FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Leave it to the local kid to sell the prospect of playing in New England to the summer’s most vaunted free agent.
Prior to MLS awarding Jermaine Jones to the local XI on Sunday, Revolution striker and Boston College alum Charlie Davies had a feeling that the U.S. International may be headed to Gillette Stadium. So naturally, Davies did his best to convince the U.S. International that Foxborough – and by extension, Boston – was the perfect destination.
“I’d be a fool not to,” Davies said with a smile on Tuesday. “I just told him that this is a great area to live in, I grew up in the area, so I love this city and I love the area. You can’t really find that much better in the US, if you’re not talking about any cities in California (where Jones has a home).”
Davies told the media on Tuesday that he originally linked up with Jones four years ago, and has remained in contact since. And once the possibility of playing on the same club arose, the Manchester, N.H. native held nothing back.
“I said the club has been great,” Davies said. “I’ve been treated so well here. Everyone gets along, and I think is it’s probably the best locker room I’ve been a part of from player 1 to player 30. Everyone’s tight. (We have) a good group of guys, and the coaching staff has been good. So I told him it’s the place to be, and I think he’d really enjoy playing with the players that we have.”
Jones did have one concern about playing in Foxborough: the artificial surface, which the veteran midfielder wasn’t accustomed to after playing the entirety of his career on grass in Germany and Turkey.
“I talked with Charlie, he’s a good friend,” Jones said. “And the word he gave me back was that it’s good (here). A lot of people were talking about the turf pitch, and I asked him (about it). He told me it’s a good pitch. It’s still turf, but you can play on it.”
Jones said he tested out the Gillette Stadium surface himself on Monday, and deemed it “a good turf” during Tuesday’s press conference.
“I will have no problems playing on that pitch,” said Jones.
Now that Jones, who trained with the club on Tuesday, is officially in the fold, Davies said that the entire club locker room will benefit from the veteran midfielder’s presence.
“He’s the kind of guy that when you bring him to a team, not only does he raise the level of the players in the midfield, but everyone, I mean from player 1 to player 30,” Davies said. “Everyone’s picked up the energy, and I think more is expected of you because you have to raise your level of quality when you have a player like that on the team.”
When asked whether Jones’ introduction makes the sixth-place Revolution an instant contender, Davies smiled, but was careful not to, as he said, “put his foot in his mouth.”
“I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but I think we can do big things this season,” Davies said. “(The) playoffs are something that’s very attainable, and I think we’ll have to take it game by game.”