CARSON, Calif – With the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs no longer a concern for the LA Galaxy, much of the young team has taken on the mantra of playing for their jobs. For veterans Ashley Cole and Jermaine Jones, the refrain is slightly different as they try to play out the string on their accomplished careers.
For Cole, who retired from international soccer after he was left off England’s 2014 FIFA World Cup roster, his time with the Galaxy has been about love of the game. To hear him tell it, that love hasn’t faded in the least. He would love to keep playing until his body physically can’t go anymore.
“I don’t want to put a number on it,” said Cole, “I’m just enjoying playing. Of course, I’m disappointed that we’re losing, but I love the game and I want to keep going until my legs actually give out. Thankfully they haven’t given up just yet.”
Cole finds himself in an option year, with an expansion draft coming as LAFC enter MLS next year. He knows where he wants to be; it’s just a matter of working it out.
“I want to be here,” said Cole. “We’re speaking. [It’s] in their court at the minute.
“It’s probably time for a big change at the club, and I think it might happen next season. Whether I’m in their plans -- so far yes, but who knows? I’m 37, so they may want to look a little younger, but for sure I’ll play next season somewhere.”
Jones finds himself in a similar situation going into the offseason. While both Cole and Jones mentioned the desire to use these final games to build momentum into next season, their status on next year’s squad is still to be determined.
At age 35, Jones was hoping to play his way onto one last World Cup squad. That no longer being a possibility has Jones in a slightly different frame of mind. Now, like Cole, he’s playing with his club career as his sole focus.
“The Galaxy have an option,” said Jones. “I’m at an age, especially with no World Cup, I’m relaxed. I’ll see what comes, then decide what I want to do, what the Galaxy want to do.
“There’s no pressure anymore. The pressure was before when I was still hoping to jump on that boat for the World Cup. That’s over. Now it’s more relaxed.”