Direct from Mexico City
Jermaine Jones Out Injured: So Who Replaces Him?
He's yellow card prone. He has an outsized influence over the younger German-Americans on the team. And he won't be available when the U.S. plays Mexico on Tuesday. So now what?
BY John Godfrey PostedMEXICO CITY—The United States men's soccer team escaped from snowy Denver with a crucial three points, but they did not arrive in Mexico City unscathed. Jermaine Jones, one of the most influential players on the team, suffered an ankle injury during the 1-0 victory over Costa Rica and will not be available for Tuesday's match (10:30 Eastern, ESPN). You can see a photo of Jones' injury here. He is reportedly on his way back to Germany to have the ankle examined. Jones, 31, is one of the most-capped U.S. players in recent years, making 28 appearances for the Yanks since his debut with the team in October 2010. In that time the Frankfurt, Germany, native has scored two goals and delivered five assists for the Americans. More importantly, Jones is a rugged veteran who is impossible to intimidate. When things get chippy, there's a very good chance he is somehow involved. (In fact, Jones is often too nasty for his own good; he earned seven yellow cards for the U.S. national team in 2012—far more than any other player.) He would not have blinked an eye at the buzz swirling around Estadio Azteca on Tuesday; his self-confidence would have been very useful against El Tri's talented team. Now that he's unavailable, Klinsmann may opt to start Maurice Edu in a holding midfield role—a position he is very accustomed to—against a team he helped defeat when the U.S. beat Mexico in Azteca last August. In that match, of course, Edu played central defense, and he may reprise that role. If that happens, Kyle Beckerman could start for Jones, but the Real Salt Lake captain may be a step too slow for Mexico's vaunted attack. You can play around with the U.S. roster in our Starting XI tool, a custom-built interactive feature that lets you choose a formation; drag and drop players into position; and then share across your social graph. Even better, we're holding a Starting XI contest across the Hexagonal. The U.S. fan with the seven most accurate Starting XIs will win a free World Cup Experience in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup, including a week's lodging, VIP hospitality, and two match tickets. Check it out. John Godfrey is the founder and editor in chief of American Soccer Now. He will be reporting from Mexico City all week.
March 24, 2013
March 24, 2013