Jumblin: The Enigma of Jermaine Jones

Who are TSG’s Rountable participants this go around? Just click here.

Rountable Question #2:

Sure would like to have Jones in a Yanks' kit to battle Carrick this time around...

Tim Howard suggests Jermaine Jones may be a contender for inside the USMNT midfield come South Africa.

Say we’re dealing Jones into the mix, what does this mean for personnel (Benny, Mike B, Rico, Edu, even Kljestan and Torres) and what does this mean for formation or style of play? How does an edition by Jones impact the team….or does it?


Rogers, Hillcrest Road: Well, it certainly means that one or more of those players won’t make the squad. I think that’s down to Benny, Kljestan and Torres. Michael Bradley, Rico Clark and Mo Edu are pretty much locks in my opinion.

As for style of play, I think it gives us another box-to-box type of midfielder like Bradley who can do the dirty work but still get into the attack. It would probably give us a little more precision in attack from midfield, which is likely why Howard suggests he’s still an option.

Shoaff, Black Sox: Talent wise, he’d slide into the lineup, but team chemistry is the worry.  In ’98 we had all kinds of problems (see Harkes, John; see also Sampson’s 3-6-1 formation), but a biggie was bringing Regis, Maisseneauve, and Deering into the mix so late.  All solid players, but not worth the chemistry risk.

Arbogast, Notre Dame: An unlikely scenario to begin with but one that could pay huge dividends. I think the optimal strategy to take would be to pair Jones with a creative possession-capable attacking mid like Feilhaber or Holden. Ultimately though, you’d probably see him with Junior which still has a higher ceiling than the status quo.

Michelot, Ligue 1 Talk: BB will stick with his formation. It would be a mistake to change it all for one player, so close to the start of the WC. Players like M. Bradley have been used to it and excel there. Kljestan & Torres out, Feilhaber stays because of experience, and I think Clark goes to the WC for the same reason.

McKee, “Spectator-Capped“: Jones is in, if healthy and team chemistry works.  Look what great walk-ons with the right chemistry (Landon/Everton) can do.

My picks

(optimistic, A to pessimistic, G)  Injury/recovery dictates, followed by balanced offense/defense, central/wingers:

A =favorite – slide right as needed.

If CD9 is out Dempsey goes Forward. Kljestan/Torres-sorry 2014.

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jason Jordan on 2010/03/17 at 11:59 AM

    If the other players (Benny, Mo) recognize that this is not a crack at their play then things will be fine…the team has been gelling and will continue to do so if the mentality stays as is and egos do not get in the way of the bigger picture, which is to advance @ the Cup!


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/17 at 12:04 PM

      Here’s the thing in my opinion.

      After the initial say 19 (adding the 3rd goalie) those additional four spots are up for grabs among impact players in my book. What’s the reality of the end of the bench getting significant run without injuries occuring?

      Do you want a fourth striker over Jermaine Jones — I doubt it.


      • Heck, I don’t know if we want a third striker over Jones😉

        I think that if CD9 is healthy and at least close to match fit we can bring 3: Jozy, Ching, and Davies, with Dempsey and Donovan able to slot in as needed. If Charlie isn’t healthy, however, I’m a bit worried, there’s not a striker after Ching that I’ve seen enough from to warrant a roster spot.

        The common belief seems to be that Dempsey moves up top but the fact that we haven’t seen that yet scares me a bit. I think my preference would be to start Ching up top with Jozy, let him bang defenders around for 45-60 minutes, then move Dempsey up top and bring in Holden on the wing.

        And I’ve tangented a bit…sorry. Yay Jones.


  2. Posted by B-Mac on 2010/03/17 at 12:20 PM

    I think the main thing is will Jones be healthy enough that he can be selected as the 30? initial group from which the 23 can come. If he’s healthy come May, regardless of form, I think he needs to get picked and given a run in the May friendlies. He’s just too good of a player not to give the chance to.


  3. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/03/17 at 1:26 PM

    I’ve just come to realize Coach’s genius. In an interview you guys did with Ching, he stated that the last time around the primary problem was complacency, guys who already knew their spot on the squad getting complacent and thus not working their asses off.

    What Bob’s done has been brilliant, As of now, we only know about 5 players who are STARTING, let alone on the 23 come june(or may) -Lando, Jozy, Dempsey, Timmy, Junior, I guess you can dd Boca in there as well. Yes, some of this genius is attributed to the various injuries, but you gotta give the man credit for bringing in new players to push the old & new guys of the old guard for their spots.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/17 at 1:28 PM

      Completed agreed Antonio…and he said as much after the El Salvador game as well.

      He has balanced intensity with team cohesiveness as well….look for a BB piece from us in the next 3 weeks.


  4. Posted by KMac on 2010/03/17 at 2:25 PM

    George, maybe…but I am in the camp that believes Bradley has a method to his madness. You may love or hate his brand of madness, but I tend to think Bradley’s job is a little harder than the average critic would admit. With that said you are a very knowledgeable critc! However in contrast, I was really impressed with the way Tim Howard summed up Bradley’s performance in Ives Galarcep’s 3/10/03 FoxSoccer article (great article by the way):

    “A lot of people who count, a lot of people who matter think Bob Bradley is doing a good job and think he’s the right man for the job, including myself,” Howard said.

    “The grass is always greener isn’t it? The bottom line is if you brought in a different coach you wouldn’t get a different Tim Howard. I am who I am. All of a sudden our midfielders wouldn’t have Cristiano Ronaldo’s feet.

    “Having said that, I think Bob’s done a very good job. I think it’s about results and if you look at where we’ve gone. In the last couple of years we won the Gold Cup, got to another Gold Cup final. We got to a Confederations Cup final, and by the way, we won our CONCACAF group. We didn’t finish second or third. We finished first.”


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/17 at 2:50 PM

      I was kind of joking. Kind of!

      He’s not going to cuss the manager, is he?! If that is the case, then why do MLS players move to the EPL with most US fans’ blessing? But I guess he has to work with the players he has and manage expectations! Winning the CONECAF is true, so credit to the whole outfit.

      You will see what I wrote for the last question for the Jumble – patience KMac!


  5. Posted by KMac on 2010/03/17 at 5:01 PM

    Fair enough “George”, my favorite The Lions Fan! You are so right, but he didn’t have to make a case for him either!? He could have ducked it with standard sports interview fodder like – ” Well, he’s the coach, blah, blah, blah,..”
    I thought the point that even the “Special One”, Sir Alex, or Capello might not be able to perform World Cup alchemy and turn our pretty fine Confed Cup Silver(the talent/depth US have) into World Cup Gold.
    On the other hand, who knows!


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