FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – With a large throng of media on hand for the occasion, Jermaine Jones walked out of the back of Gillette Stadium, smiling and laughing alongside Lee Nguyen as he approached the practice field for his first training session with the New England Revolution.
Once stretching and warm ups were done, however, the smile faded and a familiar face of ferocity took over as Jones got down to business with his new teammates.
“He’s a good player,” Revs midfielder Kelyn Rowe said following training. “He’s doesn’t lose the ball very often. You see that right away. Obviously, it’s his first training with us and he has to get used to it a little bit, but come next week, come maybe even tomorrow, he’s going to be the best player on the field.”
There were the occasional missed passes and missteps on Jones’ first day, but for a player whose last team-related activities took place during the World Cup at the beginning of July, he never lacked that trademark intensity for the duration of the session.
In six-on-six drills the US national team star even put on a little show after collecting a ball in front of the net, dancing around a defender before touching it home.
“You can tell already the first day in training that he’s smart,” said Nguyen. “He’s got technical skills and Jermaine’s got a hell of a right foot.”
Prior to arriving in Foxborough, Jones was given a rundown of the region thanks to Charlie Davies, who did his best to sell the World Cup standout on coming to the Revolution.
“It’s exciting, with the addition of Jermaine we’re a very dangerous team,” Davies said.
Said captain Jose Goncalves: “He’s an experienced player who has been around for many years. This is something very important for the team. This is very good for the Revs.”
- Find more coverage of Jones's New England arrival at RevolutionSoccer.net
Given that experience, the Revs hope Jones’ transition to a new team and a new region proceeds with ease thanks to a squad ready to welcome him with open arms.
“I think he’s already seen that it’s very easy to get along with everyone here,” said Davies. “I’ll be looking forward to chaperoning him around Boston and the area to get him adjusted as soon as possible.”