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Jermaine Jones wants to play for the USA (Updated)

Jermaine Jones 1 (AP) 

The deepest position in the U.S. men's national team pool is about to get even deeper.

Schalke 04 midfielder Jermaine Jones has notified the German Football Federation that he intends to change national teams and plans to play for the U.S. national team. Jones is taking advantage of the new FIFA rule that allows players of any age to change national teams if they are eligible for multiple national teams and have yet to play in an official match for either.

(UPDATE) Just touched base with one of Jones' agents and he has told SBI that Jones has hired a lawfirm to handle the application process with FIFA. It remains unclear when the FIFA rule will take effect (August 1st has been mentioned, but there is some debate about whether it will kick in sooner than that). Jones is hoping that FIFA will be able to rule on his application for a national team switch in time for him to play in some World Cup qualifiers. Lastly, Jones does speak English (though not fluently) and is excited about the chance to play for the United States.

So who is Jermaine Jones? He's a talented 27-year old who will easily be one of the best midfielders in the U.S. pool the minute he puts on a uniform.

A brash defensive midfielder who boasts incredible athleticism as well as a noted mean streak. The son of a German mother and American serviceman father, Jones made three appearances with the German national team, but all three matches were friendlies, meaning Jones can still change national teams.

From what I can remember about Jones' story, he didn't have much of a relationship with his American father, and considered himself completely German, but that attitude might have changed after getting effectively snubbed by the German national team despite being considered one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga.

A fan favorite at Schalke for his  fearless approach to the game, Jones will join a central midfield pool that also includes Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan. He could bring some much-needed bite to a midfield that could use some (if he is ready to play for the USA by then, Jones is definitely the type of player who could make a major impact vs. Mexico at Azteca.)

If you are wondering how the U.S. national team missed out on him in the first place he wasn't really an option before. Before he was 21, Jones was a German Under-21 player with German national team aspirations. He lost his U.S. eligibility when he turned 21 in 2002, but regained that eligibility when FIFA ruled that players could switch national teams at any age, rather than by the age of 21.

Jones' decision is the first of what could be a few that go in favor of the U.S. national team after FIFA's rule change. While the United States could lose out on Arturo Alvarez, who will likely be allowed to play for El Salvador, American-born Mexico Under-23 defender Edgar Castillo could also now make the switch from playing for Mexico to playing for the United States.

What do you think of this news? Like the idea of adding Jones to the pool? Still hoping Edgar Castillo changes his mind and plays for the United States?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Solid player all around. Having watched the Bundesliga the past three years being stationed in Germany, he brings a Hedjuk like attitude to the game and the ability to fight off defenders, and skills on the ball that only Dempsey, Bradley and DOnovan and Adu possess.

    Cap him immediately or can Bradley.

  2. Congrats for the “new player”!
    I am from Germany and a fan of Schalke 04, the team Jones is playing for. He’s one of the best defensive midfielders in the league and he’s fast, strong, direct (also in what he says;)), virile and athletic. He gets almost every ball but he has a slight problem with passing the ball along then.
    I don’t really know your national team, but I would say that Jones gonna gets a place in the 1st lineup.

  3. @ Nick

    “Probably mentioned already, but ESPN’s Jen Chang described him as a very, very, very, very poor man’s Michael Essien. A few moments later he pondered whether he essentially was qualitatively better than anyone in the U.S. midfield. Apparently irony is lost upon him. Has he ever watched the Bundesliga or Schalke in Champions League action.”

