Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By RYAN TOLMICH
For virtually every minute following Clint Dempsey’s first-minute scoring opener, the U.S. Men’s National Team defended as if their lives depended on it. Through literal blood, sweat and tears, the U.S. fought back wave after wave of attacks from their World Cup nemesis, Ghana.
No man was more instrumental in preventing the Ghanaian siege than midfielder Jermaine Jones, who marshaled the U.S. defense all the way to a 2-1 victory. John Brooks will get the headlines for his late-game winner, but it was the play of Jones that won the U.S. the game, as the 32-year-old often times was exactly what stood between the U.S. lead and a Ghanaian onslaught.
Time and time again, it was Jones who made a key tackle to stop an attacking storm. It was Jones whose extinguished fire after fire in front of an inexperienced backline. It was Jones who played protector on the biggest stage when his side needed him most. It was Jones, the controversial, rambunctious and overly aggressive machine, whose calming influence led his side to the victory they needed to open the world’s biggest tournament.
Jones’ defensive performance was enough to earn him recognition as SBI’s World Cup Man of the Match, beating out teammates Clint Dempsey, Kyle Beckerman and Tim Howard for today’s honors.
What do you think of Jones’ performance? Who impressed you the most in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s victory over Ghana?
Share your thoughts below.