BRENT LATHAM - Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Controversial German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones has finally received approval from FIFA to switch his national allegiance to the US, assuring that if he is to play internationally again, it will be for the Stars and Stripes.

A player is allowed to switch only once under current FIFA rules, so Jones is American for the duration of his playing career. Whether the Bundesliga hitman will appear for the US anytime soon is another question, as Jones is still out with a hairline fracture in his leg, and time is running out for him to convince Coach Bob Bradley that he will make a useful addition to next year's World Cup squad.

The Schalke 04 midfielder's application has been delayed since this summer as FIFA was missing some paperwork from the German federation. Jones will almost certainly miss the next FIFA international break in mid-November, so his next chance to play with the full team would not be until next March.

Amidst a compact club schedule aimed at ending the European season early, there is only one friendly date in 2010 before the summer recess, so Bradley will not have too much opportunity to see Jones or fellow recent national pool team addition Edgar Castillo before choosing his World Cup squad.

Jones is expected to be out of action several more weeks. He had appeared three times for Germany in friendly matches before declaring his intention to switch to the US over the summer.
Joe Cook
Wednesday October 21, 2009 8:47 pm
Jones is a VERY solid defensive midfielder. Steel. Many Germans believe he is the best defensive mid in the country. He is a relentless worker and hard tackler. He is Michael Bradley in 5 years, but with a slightly higher defensive mentality. We could actually play with 3 at the back with him in the system if we wanted. He and Bradley could both play defensive mids, with Jones set slightly further back.

Any way you look at it, he will be a quality player and we're lucky to have him.
Wednesday October 21, 2009 2:02 pm
I think you could say he's controversial as a new member of the team potentially disrupting team chemistry, etc, though I don't think it'll be a problem.

Also, hasn't he generated a bit of controversy in the german media over the years because he's a bit outspoken?
Wednesday October 21, 2009 1:34 pm
Why do you say Jermaine Jones is controversial?
Wednesday October 21, 2009 12:28 pm
Here is the major difference between this and the David Regis situation: Jones is really good when healthy.
Jersey Steve
Wednesday October 21, 2009 11:39 am
how the **** is it anything like Regis? Jones was always eligible for the US as an American and decided to play for us. Regis' citizenship was rushed through in order to get him eligible. I just dont see similarities.
Wednesday October 21, 2009 10:29 am
i hope he's good for the usa, and as always support the team always getting better... but this smells like david regis all over again, and i wonder if mixing a random foreigner into the mix is really the right idea.
Wednesday October 21, 2009 9:11 am
we need jones. we need his steel, his toughness, and his passion. if he's healthy, he's got to be there, and bob has to realize that he may need to sit michael to make room.
Wednesday October 21, 2009 7:05 am
Well if he turns out to be half as useful as the last Bundesliga pro who wore our colors, Thomas Dooley, then we're very lucky indeed to have him. That said, judging from how Bob Bradley has tended to use those players who he feels fit into his idea of a playing system, I have my doubts whether Jones, superior player that he clearly is, will be used well and enough by Bradley. Just watching how long it's taken for a player as obviously poised and deserving of playing time as Paco Torres, leads me to question whether Bob Bradley will truly welcome an older seasoned professional who clearly will expect to play and have his thoughts on how the teams plays heard.

That there will be too few scheduled friendly matches is certainly a bad thing for Jones, but since we are at the moment hemorrhaging players... Davies, Onyewu, DeMerit, etc. and also seeing many others either not seeing much playing time or just plain having off seasons, we could use as many opportunities to test out our squad against real opponents as we can manage.

While I'm glad that we've qualified for next summer's big dance, I'm still very uncertain about Bob Bradley being the person to coach this group out of the first round, and just how players such as Torres, Castillo and Jones are used or not used in the upcoming months will likely show whether we have diamonds in the ruff or a coach with his head in the sand... honestly, I fear it is the latter.

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