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

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

U.S. Men's National Team

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.”

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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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