Still Waiting on Jermaine Jones

Thursday, August 05, 2010 | View Comments
July 18, 2010 - 06191502 date 18 07 2010 Copyright imago GEPA Pictures Football DFL Schalke vs Bialystok try out Irdning Austria 18 Jul 10 Football IFCS 1 German Bundesliga Ekstraklasa Training camps FC Schalke 04 vs Jagiellonia Bialystok Preparation game Picture shows Jermain Jones right Schalke PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxITA men Football 2010 2011 try out Action shot Vdig 2010 Square premiumd.

Just when you thought we'd finally get a chance to see Jermaine Jones wearing US colors comes word that he won't be making the trip over for Tuesday's friendly.  I'm hardly crestfallen to hear the news, and a not at all shocked it played out the way it did.  Why would Schalke be okay with Jones playing for the US before he returned to the field for them?

The midfielder's return from the lower leg injury he suffered all the way back in June of last year is the definition of "protracted."  For the same reasons Oguchi Onyewu wasn't called in for this match, neither should Jones have been; in the end, it looks worse for US Soccer to have released a roster with Jones' name on it only to have to replace him than if they had simply passed on the opportunity.  In the end the investment is Schalke's, and they should naturally have the right of refusal when the international means a whole heap of nothing.

After waiting as long as we have for Jones to make his switch official by actually playing, it is mildly frustrating for his first call up to turn out this way. But Jones' switch is irreversible as I understand it, so unless he decided he never wants to play as a full international, he'll be lining up for the Yanks at some point.

A statement from Jones per Soccer Insider:

"I would like to thank Bob Bradley and the U.S. federation greatly for my first official invitation," Jones said in a prepared statement. "It is an honor that I have been working towards for over a year, and while I initially felt like I was ready to make my first appearance, it is also extremely important to me that I am 100 percent fit for my first national team game and that I make a good impression on the manager and my teammates. I hope to receive another invitation and finally fulfill my goal of playing with the U.S. national team in the very near future."

Hindsight is 20/20, and clearly Bob Bradley and US Soccer thought they'd take the first possible opportunity to integrate Jones into the team. If the friendly means nothing in the end, then it's only fair to sweep this little bump aside and move forward. No harm, no foul, even if there's a bit of egg on a few faces.

In addition to Jones, Chad Marshall has also been replaced. Dealing with a dodgy knee, and with his Crew playing meaningful games, his pulling out makes sense as well. Omar Gonzalez steps in, giving the Galaxy defender and perceived future National Team centerback an opportunity to cut his teeth further.

Jozy Altidore replaces Jones. That move doesn't make much sense if Jozy is in fact headed to Besiktas in Turkey to play his club soccer and needs time to acclimate, but perhaps the deal's not done and he's without any pressing commitments. I hope that's the case.

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