New England Soccer Today

Jones Goes 90 at CB in Draw to Honduras

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Jermaine Jones debuted at center back and went the full 90, but another late goal forced the U.S. Men’s National Team to settle for a 1-1 draw to Honduras in Tuesday’s international friendly at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Revolution midfielder was paired alongside Matt Besler in the heart of the U.S. backline, and single-handedly thwarted no fewer than two clear chances collected by Honduras in the second half. He was booked in the 60th minute for a strong challenge on Alberth Elis.

Jozy Altidore opened the scoring in the 10th minute after he chested down a pass from Michael Bradley, took it into the box, and buried it under the dive of goalkeeper Donis Escober. But any hopes of the hosts holding on to its slim margin evaporated in the 86th minute when Maynor Figueroa snapped a Mario Martinez free kick into the back of the net.

The Jones Experiment: It was an eventful night for the Revolution midfielder. After settling into his spot during the first half, a Honduras side that grew bolder as the game progressed put the spotlight on Jones in the second half. He thwarted a breakaway speared by Elis on a perfectly-timed tackle in the final third, and made a pair of strong challenges on second-half substitute Romell Quioto in the 60th and 82nd minutes. With Jones going the full 90, and playing a total of 180 minutes over the last four days, it’ll be interesting to see how much action, if any, Jones gets in Thursday’s Revolution-Dynamo match.

Ibarra achieves rare feat: Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra came on in the 90th minute for Mix Diskerud, becoming the first second-division player to see the field for the U.S. National Team since Richmond Kickers midfielder Clyde Simms was called up in 2005. Ibarra scored eight goals and collected five assists for Minnesota in 2014.

Klinsmann’s postgame assessment of Jones: “Defensive midfielders usually, with the way they play and their vision and their sense for it, can easily move one step back and play a center back role. Obviously, it takes a little bit of time, it takes some good understanding with the other center back and the outside back. But Jermaine played it before. He played it a couple of times at Schalke and at Besiktas as well. So I was not worried at all about that, but also, it’s also a thought seeing how he’s 32, is he going to be a box-to-box player for the next four years (playing) on a turf field? I don’t know. I doubt it a little bit. So that might be a better role over a longer stretch of time, so it was good for us to test that out.”

Next up: The U.S. will return to action on November 18 against Ireland at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The matchup between the sides will be the first since April 17, 2002, a game in which the Irish collected a 2-1 win in Dublin. The Ireland holds an all-time record of 4-2-2 over the U.S. since 1924.

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