Colorado Rapids make statement by signing Jermaine Jones as non-DP

The Colorado Rapids have made a huge statement of intent by announcing they have acquired the services of USMNT midfielder Jermaine Jones in a trade with New England Revolution.

The move puts an end to months of uncertainty regarding Jones’ future, after he failed to reach an agreement with New England with regard to staying for a third season.

Colorado have brought in the 34-year-old powerhouse in exchange for general allocation money and their first pick of the 2017 SuperDraft.

Jermaine Jones in action for New England Revolution against DC United in their Eastern Conference wildcard game during the 2015 MLS Playoffs (Photo: Matt Mathai)

Jermaine Jones in action for New England Revolution against DC United in their Eastern Conference wildcard game during the 2015 MLS Playoffs (Photo: Matt Mathai)

Jones has not penned a Designated Player contract with Colorado, though, as targeted allocation money was used on his deal instead.

Keeping Jones in MLS is a boost for the league. The 58-time capped US international proved to be one of the league’s best midfielders over the last season-and-a-half in New England and Colorado fans will undoubtedly be excited by the move.

Jones joined the Revs in August 2014, via a blind draw and went on to make 33 total appearances for the club in the regular season and playoffs combined, scoring three goals with six assists. He was a major reason behind New England’s run to the 2014 MLS Cup Final and Colorado will hope his signing can propel them up the Western Conference.

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The Rapids ended 2015 at the foot of the West and will be hoping that a busy offseason of incomings and outgoings can bring a change of fortunes this term.

They open their 2016 season away at San Jose on Sunday night, but will be without Jones for the first six games of the new campaign as he will serve a suspension for pushing referee Mark Geiger in New England’s playoff defeat to DC United last October.

How good a signing is Jermaine Jones for the Colorado Rapids? Can he help lead the team to a playoff spot?

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Jermaine Jones reveals worrying news for USMNT & The Revs

Jermaine Jones‘ injury woes continue after his latest setback in The Revs weekend draw with LA Galaxy, where he picked up a left groin strain.

The 33-year-old powerhouse was substituted just after the half hour mark after pulling up and Jones revealed some worrying news surrounding the extent of the injury, reported by nesoccertoday.com.

“Trust me, it’s really bad. I worked to come back and felt good, and now I have more pain than before. Nobody’s happy with that. It’s not good.”

Jones had already missed New England Revolution‘s opening five games of the season as he recovered from his sports hernia surgery and now it seems he is set for some more time on the sideline with this injury. He compared the pain he is feeling from the groin strain to his sports hernia.

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“I feel the same pain that I got before the surgery. This time, I feel it a little bit more than before I got the operation. I cannot move and put my leg up, so I feel that I’m not able to keep going.”

Jones will more than likely miss the US Men’s National Team‘s fixtures against the Netherlands, June 5 and Germany, June 10.

USMNT and New England Revolution fans will be nervously awaiting the results revealing the extent of Jones’ injury and will hope he will not be sidelined for another lengthy spell.

How much of a miss will Jermaine Jones be for the USMNT and Revs if he is sidelined?

Could this MLS star strengthen United or Liverpool’s midfield?

Manchester United and Liverpool are expected to be in the transfer market this summer for a tough-tackling holding midfielder. Lewis Addley explores how New England Revolution‘s Jermaine Jones could improve United and Liverpool’s midfield.

Jones has played the majority of his career in Europe and featured in the Champions League quarter finals with German outfit, Schalke. The midfield powerhouse has played in Germany with three different clubs, including Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen.

United have had squad depth issues in midfield in the 2014/15 season with the likes of Michael Carrick out through injury and manager Louis Van Gaal rotating a number of players in a central role.

Liverpool, as we know, have just lost Steven Gerrard to MLS, and at times have lacked stability in the middle of the pitch. Jones is a no nonsense ball-playing midfielder who can break up play and move the ball on to attacking teammates in a tidy fashion. Brendan Rodgers is expected to strengthen his midfield and Jones possesses qualities to play in the holding role.

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At 33, a move is purely hypothetical and Jones is playing an integral role, albeit out of position, at New England Revolution. But his experience makes him an ideal candidate for many Premier League clubs. He already has the experience of playing in the Premier League on-loan at Blackburn Rovers back in 2011. On his first appearance for the club he picked up a man of the match award and went on to start 15 games for the club, becoming a fan-favourite.

