Former Schalke 04 star and current U.S. Men’s National Team regular Jermaine Jones will join the New England Revolution as a Designated Player after the club won a blind draw over the Chicago Fire conducted by the league.
The 32-year-old midfielder joined the Revolution after the club submitted its bid to the league for Jones’ services. The Revolution were one of at least two clubs in pursuit of Jones over the past month. Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, per league and club policy, ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas reported that the deal is worth $4.7 million over one-and-a-half years.
Jones is versatile and technically-gifted midfielder who can use his physicality to punish an opponent, then use his passing skill to thread a perfect pass into the final third. Both qualities are exactly what the Revolution were in the market for after starting defensive midfielder Andy Dorman was sidelined with a sprain MCL last month.
Compounding their problems, the team has slipped out of a playoff place due to an eight-game losing run that saw them lose possession battles time and time again. The team snapped its losing streak in a 3-0 victory against Colorado on July 30, then relapsed by losing 2-1 to the short-handed Red Bulls three days later before drawing Portland and beating Chivas USA at home over the past two weeks.
Jones comes to MLS after 15 years of professional soccer in Europe, most notably with Eintracht Frankfurt, Schalke 04, and most recently Besiktas. Jones also played for the German National Team three times, as well as its youth teams, before FIFA changed its rules regarding cap-tied players in 2009. Since the rule change, which allowed Jones to play for the U.S., he’s made 46 appearances, scoring three goals.
As a designated player, the Revolution both earn his rights without going through the allocation process and will pay his full salary beyond his $387,500 cap hit ($193,750 for this season since he joined midseason, excluding any allocation buy downs) out of pocket.
Jones is German through his mother while his father, an American serviceman, is from Chicago. The Chicago Fire were originally believed to be the front-runners in snagging Jones.
But the certainty of Jones joining the Fire diminished after ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman tweeted on August 8th that the Revolution tossed their hat into the ring as potential suitors for the former Schalke midfielder.
Follow Julian on twitter @juliancardillo