Top Stories

Jones out for USMNT qualifier vs. Panama

Jermaine Jones


SEATTLE- As Jermaine Jones laid prone, and apparently unconscious, on the field at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica after colliding heads on a set piece, it was clear his night was over in Friday’s World Cup qualifying win vs. Jamaica. It should also have been pretty clear that four days was not enough time for Jones to recover from a clear-cut concussion.

Jones revealed on Sunday what most suspected, that he will not play in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifier vs. Panama on Tuesday. Jones revealed the news on Twitter.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann appeared to leave the door open for Jones to play on Saturday night when he said Jones was still set to undergo tests on Monday to determine the possibility of playing, but Jones put that notion to rest on Sunday.

Now, with Jones definitely out, the U.S. will head into Tuesday’s match needing to replace two starters. Graham Zusi is also set to miss the match due to yellow card accumulation.

What remains unclear now is whether Jones will be able to recover from his concussion in time for the team’s June 18th match vs. Honduras.

What do you think of this development? Who would you like to see start in Jones’ place vs. Panama?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Who I want and who we have is the problem. I guess Kljestan..? No Edu or Williams. I know he’s with the gold cup roster, but I’d take Beckerman. Play Kljestan and put Stuie in at like 75′.

  2. 4-3-3
    Evans – Gonzalez – Besler – Beasley
    Cameron – Bradley – F. Johnson
    Dempsey – Altidore – E. Johnson

  3. I’m honestly surprised at all of the people suggesting that Fabian Johnson fill in Zusi’s spot at right wing. Did y’all watch the Jamaica game? Did you not see how FJ struggled throughout and ran out of gas midway through the second half? He had a tough enough time against, frankly, sub-par opposition (compare it to Andres Guardado, who just days beforehand completely had his way with the right side of the Jamaican defense). No need to up the degree of difficulty against Panama.

    My own vote would be to throw Corona out there and see how he does, with Holden on call in case things go south. And I’d be stunned if anyone other than Cameron started in JJ’s spot next to Michael Bradley. He possesses much more of JJ’s skillset than Sacha does.

    • I don’t think he’s a %100 percent. If he was, he would have destroyed the Jamaican defense. When FJ is healthy, is our most gifted player technically, and has great speed to go along with it. Look at the Brazil and Slovenia friendlies.

      • Do you honestly believe that, that Klinsmann played Fabian Johnson against Jamaica when he was not 100% and that had Fabian been 100% he would have DESTROYED the Jamaican defense? Just askin’.

    • I don’t think they will–otherwise they would likely have sent JJ home with Danny Williams, but I totally, 100% agree with you that they should play it safe with him.

      • Why would Klinsmann lose all credibility with the team if he called in Donovan? Did Klinsmann say he would never call Donovan again? I guess I missed that one.

      • I referring to what Klinsy has said about LD having to work his way back to the USMNT and being placed on the Gold Cup roster. Klinsy suddenly letting LD back into the USMNT would show Klinsy doesn’t stick to what he says and doesn’t treat all players the same.

      • So he’d lose credibility by calling in the best possible replacement for a suspended player? Not that he cares, but he’s lost all credibility with me but not selecting him for the roster in the first place.

  4. Much of this decision actually hinges on Blas Perez being ruled out. Given this, Corona comes in for Zusi, and Sk comes in for Jones. Line up will be more of a traditional 4-4-2 with Bradley in more,of the 6 role with Dempsey up top. I actually think Klinsi could start EJ in place of Altidore if the whole hamstring thing is true…but not sure the extent of any injuries there….

  5. Kjestan start, this isn’t Belgium,second half for Holden, Cameron is too much defensive move.

    Move Dempsey to right, done damage there before. Or call Donovan.

  6. I do not understand for the life of me how the yellow card accumulation rule is still in effect. Two warnings in two separate games equals a game out. I think it’s total BS. It hurts the game, the teams, and fans who want to see their stars playing. I hate it so much!!!!!!!

    • At least make it something like 4 cards or 3 games in a row with a yellow. It really hurts the smaller nations, with less depth.

    • YC accumulation has its pros, but it definitely needs to be modified. 2 cards in 3 games, suspension. I’d even say 2 cards in 4 games would warrant a suspension.
      But Zusi’s first card was September 11, 2012, second was June 7, 2013. 7 games and nine months apart. And in different rounds of qualifying. That’s ridiculous.
      At the very least, cards shouldn’t carry over between rounds.