Jones has also featured in the World Cup and he is the type of calm player suited to playing at the top level. He opted to play for US Men’s National Team after featuring for the German Under-21 side on four occasions. The Revs midfielder missed out on the 2010 World Cup through injury, which was a loss for the US.

There is no suggestion that MLS and Premier League are comparable competitions, but Jones has already proved his worth while playing in Europe.

Is it time for Premier League clubs to start looking further afield than Europe for their signings?

STATS: Who is better defensively – Jones or Koscielny?

With this weekend’s battle for third place between Manchester United and Arsenal just around the corner, Lewis Addley looks at who has been the better defender in the Premier League this season, Phil Jones or Laurent Koscielny?

The two are expected to be at the forefront of their defensive lines on Sunday in a game where a poor defensive display or mistake could prove to be the difference between finishing third and fourth. The victor will have a great chance of finishing third and avoid Champions League qualification in August.

Jones has been used in a number of roles this season by manager Louis Van Gaal and has given a good account of himself.

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Koscielny has been at the heart of the Arsenal defence for most of their games and is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in European football.

So how do the two compare in their key defensive areas this season?

Stats via Squawka Apps Tackles won Tackles lost Interceptions Blocks Clearances Aerial duels won Fouls
Jones 20 36 36 68 6 155 40 23
Koscielny 25 21 33 82 15 159 76 18

Jones has played five less games than Koscielny but has the upper-hand in tackles won. The Englishman has however lost out on three more of his tackles than the Arsenal defender.

Koscielny has made more interceptions, blocks and clearances than Jones, which we may expect given that he has played more games and predominantly plays in the centre.

Jones has committed more fouls than Koscielny, so in the two areas where you do not want the upper-hand on your opponent, he has lost. But none of the Englishman’s fouls have been linked directly to a negative impact on the game for United, so it is arguable that breaking up the opposition’s play isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Koscielny boasts a better aerial ability than Jones, nearly doubling the number of his aerial duels won, and the Frenchman has three goals, with Jones still waiting for his first this term.

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Jones has had a good season considering he has had multiple roles and played in an inconsistent United backline due to injuries. Koscielny would be expected to have the upper-hand given a lack of changes in a sturdy Arsenal defence and he will hope to outperform the United man in Sunday’s key clash.

Both defences are very tight, with United conceding two more goals, 36, to Arsenal’s 34. Both will have a big role to play in this weekend’s fixture.

Who do you think is better defensively – Jones or Koscielny?

Manchester United looking to tie up three deals before end of season

Manchester United will look to give three stars new contracts following on from Chris Smalling‘s extension that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2019.

Smalling has become a first-team regular under Louis Van Gaal this season and has now made 147 appearances over the past five seasons with the Red Devils.

He follows Michael Carrick in signing a new deal with United and the club are now looking to sign David De Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young down to new contracts before the summer, according to the Telegraph.

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Spanish goalkeeper De Gea has been one of the Premier League‘s best players this season, but has been continually linked with a move to Real Madrid, and United will be desperate to get him to commit his future to the club in the coming months.

He has just over one year remaining on his current deal so if the Red Devils are unable to convince him to stay, they will likely cash in this summer to avoid him leaving on a free a year later.

Phil Jones and Ashley Young have both been key members of the team under Van Gaal and look set to be rewarded for their efforts with extensions on their contracts which are set to end next summer as well.

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As well as retaining current players, United are linked with several top talents across Europe, and they are believed to be leading the chase for Dutch winger Memphis Depay.

Van Gaal will look to bolster his defence this summer with Mats Hummels and Nathaniel Clyne both strongly linked with moves to Old Trafford in the next few months.

Should Manchester United offer new contracts to Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David De Gea? Where do they need to strengthen this summer?

Jermaine Jones to undergo surgery less than a month before MLS kickoff

New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones has announced that he is set to undergo surgery just four weeks before the 2015 MLS season gets underway.

Jones played a full 90 minutes in the USMNT‘s 2-0 win over Panama yesterday but he revealed that he is now ready for surgery after a tough month with the national team.

