FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After they initially announced their interest in US national team standout Jermaine Jones earlier this summer, the New England Revolution lay back like a deft angler, calmly and quietly waiting for a nibble.
On Tuesday, the club finally introduced their big catch, just two days after earning the rights to sign him following a blind draw between the Revs and the Chicago Fire to determine Jones' destination.
“While we weren’t so public with our interest, both MLS and its representatives were well aware of our interest in Jermaine,” Revolution general manager Mike Burns said Tuesday. “We kind of kept it quiet until the end. We had full support of the Kraft family [team owners Robert and Jonathan] to pursue this, and we did vigorously, and we’re thrilled that he’s sitting here next to us.”
Following the World Cup, Jones took an extended holiday and enjoyed time with his family in an attempt to keep his mind off of a process that took more than a month to sort out. Jones said during Tuesday's introductory press conference that US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann influenced his decision to come to MLS, a move Jones considered even before he played every minute of the team’s four matches at the World Cup in Brazil.
“Before the World Cup, I was thinking about making the move to the States and MLS,” Jones said. “I talked with national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann a lot about that. He was the one that pushed me.”
Jones said he was well aware of the drama that unfolded after that, including the rumors that he was destined to play in Chicago and that he didn’t want to play in New England.
“First of all, I have to say that a lot of people were saying that I was going to play in Chicago,” he said. “The point was not true. I was okay with [the process]. Now I play for New England and will do the best for this team.”
Prior to being introduced, Jones got in his first workout with his new Revs teammates, and despite having to shake off a little rust accumulated since the World Cup, he was already looking forward to his first game action with the team. The Revs play against fellow USMNT midfielder Michael Bradley and Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday.
“After that long break, it’s not easy to come back,” Jones said. “I will work hard, and I will come back good and in shape. I’m happy to be here. I’m really happy that I can start to go back on the pitch. I’m ready to go, and I hope the coach will push me and push me so that I’ll be ready for the game in Toronto.”