  7. Don’t replace Jones with anyone…




    Unlock panama’s bunker with possession and speed on the outside. Prepare for the counter.

  8. Sacha for Zusi. I’d rather keep EJ as Jozy’s 2nd half sub (since Altidore rarely goes the full 90), especially with Gomez out. I’d love to get a look at Corona but probably shouldn’t happen until the Gold Cup.

    Cameron for Jones. I’m not sold on him as a DM at this level, but given that we’ve used him as a centerback before, he’s probably the best person to park in front of Gonzalez and Besler. We’ll miss Jones’s passing more than anything (he did a great job finding people Friday), but Cameron can at least make for what Jones gives us on D.

  9. Say no to: Kljestan
    Say yes to: Cameron

    Cameron is not a RB but he is more than equipped to play in the midfield. He has the ability to yo-yo with Bradley in supporting the backline and also adding some distribution to the attack.

    Let’s not forget that Cameron’s biggest downfall to the advancement of his career early on was how versatile he was, playing: CM, CDM, CAM and some Forward.

    The guy has the talent. Kljestan does not.

    • I’d like to see Kljestan get the nod in midfield. Since we are at home, we are likely to have a bit more possession and Kljestan’s passing can help us retain the ball and keep pressure in the attack. I’m also curious to see Castillo. I wouldn’t mid him on the left and move FJ over to the right. One thing I can say is that of all the options presented none of them seem bad to me. If Cameron gets the start, and that seems likely, thats fine with me. Same with Davis, EJ, Corona. There is a good argument to be made for every guy who has been mentioned.

  10. I’d like this 11
    Evans——-Gonzo————–Besler————–F. Johnson

    -Dempsey will move centrally and forward often, pushing EJ out wide right which is fine.
    -I’d like corona, kljestan, and maybe like castillo or holden late

  11. Holden is not ready to go my man, i would go sacha myself and hope he fits with bradley. I would go corona on the right side and give it a go. Lucky break Blas Perez won’t be playing. Lets all remember Holden was brought in to keep playing get more fitness maybe for the gold cup at best.

    • Fair enough, I like Sacha and think he deserves a go along side Bradley. Sometimes its just hard to know what the coaches could be seeing in camp.

    • Don’t see why Klejstan fits with Bradley. At all. Both are distributors, but we don’t want Bradley covering for Sacha. He’s not good enough to have earned that, and by that I mean the loss of Bradley’s offensive focus. I just don’t see that partnership working out- if he was a real replacement for Jones, he would have gone in against Jamaica. For what the US has to do in Concacaf, he’s not the guy you want with Michael.

      I’ve said before that Cameron is the guy. He’s got a very large skill set, and past experience at the position. He’d allow Bradley to be the forward guy, and he’s got the speed to track down players, the ability to choose the smart pass, but above all, the defensive chops we need at that position.

  12. Is Holden ready to at least give you 60 mins? If so I’d start him and then bring on a Kljestan or Cameron depending on the score. For Zusi I think I’d move Clint out to the right and bring in EJ to pair up top with Jozy. Clint played well at times on the wings for Tottenham and I just don’t see any true wingers on this roster.

    • You don’t start a guy if you don’t think he can play 90 minutes. In a friendly with six subs, sure. A WCQ, no bring him off the bench if needed.

  13. If I were to bet, I doubt he makes the Honduras game. It would be only 11 days after the concussion…he plays in a high traffic/contact area of the field and he’ll never back off a challenge, why take the risk…we have options to fill in.

  14. I hope we dont see Cameron for JJ, he was fine as a spot sub, but he is not the answer for a full 90 of wcq as he hasnt played the cm position in a while.

    • I think he’s the best option. For Houston, he played all over the place, and showed a lot of ability at everything, DM, RB, even AM, and finally CB. I think he’s got the right skill set to replace Jones- he’s more mobile than Beckerman, way stronger than Holden or Klejstan, and his passing is underrated. Jones is dynamic, but without him, having someone who can cover ground, make the simple pass, and back up Bradley is the best option.

  15. Panama is likely to bunker with Blas Perez also out. Might as well play a diamond mid with Eddie Johnson partnering with Jozy. Bradley can play the #6 role and direct traffic in a deeper position.

