It’s been a long road back to MLS action for Jermaine Jones, and the snowy white conditions of Colorado on Saturday seemed by design to welcome him.
Dubbed the “Snow Clasico 2,” Jones’ debut for the Rapids felt like a reprise of the US national team’s blizzard-like World Cup qualifier in 2013. That was the match that produced unforgettable images of Jones’ snow-covered afro.
But for Jones, Saturday’s 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls was all about proving he belonged in MLS.
“Of course, everybody knows I’m a player,” Jones told ColoradoRapids.com. “I love the freedom to go box-to-box and in my age of 34 people say I maybe can’t do it anymore – it’s nice to prove people wrong.”
Jones had been banned for six games for shoving referee Mark Geiger and moved to the Rapids in the offseason after a season and a half with New England. But he was active in his first outing with Colorado, scoring first and going 90 minutes.
Now, the Rapids sit third in the Western Conference and are off to a relatively strong start to the season – and the US international thinks his new team has playoff potential.
“The Rapids are young and a lot of people don’t maybe have our team on the list for a playoff spot,” Jones said after the match. “And that’s what I try to explain to these guys: look game-to-game and be hungry and prove people wrong. That can be motivation. And right now, with me they won, and without me they won, so it shows that the team is intact.”
Read Jones' full interview here.