New England Soccer Today

Jones Seeks Deal Through ’18

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones, the focus on the the immediate future is clear: fly back to Los Angeles and see his family. The bigger picture? Well, that’s a bit more complicated.

Jones, whose 18-month, $4.7 million deal expires at the end of the year, has said on a number of occasions that he’d welcome the opportunity to play for the Revolution beyond 2015. But at the end of the day, the ultimate decision isn’t his alone.

“Me and my family have talked (about it),” Jones said during Friday’s final media access. “We want to have a long-term deal, so we said that we can have to the World Cup (in 2018). My plan is to say, after the World Cup, maybe it’s done. But we don’t want to go a year, one-and-a-half years while we have kids.”

For Jones, family is everything. During his time with the Revolution, he’d routinely take the first flight out of Boston to LA on Sunday morning just to spend a day or two with his wife and five children before flying back to Boston in time for Tuesday’s training.

But the physical toll of taking regular cross-country flights is obviously a concern from the team’s perspective. Jones will turn 34 next month, and is coming off an injury-marred season in which he failed to record an assist or goal.

Nevertheless, he made it clear that, at this stage of his career, he’d enjoy the opportunity to have his family close by wherever he decides to play next year.

“I was a long time away from my family,” Jones said. “I would try to take them with me, and have a longer deal, so my kids can come and go to school in that area I’d play.”

One thing that appears to work in the Revolution’s favor is the fact that Jones and his family, which came to visit him during the summer, enjoyed their time together in Boston.

“We feel like it’s home here,” Jones said. “It’s a nice place, I like the team, and I like the club.”

But Jones cautioned that doesn’t necessarily seal the deal on a new contract, especially with the number of years he’s seeking likely being a sticking point.

“In soccer and sports, we don’t always stay where we like the people, so I don’t know,” Jones said. “I have some offers not only from MLS, but Brazil and Europe, too. So, we will go into that with the family and then decide.”

One teammate who’s particularly hopeful that Jones will be back in 2016 is Revolution striker Charlie Davies, who formed a close friendship with the club captain.

When asked about what it would be like if Jones went elsewhere, Davies cut straight to the point.

“It’d be devastating,” Davies said. “I think we’ve gotten extremely close during his time, and it’ll definitely be a big hole to fill. Hopefully, we won’t have to worry about that.”

Davies said that he isn’t sure whether Jones will be back or not next year, noting that the situation is out of his hands.

“It’s one of those things where it’s up the management here,” Davies said, “and if they want go in that direction.”

For his part, Jones said he isn’t bothered by the fact that negotiations are coming down to the wire. He also mentioned that money isn’t the biggest issue, but rather, the right deal for him and his family, something the Revolution front office will have to mull now that the offseason is here.

“We will see,” Jones said. “The club also has to sit down and see what the plan is for the next season, but not only with me, they have a couple other guys, too, and that they have to decide some stuff.”

For the time being, Jones is set to fly to Los Angeles on Saturday. In addition to catching up with his family, he’ll start training with a few LA Galaxy players at the StubHub Center in order to stay fit ahead of the U.S.’s World Cup Qualifiers in November.

Beyond that? Well, it’s anyone’s guess at this point.

“At the end of the day, they will come up with an offer,” Jones said. “And I will either agree, or I won’t agree. You will see me back, or you won’t see me back.”

2 Comments

  1. BWG

    October 31, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Brian,

    Curious who you think will return next season?

    Jones: no way Krafts will pay.
    Goncalves: wants to return to Europe
    Nguyen: bitter about contract earlier this season
    Fagundez: has stagnated with the revs likely due to coaching. Gave up hope of players my for usnt for Uruguay needs playing time and proper coaching at a high level if he wants to play for them in the olympics
    Bunbury: traded to revs when had a lack of playing time in SKC
    Rowe: stagnated development wants to play for nats
    Agudelo: same as Rowe and Bunbury?

    Team has the potential to be totally blown up in the offseason

  2. Brian O'Connell

    October 31, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Hey BWG,

    My guess is that Jones and Goncalves probably won’t be back for the reasons you stated. But I think the rest will be here next year. Rowe’s contract is up this winter, and my sense is that Heaps really wants to keep him around. Nguyen, Fagundez, Bunbury and Agudelo all have options that will most likely be picked up in December.

    Even if Jones and Goncalves are the only significant departures, the team will still need serious upgrades if they want to finish better than 5th in 2016. Losing two players who happen also to occupy important roles (both in terms of their positions and their leadership qualities) would be devastating for any team, so Burns is definitely going to need to make a couple of strong moves just to keep the team on its current track, nevermind getting back to the Cup final.

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