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Report: Jones eligible to play for USA in August

Jermaine Jones 1 (Reuters)


Schalke 04 midfielder Jermaine Jones will not have to wait until October to play international soccer as he will be eligible to play for the United States men's national team as of August 2.

According to a report, a FIFA employee misinformed U.S. Soccer about Jones' eligibility date, confusing it with a youth player club transfer rule that was changed the same day that the international switch age limit was removed.

"I can confirm that the decision to lift the age limit in Article 18 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes will come into effect 60 days after it was taken at the 59th FIFA Congress," said a FIFA spokesman to

What does this mean? Well, assuming that Jones' national team switch is approved by August 2, then he would be available to play for the U.S. when they take on rivals Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in Estadio Azteca on August 12.

Excited to hear that Jones could make the switch sooner? Do you think he should start against Mexico if he is eligible to play? Wishing he was with the team for the Confederations Cup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. here is a little article if you want to know more about him

    Jones Sets the Record Straight

    Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones has reacted angrily to an article about him which appeared in an American newspaper on Monday, claiming he has been severely misquoted.
    Arsenal football jerseys

    The article implied Jones’ decision to represent the US national team in future and turn his back on Germany was racially motivated – something the 27-year-old firmly denies.

    In a statement on the Bundesliga club’s website, Jones attempted to put the record straight.

    “As we discussed possible reasons why I continue to be ignored by the DFB (German Football Association), after considering a few other thoughts, the journalist came to the issue of skin colour,” explained Jones.

    “I said quite the opposite of what is written in the article, being: ‘It has nothing to do with racism. I do not think that you have got to have blond hair and blue eyes to play for Germany.”

    Jones also claimed an agreement that the story would be emailed to him for approval was not respected and that the article contains other mistakes.

    “I am really sorry that a wrong impression has been created by an article,” he added.

    “I feel very happy in Germany and would have loved to continue playing for the national team, but coach Joachim Low had made it very clear to me that I was not in his plans.”

  2. Bradley is not a DM, he’s a box to box guy. He plays alot more defense because we lack a quality guy that can shut down a quality opponents attack

  3. I say why not play him and throw him right to the fire if he is eligible for the Mexico game. What do we have to lose? We never do well there. Why not give him a big opportunity to make a huge impression? I wouldn’t mine seeing a stark contrast between our five midfielders, two defensive and three attacking.





  4. Wow, the U.S. has a really competitive team with that lineup; but the fullbacks are the obvious achilles heel at top level.

  5. put him in camp for the mexico game, if he shines, put him on the bench and use him if edu is still hurt and we need a sub. no reason not to bring him in slow, but i do see him becoming a starter quickly. Excited too!

  6. patriot71 – I was actually thinking, with MB spending a year at ‘Gladbach, that could be a definite help in integrating Jones into the lineup.

    Don’t know if Donovan speaks any German – but that might be good too.

    Although – it could be a moot point – guys play professionally all the time that don’t speak a common language well.

  7. That saddest part of me is that unless we play 3 DM’s, we won’t be seeing Jones, Bradley, and Edu on the field at the same time. Unless he employs one of them out wide with the ability to go forward.

  8. Im OK with this as long as he embraces his Americanness, much as Dooley has done (coaching soccer in Orange County!)…

  9. Just think of the damage a Jones/Bradley partnership could do. I’m starting to feel something wet and sticky in my pants now…

  10. MAES,

    While I see what you are getting at, I really don’t like the ultra-conservative idea of basically playing three defensive midfielders. Bradley and Jones are not the same kind of players as Xavi and Iniesta. It’s ridiculous enough that we consistently field two DMs…

  11. It will be a VERY BAD EXAMPLE if Bob lets Jermaine start against Mexico, only 10 days after gaining eligibility for the U.S.

    Posted by: Mark | June 17, 2009 at 01:51 PM

    Sorry Mark the example has already been set. David Regis and Thomas Dooley both were brought right in. Regis did not play any qualifiers if i remember correctly before he played in 1998 He played a couple of warmup games. Oh and yes John is correct it is not the AYSO

  12. Man,


    …it looks pretty good to me. We would be a tough nut to crack by next summer.

  13. I have mixed emotions about this.


    he’s talented and will boost competition and skill in our midfield.


    he’s not really from here and really has no ties or actual identification with the U.S. I feel like he’s pulling a david regis. Its his prerogative but I feel in national team sports you shouldn’t be able to trade clubs like pro sports. whatever, i digress.

  14. I don’t know the exact timeline, but Conor Casey got called up after having not played for the national team for years, was with the team for considerably less than 10 days, and started. Granted he had previous experience with several of the players and coaches, but if he can do it, that would lead me to believe Jones could as well.

  15. The Rossi comments have to end. Say what you want about whether Rossi should or shouldn’t have played for us, the fact of the matter is his situation is nothing like Jones’. Jones wanted to play for Germany. From what I understand, the German national basically told him that he wasn’t in their plans. If you want to compare that to Rossi saying from day 1 he wanted to play for Italy (and Arena mistakenly saying it wasn’t a huge loss, which is irrelevant, there was still 0 chance he was playing for the US) then you are just making yourself look foolish.