  16. Zusi’s spot is the harder one to fill. Either fj or ej on the right and backfill left mid with castillo or Davis.

    Hope jones has a safe and quick recovery.

      • I think we get Ej on the left and FJ on the right! Fabian is naturally right footed which makes sense and it also makes sense(to me anyways) to put eddie out on the left at home, with his ardent fans behind him! He’s played there before and has done adequately but you gotta think he’ll be extra juiced up to be playing at home!

  17. I wouldn’t mind seeing Sacha for Zusi on the attack, but Zusi has worked his butt off on the defensive side. Not sure Sacha is a grunt work kinda guy!

    • Sacha doesn’t play out wide. It’s not his game, and he’s not a utility player like Evans or Cameron that can passably slide in at pretty much any position.

      While putting Sacha on the field against Panama might not be a bad idea, putting him out wide would be.

    • Agreed. Sacha will play defense but will not do that with 100% intensity and focus as he does his offense. Zusi has been impressive as he’ll track back and help out on the defensive end.

  18. tough break for the US but shouldnt come as a shock, concussions are no longer something that athletes just brush off (which is a good thing). not sure who they should use honestly, i know alot of people will say cameron but i am not sold on that at all

    • Well, not sure why you’re so anti-Cameron.

      Aside from the 2nd half of the last match (in which he was fine), you’ve never seen him play DM for the Nats, so you don’t really have a point of reference. All of his best performances for Stoke this season have come from midfield.

      Maybe Kljestan would be a better fit in a rearranged midfield, but it would be nice if you had some…y’know…evidence to back up your polarized opinions.

      • Im not a big fan of Cameron because he is a jack of all trades but master of none. While his versatility helps it also hinders him, he doesnt develop in any spot fully and the constant movement hurts him. Also I would rather use someone who has at least played with Bradley once in the center of the park before. In regards to your comment about his performances this year for Stoke, I believe most people were praising his play early on this season when he was in the back not midfield.

      • You missed the last 30 minutes against Jamaica? You know, the part of the game where we – lost and restored a lead, with Cameron and Bradley teaming reasonably well?

        Definitely Jones had a stronger game than Cameron, who even before the concussion was getting body-slammed regularly, but Jones got right back up and back into the play.

        Still, against Panama Cameron at cm seems the best option.

    • Eh, maybe a blessing in disguise. Jones is a decent passer, somewhat competent soccer player, but ultimately, in the words of his compatriot coach, a player who “grinds” the opposition. The U.S. does not need a player like this, nor does any team really, I would argue, that has aspirations truly to compete on the national stage. Jones (and others like him for that matter) will only serve to continue to derail the U.S. program from playing the game the way it should be played: beautifully. I say throw caution into the wind and pair Jose Torres with Bradley. And for the love of God, get Donovan back into the mix, amigos.

      • Yeah, ignore the fact that Schalke are a good team with him. Or the fact that beautiful doesn’t equal winning. Look at Barcelona.

      • Barcelona is probably the most successful team of the past decade.

        Jones is good for the usmnt, I just thought that last point was a little humorous

      • I don’t follow your comment – I’m looking at Barcelona and they have more trophies than any other club in Europe in the past decade.

      • I think Nigel De Jong and the Netherlands would disagree with your statement. Perhaps the Netherlands aren’t usually overwhelming favorites like Brazil, Spain, or Germany of recent years but getting to a WC Final is nothing to shake a stick at especially for a country of 16 million. They don’t exactly play negative soccer either.

    • Eh, maybe a blessing in disguise. Jones is a decent passer, somewhat competent soccer player, but ultimately, in the words of his compatriot coach, a player who “grinds” the opposition. The U.S. does not need a player like this, nor does any team really, I would argue, that has aspirations truly to compete on the national stage. Jones (and others like him for that matter) will only serve to continue to derail the U.S. program from playing the game the way it should be played: beautifully. I say throw caution into the wind and pair Jose Torres with Bradley. And Donovan – let’s get him back into the mix!

      • I’d disagree. Lots of highly successful, flashy, technically oriented teams have a “grinder” type like Jones. From the last WC final, Alonso with Spain, De Jong with Netherlands.

        Sure those guys although primarily grinders in their roles with their NTs are also pretty technical (clearly more so with Alonso). I’d say the same for Jones though.

