BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, March 2, 2010
While the US National team in Amsterdam welcomed back two familiar faces in Oguchi Onyewu and Steve Cherundolo who have both been working their way back from injuries, a not-so-familiar face has also joined the team as they prepare for Holland.
The USSF announced that Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones, 28, was invited by head coach Bob Bradley to meet the team and staff in Amsterdam. He will be in attendance on Wednesday night to watch his potential future teammates take on the third ranked Dutch. However, it is still very unclear as to when Jones will be able to resume playing.
Last May, Jones suffered a hairline fracture in his left leg and since then has been unable to return to form after numerous setbacks.
Jones' inability to return to action has been a source of disappointment for US fans because there was a great deal of excitement surrounding Jones last summer when he announced he would use his one-time switch to represent the US instead of his native Germany.
Jones, who was born in Germany and is the son of an American father, has long been considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the Bundesliga. In the past, Jones represented Germany at the U21 level and also with the senior national team in friendlies.
Pursuant to a recent FIFA rules change, Jones was allowed to make a one-time switch to the US since he never represented the senior German national team in an official competition. Jones made the switch immediately after the rule change went into effect and will now only be able to play for the US at the international level.
While it is still very questionable as to whether Jones will be healthy enough to play in the World Cup, his presence with the US team in Amsterdam will certainly cause much excitement to US fans who would love to see a player of Jones' caliber take the field for the Stars and Stripes this summer.