Friday, June 12, 2009

Mr. Jones strikes up a conversation...

But not with a black-haired flamenco dancer. This time, anyway.

Rumour became news suddenly this morning when it was announced by the German F.A. that Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones is making a FIFA switch to the U.S. National Team.

Frankfurt-born with an American dad, the 27-year old is coming off a second consecutive fine season in the Bundesliga and formerly captained Eintracht Frankfurt. He is a two-way midfielder that appeared in three friendlies for Die Mannschaft, but never an "A" contest.

Sorry it took me a while to even get this up, but I've been trying to locate Jermaine. A loyal reader asked if I thought he would receive a Gold Cup call-up. Figuring that he had to have talked with USMNT Bob Bradley before making the switch, I replied: 'I can only imagine he would be'.

UPDATE: I've spoken to Jones' agent and filed a report at S365. As it reads, the rule does not go into effect until the beginning of August, meaning he obviously cannot take part in the Gold Cup. Thanks to a couple of NSC regulars for the reminder nudge.

To get you all excited, here is a winner he scored against Cologne in March...




- Greg Seltzer

16 comments:

Steven Streff said...

Sounds like Mr. Jones would not be allowed to appear for the US until October at the earliest.

Greg Seltzer said...

It does?

amy said...

wow. that's cool.

bhamhawker said...

Supposedly the rule doesn't go into effect until August?

Greg Seltzer said...

August 2nd if my math is correct.

bhamhawker said...

So that rules out the Gold Cup.

By the way, any ideas on what kind of a team we'll field for the Gold Cup? MLS players since it's being hosted by the US this year?

Greg Seltzer said...

Yeah, I made a little correction on the post and added a link to my full report. I just wasn't thinking about the 60-day waiting period before a rule change is enacted.

As for the Gold Cup squad, I am planning a column on this topic for S365 that you can expect to see this coming week.

Matt said...

Not to get too far ahead of things. But let's assume this all goes through as planned, what spot does Jermaine seem best suited to on the USMNT? I've not watched many Schalke games, so can't tell if he's really a creative type, or more of a defensive midfielder (which we don't really need more of).

bhamhawker said...

Defensive mid, and he's better right now than anyone we have (save maybe Bradley, though he's still a bit out of place when used only for defensive purposes).

Greg Seltzer said...

He's a rangy D-mid that plays with a bite and is able to get forward well. I think he probably slots in next to Bradley in the bucket midfield.

Alex said...

Are you thinking something like a 4-2-3-1 with Jones and Bradley as the 2? I don't know exactly what bucket midfield means...

Greg Seltzer said...

When I refer to the bucket, it's 4-4-2 midfield set with a pair of central guys in front of the defense and the attacking midfielders stationed wide.

F
.x...x.
..x.x..
D
GK

Jones would likely occupy the left DM spot. Of course, when the coach fields a support striker running behind a big striker (as opposed to a flat front line), it starts to resemble the 4-2-3-1 you mentioned and the two CM's haven't moved station.

AdamTheRed said...

Clearly jumping the gun here, but ... Is there ANY chance E. Castillo might don the US kit following Aguirre's Gold Cup snub.

Personally, I think its a bonehead move from Aguirre...perfect moment to cap the chap.

Clearly this Jones event has me feeling overly-optimistic in regards to natl team pick-up opportunities.

Unknown said...

So, let's go with this bucket midfield option, for the sake of argument, and since Bradley does like the 4-4-2. In that scenario, with Jones and Bradley sitting in front of the center halves, who--exactly--would handle distribution out of the midfield?

In his first 45 minutes in more than a year Feilhaber showed more creativity in passing than anyone currently on the USMNT, with the exception of maybe Adu. Hopefully Jones can pass...

bhamhawker said...

I'm all for a 3-man midfield with Feilhaber getting a free role in front of Jones and Bradley.
...BF...
.JJ..MB.


Then we can stick Landycakes and Deuce on the wings and Jozy in the middle up top.


Greg, what do you think should be done about the defensive situation?

I've long been a proponent of making Mo Edu make a permanent move to center back. He's got so much athleticism, that I think he could be spectacular when given less on-ball responsibility. Not to mention the kid closes on tackles faster than anyone in the US setup.

I'd love to see us give up the notion that our outside backs need to be Roberto Carlos and Sergio Ramos and instead settle for quality defenders (like say young Phil and Gary Neville). So why not slide Bocanegra out to the left and Spector to the right, and just let them worry about marking and defending?

Greg Seltzer said...

@ bham: While I love your midfield idea, I absolutely despise the idea of moving Mo Edu to center back. I don't like all this crazy "why not?" switching business. He is already busy refining his midfield game, why start him all over? He wasn't great there in the Olympics and isn't really quite big enough to play international CB anyway.

And as I've said before, I don't want Bocanegra moved from the middle.