Looks like we'll need to hit the pause button on my hiatus...
FC Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones, once seen as a future hopeful for the German national team has announced he'd rather play for the USA. The 27 year-old dual German-American citizen is the son of an American service member who was stationed in Germany.
"I think that I never really got the chance in the German team, although I always did well in my club performances," Jones told Kicker. "I've long had it in mind to play for the U.S. "For me, a new life now begins."
The six-foot, one inch defensive midfielder rose through the ranks of his hometown Frankfurt youth system before landing a contract with Eintracht Frankfurt where he worked his way into the first team in 2001 before being sold to Bayer Leverkusen. There, he languished in the reserves (so he and Landon Donovan will have something in common already) and in 2005, was loaned back to Frankfurt where he excelled before being acquired by Schalke in 2007. He has made 84 appearances for Schalke, scoring six goals.
More importantly, the speedy enforcer has Champions League experience, a level of experience sorely lacking in the current edition of the US squad. I think this development will ensure that Michael Bradley's role will be more offensive, not a bad development. Where and how he could fit into Bob Bradley's scheme (and what its means for rising d-mids Maurice Edu and Sacha Kljestan) remains to be seen but these are just the kind of problems the US team could use right now - what role to give a player of Jones' caliber.