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DFB throws book at 'serial offender' Jones
by Paul Kennedy, December 12th, 2012 5:08PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, germany, men's national team, world cup 2014


[AMERICANS ABROAD] If Jermaine Jones hoped he could sneak through the German soccer federation (DFB) hearing process for the first straight red card of his career, he was wrong. The German-American's disciplinary record as a "Wiederholungstaeter" ("serial offender") was not lost on the DFB, which suspended him four games for the foul on Ibrahima Traore in Schalke 04's 3-1 loss to VfB Stuttgart. The suspension, which Schalke has appealed, comes almost a year after he was banned for eight games for stomping on the injured foot of then-Borussia Moenchengladbach winger Marco Reus in an incident not seen by the referee.

The DFB used the 31-year-old Jones' long record of red cards for second yellow cards and suspensions for the accumulation of yellow cards as the basis for the four-game ban.

The red card against Stuttgart was Jones' fifth since joining Schalke in 2007, a club record. He received 11, 13 and 14 yellow cards in his first three full seasons at Schalke. He has three cautions in his first 14 Bundesliga games this season and two yellows in five UEFA Champions League appearances.

The suspension, if upheld, means that Jones will be ineligible to play for Schalke until Feb. 9, four days after the USA opens the Hexagonal against Honduras.

It creates a dilemma for U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Does Klinsmann bring Jones into the January national team camp like he did at the beginning of 2012 in the aftermath of the Reus incident? (Klinsmann went out of his way to praise Jones' work ethic at the camp as a model for his younger U.S. teammates.) Does Klinsmann otherwise call up a player who will have not played a competitive game in two months?

Klinsmann says opponents fear the combustible Jones, but the Frankfurt-born midfielder would not be considered an automatic choice to start if the U.S. squad was at full strength.

Jones started the USA's first four 2014 World Cup qualifiers but the successful pairing of Michael Bradley and Danny Williams in central midfield has since made Jones the odd man out.

Coming off an ankle injury, Jones started the game at Antigua & Barbuda on the bench, came on in the second half and was almost immediately carded for a stupid hand ball. It was his second yellow card of qualifying and meant he was suspended for the final game of the semifinal round against Guatemala.

Jones has also played on the outside, where Klinsmann has fewer options.

  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 12:14 a.m.
    Are we familiar with the Next Gen Series...the U-19 Euro Champions League? Well maybe we'll get an idea of what's needed...please pay attention to Group 6!
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.
    Leave him out.Age 31,he won't change,he will cost us dearly at some point during the hex.Lets get on with developing our younger players.
  1. Carl Walther
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.
    So once again the morally bankrupt American player from Germany proves he's a thug. Of course Klinsmann thinks that's just fine. And American soccer thinks that this is a coach the young players should look up to?
  1. Vince Leone
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 1:04 p.m.
    Jones is a red card waiting to happen whenever he plays for the U.S. Exactly what we don't need.
  1. R K
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 3:42 p.m.
    It's fine to want younger players to step up in place of Jones, but until someone actually comes up with a specific younger player who's better than Jones, then the argument carries no weight whatsoever. You take your best players, regardless of age. And a red card means he's a "thug"? Same as Paul Scholes, I suppose? Jones is a talented player. He defends well with great physicality. He's also starting for a German club that's one of the last 16 standing in the Champions League and has given his all every time he's taken the pitch for the US. But a red card and the fact that he's over 30 means he's a horrible option for our national side? I don't understand this logic at all. This sort of "support" doesn't help our team in the slightest.
  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: December 14, 2012 at 10:22 a.m.
    I support Klinsi's player picks but not this one.Continuing to start Jones is a risk.I personally don't think he is "that" good that we should take that risk having to play a man short and then not having an adequate replacement in the next match.Perhaps he would be useful coming off the bench to add to an attack,or to provide some bite in the MF if needed late in in matches.Thats the only role I see for him on our Nat. side.
  1. Kent James
    commented on: December 14, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
    Walt, I think you've assessed Jones' usefulness accurately. I've never quite understood Klinsmann's reliance on him, since there is no shortage of aggressive, physical (and fit) defensive midfielders, and I always thought Klinsmann was attempting to bring a higher level of play to the US. Jones covers a lot of ground, but his play with the ball is erratic, at best, and his reckless (to put it euphemistically) challenges will make us play short, probably when we can least afford to. So if he brings a work ethic to the practices that helps in camp, sure, bring him on. But only put him on the field if we need "bite" in midfield, because we have better options for everything else.
  1. Frank Cardone
    commented on: December 17, 2012 at 8:57 p.m.
    I for one am pleased to hear this news. One more nail in the coffin, I hope. Jones is a thug and an embarressment to any club or national team he represents. He and fellow thugs like Rafa Marquez set a terrible example for all young players. I was so pleased to learn that Rafa is out of MLS. That news was an early Christmas present. The Red Bulls and MLS don't need Rafa and our national team doesn't need Jones. He is nothing special and has the clear potential to do more harm than good. Have I made my position clear?

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