The 33-year-old midfielder revealed the news on his official Instagram page earlier today: “Yeah, tomorrow’s my surgery, so I’ll be out for a couple of weeks but then I’ll get back sharp,” he said in a video.

“Thanks again for yesterday. It was amazing. Big support in LA. Thank you guys.”

Jones quickly established himself as a star player in MLS with the Revs after completing his switch to the club in August as he made 15 appearances in the regular season and MLS Playoffs combined.

It was undoubtedly Jones’s influence that helped the Revs to reach the 2014 MLS Cup final, though they ultimately fell to the LA Galaxy in extra-time.

The German-born midfield enforcer will now face a race against time in order to be ready for the start of the new season.

He has reassured fans by saying he will only be out for a “couple of weeks” and New England supporters will certainly hope that is the case as they start the new season against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, March 8.

How important is Jermaine Jones to the New England Revolution?

Can Jermaine Jones help New England Revolution dominate MLS in 2015?

New England Revolution will still be licking their wounds after an agonising defeat at the hands of LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final, but all isn’t lost and they have plenty to look forward to in next year’s campaign.

One of their key assets in the end of season run-in was USA international Jermaine Jones who joined the Revs from Turkish side Besiktas in August 2014 and went on to make 15 appearances combining the end of the regular season and New England’s MLS Cup run.

As well as his dominant midfield performances which further allowed playmaker Lee Nguyen to express himself, he also chipped in with three goals and four assists.

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With Jones in the side, New England won 11, tied two and lost two of the 15 games in which he featured – one of those being that painful 2-1 defeat after extra-time against LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup Final.

If they can continue that kind of form when the 2015 season gets underway then they will be a serious force and you would expect them to be the team to beat.

New England Revolution’s stats and projected points total with Jones on the pitch compared to without him makes for frightening reading for other MLS teams going in to the next campaign.

JJ Stats

[*Includes points that New England Revolution would have gained from MLS playoff fixtures]

The highest points tally in an MLS season came when LA Galaxy accrued a total of 68 in the 1998 season, which they did so at a rate of 2.13 points per game.

The stats show that if New England can continue to play the way they have been, then they could potentially blow that record out of the water.

Will New England Revolution break the record for the highest points tally next year?

Robbie Keane: The goal machine

The playoffs are now fast approaching and other than their defeat last weekend, LA Galaxy have been in a superb run of form going in to it, so they will be full of confidence.

They have lost just 3 of their last 24 games and went on a 10-game unbeaten run from 29th July to 5th October.

LA Galaxy’s last 24 games: Played 24 – Won 15 – Drawn 6 – Lost 3

Much of the attention for their achievements so far this season have focused on club legend, Landon Donovan, and rightly so.

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But with all eyes on Donovan, it’s allowed forward, Robbie Keane, to go about his business quietly but extremely efficiently.

He is the Galaxy’s top goalscorer with 19 and is the third highest across the entire MLS this season, behind only Red Bulls record-chaser Bradley Wright-Phillips (25 goals) and Dom Dwyer (21 goals) of Sporting Kansas City.

The Irishman has contributed an almost record-breaking 33 goals this season (19 scored – 14 assisted).

The record for most goals contributed in one MLS season is currently held by Chris Wondolowski when he notched 27 goals and 7 assists for San Jose Earthquakes in 2012, making it 34 in total.

Other notable efforts were that of Jason Kreis – he contributed 33 goals (18 scored – 15 assisted) for FC Dallas in 1999.

Cobi Jones, also of LA Galaxy, contributed 32 goals (19 scored – 13 assisted) in the 1998 season.

Most goals contributed in an MLS season

  • 34 – Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes) – 2012
  • 33 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy) 2014
  • 33 – Jason Kreis (FC Dallas) – 1999
  • 32 – Cobi Jones (LA Galaxy) – 1998
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It all means that if Robbie Keane can either assist or score one more goal in his last two games, he will equal the record for most goals contributed in any MLS season – two more goals would see him set the record.

It comes as no coincidence as his maiden voyage in Major League Soccer saw him play a hand in 25 goals when he scored 16 and set-up 9 in the 2012 season.

The 2013 season saw him involved in 27 goals with 16 scored and 11 assisted, so he has been very consistent for three years running now and it certainly deserves a mention.

Will Robbie Keane set the record for most goals contributed in an MLS season?