    They are just two different circumstances, and that’s really what this rule change was about. Young kids getting strung along until they are a whole 22 years old, then getting the cold shoulder meaning they made the wrong selection on spotty information.

  16. I don’t have a crystal ball, but he seems to have a chip on his shoulder. Will that lead to more problems, a “T.O” kind of guy, or will it lead to someone with something to prove, who leaves it all on the field. So far, I have only heard about how tenacious he is on the field, and nary a word about how teammates don’t like him. Off the field he has displayed more of the “TO” chip, but that has been in the context of a “jilted lover” who was dumped. He probably has growing up to do, but who doesn’t.

    I look forward to his contribution on the field. If he is ready, and can mesh play within the team by August 12, and has proved his worth, play him.

  17. I consider his attitude a plus. Think Dennis Rodman super light. In Germany that doesnt fly. In the US that is the type of attitude/swagger we need to start believing. Also considering Mastro and Clark and Bradley there is almost no way this translates to more cards.

    Bob’s job is to play the best team avail on that given day. The defensive CM role is one of the easier ones to step right in. Your job is to destroy their attack, less than be incorporated into ours.

    If I were coach I’d say 50/50 he starts in Azteca. Knowing Bob I think he waits to the game after esp if it is at home.

    The comparison: The US is a good JV team with some medium to good Varsity players. We just picked up a good Varsity player. Maybe even an all league 2nd teamer.

  18. Until he suits up for the US, I think his default picture should be dispossessing or otherwise doing bad things to Subotic. It’s gotta be out there (unless the pic above is it, and I missed it).

  19. Bob ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT start Jermaine Jones against Mexico on August 12th.

    That sets the wrong precedent and is a bad example for teammates, to show that someone completely new to the program can walk right in and start virtually on day one without proving himself or integrating with teammates.

    It will be a VERY BAD EXAMPLE if Bob lets Jermaine start against Mexico, only 10 days after gaining eligibility for the U.S.

    Posted by: Mark | June 17, 2009 at 01:51 PM


    This ain’t AYSO.

    Posted by: John | June 17, 2009 at 03:18 PM

    Thanks, I have decided I don’t need to respond to Mark’s worry after reading your answer.

  20. Definitely worth a look and an appearance off the bench at best, but if he doesn’t get called up I don’t think there’s any reason to riot.

    So please, will all the “fire Bradley” people shut up?

  21. Definitely worth a look and an appearance off the bench at best, but if he doesn’t get called up I don’t think there’s any reason to riot.

    So please, will all the “fire Bradley” people shut up?

  22. I’ve been looking over the FIFA rules for international transfers, and none of the language says anything about training. It speaks only of eligibility to PLAY for a national team.
    Now it does also say a lot about a player having to register for training compensation when he becomes a professional. I’m assuming Jones would have to register with the USA as he’s only played professionally with Germany (right?). If that’s the case, he can train no more than 30 days with the team before he is require to register.
    If anyone else knows better, please let me know. So it looks as if he can start training at any time but MIGHT have to register for compensation before he hits 30 days. That’s really the only possible limitation from my quick glimpse of the rules and I’m not even sure it applies to him as he’s already been playing professionally in another country.
    I think that if Bob thinks Jones will give him an edge in the Azteca, you can expect to see him on the pitch at some point.

  23. to tom p, he brings everything we are missing in our midfield, which will allow mikey Bradley to be the box to box guy that be is for his club.

  24. I doubt he starts against Mexico. But, get him into camp, so he can start against El Salvador. Mexico isn’t the right game to bring a new player in for his first cap.

  25. I don’t think he should start in the Mexico game. The game is too important and he has not been involved with that rivalry or the team long enough It is just putting him in the fire too quickly. I wish he could get some games in the Gold Cup. But I would ease him in after Mexico.

  26. To Serious fans of German Football who follow the league closely, especially Schalke 04 fans,

    tell us about this guy as a player and what he could bring please.

  27. MAES – interesting approach, kind of like it on paper but our players are quite different. but definately a style of play to work for..

    else – are there friendlies or anything scheduled for this winter? any chance to see him play with our team after the WCQs?

  28. Jones is entirely different than Rossi and the situations do not compare.

    1. The national team where Jones grew up didn’t want him after playing him in a couple of friendlies; Rossi spurned the national team that accepted his family as immigrants and where he was born, was educated, started playing the sport and grew up.

    2. One adopted the nationality of his parents only after he showed promise as a soccer protege; the other had it early in life with no reference or consideration of playing soccer.

  29. I think, from a pure comedy standpoint, they should bring in and cap that Castillo kid during the Mexico game. That would be even better than Jones (since he’s seemed to effectively separate himself from the German national team).

  30. ————Altidore–Adu——————-






  31. No English? That’s ok. We’ll give lessons.

    Lesson #1. The word “Rossi” in English means “Scheisse” in German.

  32. Kris — great post, thanks.

    After reading the comments in Mexico after the 1st Confed Cup (apparently the meme is that the U.S. can’t play outside their own borders) I want to get a result in Azteca even more.

