athleticism at that position and Cameron-Edu seems worth a run.


      • jlm

        no way williams is on par with bradley and jones. he has a long way to go before he is there…


    • JRP

      Or he would have gotten a red card. I don’t like Jones. He is a bully that makes up for mistakes by punishing his own team with needless fouls and questionable tackles. They guy has never heard of the term “professional foul”. And I can only imagine the problems he causes within the group. He CAN be a hell of a baller but…prone to problems and suspensions. See reason for article in the first place.


  • Ramiro

    Nice list of pros/cons for Jones to attend USA January camp. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to include Jones. And it’s not like it’s going to be a camp cupcake either. I imagine guys like Rimando, Besler, Gonzalez, Davis, Beckerman, Zusi, Pontius and Eddie Johnson are going to be in this camp. Not all starters, but definitely good, solid players.

    Something else I was thinking about that I remembered from a Jan ’11 camp was that Ricardo Clark was called in because he was not getting playing time and no longer in the plans of E. Frankfurt. Do you think Klinsmann calls in a guy like Maurice Edu, who not necessarily in the same situation, but similar in that he’s not making the 18?


    • Eric

      Re: Edu, my guess is probably not. No way Tony Pulis agrees to release Edu for Camp Cupcake unless he has already written off Edu as a sunk cost, in which case I think it would be more likely that we see Edu transfer again during the January window.

      I have a love/hate relationship with Jermaine Jones as well, but more because I worry about him taking valuable playing time from Danny Williams and Michael Bradley, who I think are the future of the USMNT midfield for the next 4-6 years (certainly much more so than Jones). Since neither of them are going to get called in for this one, I have no problem with JK calling up Jones.


  • Air Jordanz

    I don’t know why Schalke didn’t appeal the additional three game suspension. Based on how few yellows he’s gotte this year compared to his last few seasons, you’d think there’s a pretty good case to let the original 1 game suspension stand as is.


  • ec

    I really don’t like when all 3 of Jones-Williams-Bradley play, I think it’s too much. I think you have to play the best 2 of those, which right now is Williams-Bradley. I don’t want to say “go away, Jones” because we don’t have that many guys on his level overall… but I wish he’d stay as the first guy to sub in for Williams-Bradley, and out of our full strength lineup.


  • ec

    Man, I completely forgot Edu was also at Stoke. He’s so buried on the bench. Any chance that an MLS team would sign him to a DP contract? He’s still only 26, could be a very interesting signing if you bring him in to run your midfield. Stoke paid only $500k for him, and he’s played only once and rarely makes the gameday squad. Come home Maurice!


    • ec

      If only DC United could find a taker for Salihi, and could convince Edu to come partner up with Pontius…


  • beto

    from a USNT perspective he absolutely should join the camp and stay with the team until February. but from a Schalke standpoint I doubt he will. Working with the new Schalke boss should be a top priority for jones, that and his newborn! Unless he is suspended from training too…


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