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New mechanism -- blind draw -- sends Jones to Revs
by Paul Kennedy, August 24th, 2014 8:09PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, chicago fire, germany, men's national team, mls, new england revolution


[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Jermaine Jones is finally coming to MLS, perhaps not to the club he originally wished to, but the 2014 U.S. World Cup  team star will play for the New England Revolution after a blind draw conducted by MLS. Jones, who last played in Europe for Turkish club Besiktas, was a free agent and has been living at his home in Los Angeles since the end of the World Cup. Jones was also pursued by Chicago, the city in which he was born.

Jermaine Jones:
10/0 Besiktas (Turkey, 2014)
129/7 Schalke 04 (Germany, 2007-13)
15/0 Blackburn Rovers (England, 2011)
38/5 Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany, 2005-07)
5/0 Bayer Leverkusen (Germany, 2004-05)
46/7 Entrance Frankfurt (Germany, 1999-2004)

MLS roster rules note that Designated Players of a certain threshold -- as determined MLS -- are not subject to allocation ranking. Jones joined Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley in being assigned via mechanism outside the allocation ranking. But unlike Dempsey and Bradley, whose only serious suitors were Seattle and Toronto FC, respectively, both two clubs -- the Revs and Fire -- wanted Jones. The signing marks the most significant acquisition by the Revs, who have usually stayed on the sidelines as rival clubs have upped their spending.

“This is a great opportunity for us to add one of the best players in the United States to our club,” said Revolution investor/operator Jonathan Kraft in a statement. “We thought Jermaine was the best player for the U.S. in the World Cup and we are excited to welcome him to New England. [Father] Robert [Kraft] and I have always said that any major DP signing would need to make an impact, on and off the field, and we believe the addition of Jermaine will do just that. When we learned that he was interested in signing with MLS, we immediately informed the league of our interest. He is a dynamic player and is certain to have a tremendous impact on our team and in our community. We look forward to his many contributions.” had reported earlier in the week that Jones was ready to sign with an MLS club, and he wanted to join Chicago -- or New England but at a higher salary than MLS was willing to approve. It later reported that MLS got Jones to agree to a deal on the condition that a blind draw be held to determine which team -- the Revs or Fire -- got him.

The Fire had traded Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to Chivas USA for allocation money in a deal seemingly designed to make room for the acquisition of Jones, whom reported will be paid $4.5 million over two seasons. That money would have been unimaginable six months ago when Jones was first seeking a move to MLS after Schalke 04 let him go, but an excellent World Cup for the USA increased his value on the MLS market.

"The Chicago Fire Soccer Club has pursued Jermaine Jones as a free agent signing over the past month and a half," said Fire head coach and director of soccer Frank Yallop, "and have gone to great lengths to bring him into Major League Soccer and our organization. We thought that he'd be a great fit in Chicago. While we’re deeply disappointed that he will not be a part of the Fire, we respect the system employed by MLS and wish Jermaine well with his new club. This result does not alter our vision of building a complete side and we’ll continue to move forward with this process as planned.”

The deal was notable on another front as it marked the first collaboration between longtime MLS agents Richard Motzkin and Ron Waxman.

  1. Bill Morrison
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 5:44 a.m.
    Hope he likes playing on plastic in front of a couple thousand fans in a 1/2 empty stadium with a local media that doesn't give a damn about the game. But then again, for that money, why should he care?

  1. Bill Morrison
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 5:55 a.m.
    Reportedly 4.5 million. Am I too cynical in my above comments? I guess, but it's frustrating to watch my "local" team and compare them to what goes on in KC, Portland, Seattle with their fantastic fan support. The Revs need their own stadium - with a grass field please - KC sized and then maybe we can replicate what goes on in those other cities.

  1. Elan Sassoon
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 7:57 a.m.
    Bill I could not agree more with you. It about time the stadium, that has been talked about for 10 years, in Somerville was built so the fans can have a wonderful and intimate experience as is the case in Portland and KC.

  1. Edward Joyce
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.
    Let's not be too cynical. NE has a great time and this is exactly what they need. the Pats never had full attendance until they won. I want to believe this will ignite some passion about the team. And it has to be a great sign that Kraft is finally investing in the team. I guess we will find out when we find out how many season tickets they sell.

  1. Edward Joyce
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.
    team not time.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 9:33 a.m.
    Jermaine will fit in perfectly on MLS turf, he's big, strong, physical, and a solid MF.

  1. Dave Kantor
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 10:55 a.m.
    Agree with Edward - as a fan since 1996 and a season ticket holder since 2006, I am psyched that the Revs finally have a legit DP. His first home game could be a real event, and draw more than the usual crowd. Hopefully the Revs will win that game and Jones scores! @Bill - correct about the half empty stadium, but the Revs have been drawing decent crowds this season, much more than "a couple thousand". Not like Seattle or Portland, but moving in the right direction. "So far this season, the Revolution’s attendance is pacing far ahead of 2013’s attendance through 11 games with the club raising its attendance by 12.5 percent … the Revs average 15,243 fans at Gillette Stadium this year – ahead of the club’s average of 13,544 through 11 games in 2013 … this season, the Revs can claim MLS’ fourth-highest attendance growth rate so far this season".

  1. EDS SB
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 12:33 p.m.
    Right Bill, plastic....brand new FIFA 2 star turf just like that poor team in Seattle, who seem to mostly have trouble loosing. Oh, and about the "couple thousand" fans. And as a season tix holder and one of the 16k+ fans at last Saturdays game, I'm pretty sure we can make JJ feel welcome. Get over yourself.

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: August 25, 2014 at 12:55 p.m.
    I didn't know that, as the article implies, Jones wanted to go to Chicago. Although, being the city of his birth, that makes sense. Perhaps he'll be able to make a move in the years to come. I hope that his implementation to the Rev's will impact the popularity of the sport locally, for them, as well. Now about grass, not's about time for everyone! Seattle needs a new turf, anyway. Why not just plant some?

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