    As to all the lineups, I think the easiest way to think about is that Jones comes straight in for Clark (or Mastro, whoever). Maybe this allows Edu to slot into a CB spot and push Boca out wide, but BB isn’t going to revolutionize (352?) the lineup here.

  33. Start him immediately! Hes the best player in the United States roster without a doubt. Probably our best player ever to wear a USA shirt. NO way he doesnt start, hes instant quality.

  34. Regarding Jones not being fluent in English, if I remember correctly, Thomas Dooley was pretty much in the same boat when he first started playing for the US. There’s also an article out there that said Jones came to the phone and spoke passable English.

    Donovan and M. Bradley have spoken out in favor of Jones. Chemistry should not be an issue if the more senior players on the team welcome him with open arms.

  35. Re: Rossi the turncoat….

    Jones: not given the opportunity to play by Germany, and switched to his other option.

    Rossi: turned down the opportunity to play for the USA (in the World Cup, nonetheless), and waited for his other option.

    Now, if Jones suits up for the Nats and knocks in a brace against Germany in the World Cup, I’ll see how people could confuse these as similar circumstances.

  36. I like more of a Barca style and lineup (at least in attack) when we have two attack minded, creative, but dimunitive attacking options in Donovan and Adu to partner Altidore up top. With three defensive stalwart MF’s two who are able to attack Bradley and Jones, and one to sit in the hole Edu. Depending on competition Jones sits in the hole as well leaving only Bradley to attack. Ideally this is the lineup, with Defense back four of big but relatively stationary backs, which is different from Barca obviously. This is a strong defense minded team, where you could plug in Sasha and Deuce for Adu and Donovan, and Feilhaber and Torres for Bradley and Jones, or Jones/Ricardo Clark for Edu, anyways here is my vision for 2010 WC:

    Barca/USMNT 4-1-2-2-1







  37. Hey guys. As you know, I’m a huge Bundesliga fan :).

    Some good answers by others explaining him. I’ll add in some more:

    Jones is a late bloomer, similar to Ribery in that regards. He didn’t really get his shot til he was 25. He’s 27 now. Others have said he’s “the best DM option in Germany” — that’s a little bit of a stretch. He definitely does play in the mold of Fringes but Germany has these MF/DMs that are higher in the pecking order: Rolfes, Hitzlsperger, Fringes, Borowski, Ernst. Admittedly, only Rofles and Hitzlsperger are young enough to be considered for 2010 (same ages as Jones roughly).

    Also, Gentner, Khedira, and Kruska are all regarded as the same skill level as Jones, but are all younger (22 and younger). So he’s kind of stuck in this no man’s land of not that relatively young, but not good enough to oust Fringes/Hitzlsperger/Rolfes as the primary DM. And it is that scenario that he didn’t agree with, which is how he got into an attitude stand off with Lowe.

    Now, as for how _good_ he is, you can expect him to be a top tier DM. We’re talking starting Champions League team DM, not a 2nd Bundesliga or Danish club DM. He could certainly make it on the likes of a Roma, Lyon, Porto, even Arsenal as the DM. Because of that, he _immediately_ becomes the best option as the primary DM. Playing him in tandem with Bradley is AWESOME. They could form a great CM partnership in the mold of how Lampard/Makelele or Lampard/Essien played, where Bradley is Lampard. Another example is where Bradley = Pirlo and Jones = Gattuso. Both CMs, but one is a badass who takes names and stops momentum, while the other is crafty, a great passer, in the right place at the right time, and a sneaky shot.

    Obviously this is no “best player in the world” score. It’s not as big of a win as if someone like John Terry decided he wanted to play for us, lol. But he is a top-shelf DM who immediately becomes the best player in the whole US pool, so we should be very excited and supportive.

    P.S. His “attitude” issues are over blown.

  38. Bob Bradley won’t be able to screw this up if he’s not the coach anymore. After three losses in the Confederations Cup, Klinsmann will be appointed head coach because he actually played and coached at the highest levels AND he speaks german to help out Jones’ transition.

  39. fantastic! all this talk about team chemistry.. well i havent seen much chemistry lately so I wouldnt have a problem with him starting at azteca. Im curious as to what the august 2nd date is. Is that the first day he can play or first day he can join the camp. Welcome jones, turn away castillo

  40. while jones is a great player, i think people should consider bradley as defensive midfielder instead of an attacking midfielder. if we play 5 in the middle, then they could both start, but id rather have bradley then jones playing because he’s the future of our team and close in ability. put adu or torres as the attacking/creating midfielder. bradley showed he can defend with the best of them against italy, repeatedly risking his body to make great challenges. that said, right now these are the two best line ups i can envision for the mexico game (and world cup).





    Although i dont see the 3-5-2 happening with bradley, with our current personnel, i think it gives us the best chance to win. we arent going to outscore teams, but that lineup can lock teams down defensively and allows good situations for counters and long-ball set ups (US staple).

  41. Please start him. Jones will allow Bradley to be the box to box type of player that he is and arrive at the box at the right time to score goals like he did for his clubs in Holland and Germany.


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