New England Soccer Today

Bilello Found Out About Jones Draw at Family BBQ

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Talk about a barbeque to remember for Revolution President Brian Bilello.

With the club deep in the hunt for the services of U.S. International Jermaine Jones during the late-summer, Bilello was hosting a party at his house when he found out the results of the now-infamous Aug. 24 blind draw via video conference.

“I had a whole bunch of friends and family over at my house at the time I was on the conference call,” Bilello said. “I was the first person who found out. It was very exciting for me; I had a good moment there.”

Shortly after he discovered that the Revolution had landed the signing of the summer, he quickly informed the Kraft Family and General Manager Michael Burns, and from there, the wheels were set in motion for the news to be released to the public.

Not surprisingly, Bilello was particularly anxious to do all he could to get the star midfielder into Foxborough as promptly as possible.

“From that point, it was just ‘Alright, let’s get him here and get the physicals and all that kind of stuff done, and get him with the squad,’” Bilello said. “It was a pretty exciting time, knowing we had the potential to bring him here, and certainly nerve-wracking moments when we had the draw.”

Unlike other Designated Player who’ve come and gone through MLS, Jones wasn’t simply brought in to appease the fan base or attract larger crowds.

“We had a guy that we, unequivocally, felt would help us on the field in a really big way,” Bilello said. “From an off the field standpoint, no, we didn’t think that he would pay for himself and then some. We didn’t think he’d pay for himself financially.”

Jones reportedly signed a 1.5 year deal worth $4.7 million, making him the highest-paid player in franchise history by a wide margin. One of the reasons why the Kraft Family decided to open its checkbook for Jones was actually due to a development that occurred earlier in the season.

“We (weren’t) going to let the great start to the season kind of go to waste this year,” Bilello said. “We really felt strongly that we had a great team here, and a great group of players. We wanted to do whatever it took to kind of put them in the best position that we could.

“At the time, that decision seemed like a relatively easy one to make in terms of what he would bring to the squad, and looking back, I think we feel pretty good about the decision.”

With his club on the verge of its first championship, Bilello clearly has no reason for regrets given the impact Jones had on the squad. But as far as ducking out on his own barbeque?

“It was what it was, so I was the worst party host of all-time that day because I basically never showed up at my own party,” Bilello said, with a laugh. “But it was a good day, for sure.”

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