      • Whoa, my keyboard ran away from me. Not enough coffee in the system yet… Alonso and Jones are totally different players. Jones is a doomed adolescent: he just doesn’t have the long-term futbol mind to take the game to the next level (meaning the U.S. game); he doesn’t remotely have the imagination, say, of guys like Alonso, Iniesta, Xavi. Re De Jong, are we serious? De Jong is a executioner in a footballer’s clothing. Just check out youtube videos of him destroying Alonso. Stu holden too.

      • +1

        Edgar Davids = classic “grinder”

        I’d love to have him or someone like him on my team. Since when is the position of defensive midfielder a glamorous one?

      • Jones brings a lot of heart and competitiveness to that midfield. I know a lot of people want to see beauty from it but you need brawn in there to. Look at any of the best teams in the world and they have people in the middle of the field who will grind it out. Jones is a good player who gives a ton of effort everytime he plays for us, I wasn’t a huge fan of his early on but I think he brings a lot now

      • There’s a great line in “Million Dollar Baby” where Clint Eastwood’s character says to Hillary Swank’s character: “Girly, tough ain’t enough.” I feel the same way about “heart” and “effort”. On the world stage of futbol, those ingredients are just stepping stones.

      • Heart and effort are more thtn stepping stones, they are foundation. I would argue Messi’s heart is his biggest weapon …and is what has allowed the rest to develop.

        If that’s what you mean by stepping stone, then OK…but why so dismissive of it then?

      • I’m not dismissive; I’m critical of the illusion that that’s what it takes – or that that’s something to be satisfied with. Heart and effort a just the crowning, beginning expression of the picture. It takes so much more to achieve at the highest levels out there.

      • Jones is not the reason Schalke won’t win the Champions League. To suggest as much is overly simplistic. Furthermore, he is one of the main reasons they even qualified for Europeon competition.
        Is he a perfect player? No way. However, he brings a lot to the table and will be missed Tuesday. Perhaps his most important role for the USMNT is freeing up Bradley. With Torres, Klejstan, or anyone else, Bradley is forced to “grind” more, with Jones he has more positional and offensive freedom.

      • Cool, good point. My thoughts are, ultimately, more generalized about the futbol culture in the USA. I’m confident that there are many creative, imaginative players out there in the American landscape. And not that I’m a xenophobe, but they’re American born and breed. (Jose Cuevas with the Charleston Battery immediately comes to mind.) The problem, as I see it take shape, is the American “system” is too often concerned with winning in the immediate sense, which I think, naturally, is a problem for longer-term growth with an eye on actually winning the World Cup. Mark my words here and now, the U.S. will never win a cup if it gears itself to the selection of players like J. Jones. I have high aspirations for U.S. futbol: winning the World Cup in style.

      • One other thought. It’s interesting that you say Jones is good at “freeing up Bradley.” It’s a revealing comment in terms of the dominant futbol culture/ideology in the U.S. What I mean by this is, instead of “freeing up” Bradley, why don’t they actually play together? Offensively speaking, two players attacking is better than one, no? This is what midfield units like Iniesta, Xavi, and Xabi do. That triumvirate is dominate 90% of the time they step on to the field together. Here’s my point: there are only 10 guys on the field who can actually attack. Why not have them all attack and all defend? Total “clockwork” futbol. All the great teams of history and present play with this mindset – and field players who can actually do this. Of course, I understand we do not have those players like Iniesta, Xavi and Xabi. At least, we don’t have them on the field. My point, to be clear, is more about how we, as a culture in the U.S., view the tactics of play within the unit.

      • Actually, this year it made it to the quarter finals, I believe. My point however is that it’s a long road between the quarters and winning the final. No doubt, Schalke had no place in the finals this year. It was just not good enough of a team.

      • I’m sorry, but one person does not make a team, in TEAM sport…it seems you have some gripe with JJ and that’s fine I guess but he’s an experienced player with years of UCL pedigree and he makes our Nats better and that’s not debateable!!!! Now your point about the future of US football and not being able to win it with this type of player is not proven and if it is, where’s the evidence? Lastly, JJ is a much needed player in our system with average at best CB’s who need the destroyer types in front of them to help cut down on passing lanes and more stifling defense before the opposition reaches the 18! If anything, the US needs to step up their quality with homegrown CB’s not CM’s!

Leave a Comment