    Apparently the irony is lost on you since have an inability to comprehend podcasts. The ESPN podcast said that Jones would be the best central midfielder the U.S. has, but questioned just how much of an upgrade he would be.

    the truth

  4. @dbex: Oh, you can believe that every Schalke supporter is very proud of his decision because nearly 50 per cent of Schalke supporters don’t like Löw, because he has his favourite players and only thinks of them and not cares for other, good players. Jones is one of them. 😉

  5. one question: does somebody know, if jones could play for usa at confed-cup? it wouldn’t be so nice for schalke, because jones couldn’t have a good preperation for season 2010/2011. 😉

  6. I don’t know the level of midfield players in the US squad, but since none of them is even remotely famous, I guess they aren’t superstars. In that regard, Jones would really be an upgrade. He is the heart and soul of Schalke’s midfield, a fan favorite because of his work ethic and attitude and all around great player. Plus you can have him doing all the dirty work and then feel good by saying “yeah, but he’s not really American”.

    “But he is only playing in Germany, he can’t be that good!” Yeah, right. He has been on the fringes of national team for years, but Germany has players like Hitzlsperger, Frings, Borowski, Rolfes, Westerman and young players like Weis and Polanski for the same spot. So it doesn’t mean that he isn’t any good if he can’t crack a spot in the German team.

    But I guess I would like to see some consistency in comments about this and the Rossi case.

  7. Gabe,

    I have to admit…. that looks pretty sweet.

    Then Adu or someone like Holden coming on off the bench if Donovan or Dempsey aren’t performing.

    That looks like a decent team.

  8. This addition will finally allow Coach Bradley to finally play Freddy Adu as the starting Supporting Striker in the 4-4-2…………..thier will be enough bite on defensive ownage with Jones and Bradley to allow Freddy to be that free-roaming Creative playmaker that we saw vs Spain,Argentina,England, South Africa, and Guatemala w/o Bob worrying about lack of defensive pressure in the middle. we will finally have creativity on the field with Adu.





  9. From the US Constitution, Article II Section I:

    “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.”

    So, my comment about Arnold being irrelevant, Jones would not be eligible to become US President.

    Bottom line: Great player, difficult choice for Bradley and his staff.

  10. royce, I’m not sure but I think he’d be eligible because although he was born in a different country, his father was serving in the military in Germany. McCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone and he was able to

  11. i can’t believe no one called out jim on his claim that jermaine could be president… because he was not born in the states, he cannot. this, i suppose is why the republicans have not yet named schwarzenegger as their top candidate for 2012…

    i digress… if US soccer calls him up, he’s the best midfielder in the pool and gives great flexibility going forward. hopefully, this leads others with dual nationality and great soccer ability to make the choice to play for the US… i just wish there were more attacking mids, strikers, and wing backs that could make the switch. that’s where we’re really, really terrible. a d-mid is good if we are going to play for 0-0 and 1-1 draws every game in the world cup…

  12. i can’t believe that he’s really going to go through with this… i hope he’s just stunting to see if loew will find him some pt… i agree with seth and some others that though he’ll be hands down the best midfielder on the side (i can’t believe this is even a debate), there has to be some national pride there. this is going to be a very difficult decision for bradley and US soccer… US!!! soccer

  13. “I’ll reserve judgement and hope for the best, but we should be cautious.



    Point taken but the USMNT is not in a position of strength. They are an average international team. On their day, with an inspired performance, they might actually tie a top class side( Italy 2006 WC) but winning consistently at that level is still a bridge too far. This is not good enough.

    From what I can gather Jones rates as a better player than any of our current outfield starters so he certainly should be considered.

    As for chemistry, chemistry is good when you win consistently and it is bad when you lose.

    As for what it tells the current and future USMNT players, it tells them they need to get better or risk being left out (see Adu, Jozy, Dempsey, Pearce, Gooch, etc, frankly they all need a fire lit under them).

    As for him not being a “real ” American, when everyone wants to fire Bradley do they say we should replace him with another American? No. You all want Klinsmann, Mourinho, or some other, better coach. Read a little history and you will find that foreigners have always helped achieve American goals starting with the Revolution.

  14. Absolutely sign him up!! We are in great need a strong central midfielder alongside either Michael Bradley or Maurice Edu. This a weakness that can be improved instantly. Heck yaaaaaa!


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