Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Much of the talk regarding U.S. Men’s National Team players since their World Cup ended has been about whether the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Besler will secure moves to clubs abroad. There is, however, one player on the other end of the spectrum who could be moving from Europe to MLS.
That player is Jermaine Jones.
It is no secret by now that Jones enjoys spending time with his family in the United States, and he has hinted at making a move to MLS more than once since seeing his impressive World Cup campaign come to an end a couple of weeks ago. The hard-nosed, veteran midfielder is currently a free agent after Turkish club Besiktas declined to pick up his option, and as such is a great candidate for MLS sides looking to bolster their rosters this summer without having to pay a hefty transfer fee.
Jones, 32, has experience to spare after spending his entire career playing in Europe and provides toughness, tenacity and the occasional stroke of offensive genius. But the hefty salary that he is rumored to want falls in Designated Player category, and teams might be reluctant to want to spend a chunk of their salary cap on a player who has never played a game in MLS and whose best days are likely not in front of him.
Make no mistake about it, Jones is still probably a player who can make a significant impact in MLS. He showed at the World Cup that he can play at a very high level when deployed in a spot that plays to his strengths, and is not someone who will back down from even the most talented strikers.
While that would seem to bode well for his chances in MLS, Jones might not want to go to just any team. He owns a house in Los Angeles and has been linked with a move to that city in the past, but the LA Galaxy are out of DP slots and Chivas USA are currently owned by the league.
Whether a prospective new owner of the Chivas USA franchise that MLS hopes to sell in the near future would want to take Jones on is something unknown and further complicates a potential offer for him.
If Jones is open to living in a different city within the league, his options would likely grow exponentially. Still, concerns would likely remain over whether he could handle the heavy travel that is associated with MLS and that players from across the pond have admitted takes getting used to.
The time for Jones to make an MLS would appear to be now or never. It would be a good coup for the league to capture the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder given the successful World Cup he had and his pedigree, but a lot of things will need to be sorted out in order to make it happen.
What do you think of Jones’ potentially moving to MLS? Would you want your club to spend a DP spot on him? Think he would thrive in the league?
Share your thoughts below.