The Call Up

"We're both lions": Jermaine Jones full of praise for Bruce Arena's Revs after past criticisms

During his lengthy and well-traveled playing career, one that included stints with three different MLS teams, former US men's national team star Jermaine Jones was never shy about sharing his opinion.

True to form, that again surfaced on The Call Up's latest episode.

One of those MLS teams Jones competed for is the New England Revolution, who are enjoying a fantastic 2021 season where they're the odds-on favorites to lift this year's Supporters' Shield. Jones has been watching his old club closely, which he played for from 2014-15, and has been impressed by their success under Bruce Arena, his former USMNT coach.

"I think in general as a team they play really good, if you see already in 2014 when I was there, it was a good chemistry on the team: Charlie Davies, Lee [Nguyen], we had a good group," Jones told co-hosts Jillian Sakovits and Susannah Collins. "And now I think the last year already New England played really good, and they were able to pick pieces and put this all together with Bruce and I think the team right now, if you watch them, they're playing attacking football, that's what it is.

"They're hungry for more, they go, they're not only scoring one goal and sit back, they keep going. They have, I would say, from player No. 1 to player 24 or 25, they have a good roster. They can throw people in."

Jones also discussed his thoughts on Arena's impact since he took the reins midway through 2019. He heaped praise on the coach he once voiced displeasure with over his lack of playing time and later criticized after the USMNT's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. To hear Jones tell it, that's all water under the bridge.

"And then, of course, and it's funny because a lot of times people tell me: 'You talked bad about Bruce Arena.' I'm like, 'Guys, come on.' I knew always, and I want to say this here: Bruce is an amazing coach," Jones said. "We both are just alphas, we're both lions. When I was one of his players, of course I wanted to play and if he don't let me play, I'm getting upset – that's what it is. But personally, I think he's an amazing coach."

After acquiring players and developing others already on the Revolution's roster, Arena's group is on pace to break LAFC's single-season points record (72) from the 2019 campaign.

"Look at this team, he rebuilt this whole team in the New England Revolution and it looks like they're going to win Supporters' Shield and maybe the league," Jones said. "You have to give him the credit, that's what it is. I'm the first one, if I criticize somebody about something or say something, that doesn't mean that I personally don't like them."

We highly recommend Jones' whole interview on The Call Up, which you can find here.