New England Soccer Today

Jones’ Mind on Midfield for Revs

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

At the moment, the Revolution have a gaping hole to fill at center back. They also have a midfielder who’s transitioning to a spot in the heart of the U.S. midfield. But in this instance, one plus one doesn’t equal two.

While A.J. Soares’ future in New England remains murky at best, it appears that Jermaine Jones, who donned the 8 shirt like a cape last season for the Revolution, won’t be filling the void anytime soon.

“It’s not a position I prefer. I prefer playing midfield,” Jones told on Monday. “You have more, like, touch the ball, but the other point is [U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann] has some ideas why he does it. I will take it and try to switch between midfield in New England and center back in the national team.”

That should come as welcome news to Revolution fans. After the club acquired him last August, the Revolution went on a tear down the stretch thanks to the U.S. International’s tireless engine. He scored two goals and added four assists to spur the local XI to its first MLS Cup appearance in seven years.

As committed as Jones remains to the Revolution’s cause, it’s clear that the 33-year-old is also intent on playing in another World Cup. And he isn’t the only one who shares that vision.

“I think that every coach would always say, ‘I keep my options open,’ but I want to see, if I have all the options in midfield, then I’m probably going to see him more as a center back,” Klinsmann told on Monday. “Because he reads the game so far ahead of time; he anticipates things. And one of our goals in this next cycle is we want to kind of get the game more moved into the opponent’s half, so this is a step-by-step process.”

That transition hasn’t been an easy one, even for an experienced player like Jones, who spent the bulk of his career in Europe. In his two starts at center back for the U.S., he’s shown his usual grit, but has been exposed on a pair of late-game goals, as well.

“Sometimes it’s like when you play, and I see it doesn’t work, and I want to come touch [the ball] and I don’t touch the ball so much, and sometimes I’m a little bit confused and upset with the whole situation,” Jones said. “I want to play in midfield, but this is normal. It’s a process. … And maybe the position is, like, you don’t have to run so much, like in midfield, so maybe I can make it, I hope, to the World Cup [as a defender].”

In a sense, Jones is a man caught in two different worlds. But as far as the one he inhabits with the Revolution, he’ll be just fine spending most of his minutes where he’s most comfortable.

“It’s tricky,” Jones said, “but I always say the lucky thing is that I have New England, where I play midfield and I can, yes, score goals.”

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