CARSON, Calif – The Galaxy set up a move for a US national team veteran and proven MLS game-changer on Tuesday, acquiring the rights to Jermaine Jones from the Colorado Rapids for a pair of SuperDraft picks in 2017 and 2018.
Jones was spotted recently at a Los Angeles Lakers game with general manager Peter Vagenas and president Chris Klein, and thanked the Rapids and their fans in a farewell post on Twitter. Vagenas, meanwhile, played coy when asked about the outing just a few hours before the trade became official.
“Players have offseason homes in Los Angeles and I think Jermaine Jones fits in that category,” said Vagenas. “We will not leave one stone unturned as we look to add quality to our team.”
The Galaxy have also been linked to current Club Tijuana and former Galaxy midfielder Juninho. Struggling to find playing time at his new club, an MLS return could make sense for the Brazilian midfielder. It would require some maneuvering by the Galaxy as he is still under contract with the Liga MX club and would have to return via the MLS Allocation Order.
“Whenever players express interest in returning to MLS, and especially a player the quality of Juninho, our ears go up," Vagenas said. "Obviously he has an affinity for this place and us him. It’s premature with someone like Juninho who is still under contract with another club to go down that path.”
The other thing we know for sure after Tuesday is that Landon Donovan has officially retired from Major League Soccer a second time.
Klein told the Los Angeles Times that Donovan would not return to the team in 2017, but when he showed up on a list of players available in the MLS Expansion Draft held Tuesday there was some confusion. Vagenas reaffirmed that it was always going to be a three-month return, and that those lists simply contain every out of contract player – even retiring ones:
“With Landon, I'm comfortable saying this, as he's said it publicly; we've obviously had the discussion. I think when he did return it was always a one-year thing for him. We're comfortable with that as well, it was always the direction we were headed. That's where it's been left.
“I think he came back for the love of this sport and the love of this club. But again it was always a three-month thing and I would anticipate someone of his age, where he's at in his career, the thoughts of gearing up for an entire season is just an entirely different conversation."