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Friday Kickaround

*Read Bloomberg's fascinating story about the potential economic darkside of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka signings. "These transfers are a serious challenge to the idea of fair play and the concept of financial balance in our competitions," UEFA President Michel Platini said.

*Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones, whose father was in the American military, wants to play for the USA.

*After returning from a layoff to play in two games, New England star Taylor Twellman will not travel with the team to Kansas City because of persistent dizziness and nausea.

*Between games of the United-Freedom doubleheader at RFK tomorrow, the Virginia-D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame will honor six inductees: Jeff Agoos, Mia Hamm, Wendy Gebauer, Marcia McDermott, Alkis Panagoulias and Dave Williams. (Agoos and Hamm are not able to attend.)

*It's multimedia day for the Insider: Besides the blog and writing for Saturday's print edition (which is available online tonight), please join me for a live online chat on washingtonpost.com at 1:30 p.m. today. Submit questions in advance, follow the action live and read the transcript at this link. Later, between 5 and 6 p.m., you can catch me on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live," which replays at 11:30.

*D.C. United's team store is now online.

*Congrats to the British Tigers, an amateur team affiliated with the British Embassy that won a second consecutive Washington International Soccer League division title with a 7-1-1 record and plus-25 goal difference. The players are Brits and Americans, plus South African and Bulgarian.

By Steve Goff  |  June 12, 2009; 8:48 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , Germany , History , MLS , Q&A , Spain , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: United, Freedom Updates

Comments

It's rare that articles have three pictures with them, but were those really the top 3 that were available for Jones? Could the order at least be changed?

Posted by: sitruc | June 12, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Wow, major news on Jones.

Sunil, yes please.

Posted by: Josh8 | June 12, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

The Jones development seems very positive. Although it's too bad he's not a defender. Also, is he eating a chicken wing?

Posted by: davidconnell | June 12, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I thought the ship had sailed on securing Jones years ago. I'm happy the new FIFA rule allowed for a switch to happen. He's a class player. Jermaine brings that destroyer, enforcer mentality to the table. If he's slotted in, right next to Bradley, we have a very strong central midfield pairing. He could be the perfect link between the backline and attack. Now let's get Jones in on the action! I wish he had dome this a week earlier. he could be in south Africa adjusting to the squad. Oh well!

Posted by: MichaelVann7 | June 12, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

is this guy any good?

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 12, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

The Jermaine holds "the German and the U.S. citizenship" so perhaps he can play for the United.

Should we call him "the German" or "the Jermaine"?

Posted by: troy6 | June 12, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Goff wins the battle of the blogs on the Twellman news...

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

@Reignking

Not necessarily. There's a difference between "day-to-day" (as the Revs have always maintained) and "out for 6 weeks" (as Goff says)...

Posted by: bwidell | June 12, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

is this guy any good?

Posted by: Norteno4life | June 12, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

-----------------------------------

Haha, yep

Jones was the 4th highest rated midfielder in the Bundesliga last year:

Games, Starts, Goals, Rating

1 Ribery Bayern 25 25 9 2.74
2 Özil Bremen 28 24 3 2.98
3 Carlos Eduardo Hoffenheim 25 24 8 3.02
4 Jones Schalke 30 29 3 3.03

http://www.kicker.de/news/fussball/bundesliga/topspieler?saison=2008-09&topspieler_position=4&topspieler_verein=0&TopSpielerSortIndex=3&TopSpielerSortOrder=DESC

http://www.kicker.de/news/fussball/bundesliga/vereine/spielersteckbrief/object/26389/saison/2008-09

Posted by: Josh8 | June 12, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

davidconnell--I think it's a pretzel, actually.

I honestly have no idea who this guy is, but I promise to do my research. I wonder about the attitude, though. Born to an American soldier, lived in Germany all of his life, decided to play for Germany (3 times(, didn't make the Euro 2008 team, and now, effectively, he says, "I'm taking my ball and going home."

I make no judgments...yet.

Posted by: TwinCity | June 12, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, forgot to add he was the 20th highest rated overall.

Posted by: Josh8 | June 12, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Steffi, Jermain. We know what our Joneses are doing in Germany.

@troy6: As Dooley is retired, Jones would be the germane German.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 12, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I feel bad for Twellman. Aside from the fact that he's a Rev, the guy is a good player (obviously, with 100+ goals)and from all accounts a good guy. I hope that this injury doesn't ruin the rest of his life. So weird.

Posted by: Danno1313 | June 12, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

This is how Real Madrid is financing things this time:

The highlight of his first term was winning the 2002 Champions League. At that time, he bankrolled player trades by selling the club’s training ground for 500 million euros. Last month, he said Real Madrid would need to borrow to finance purchases this time. Madrid had debt of 563 million euros in June 2008, according to its latest published accounts, and sales of 365.8 million euros for fiscal 2008.

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Goff I am sorely disappointed that you were not the first to report that CR traveled to LA to have his sports hernia examined . . . by Paris Hilton.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 12, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Jones? We've got Beasley . .

Posted by: delantero | June 12, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Obviously taking a tour of Paris...
Posted by: DadRyan

Nice to know he falls for cheap tricks as easily in LA as he does on the pitch in England.

Posted by: delantero | June 12, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Although it's too bad he's not a defender."

Don't worry, this is the US national team. Everyone is eligible for left back.

Posted by: JoeS3 | June 12, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

>Vancouver Whitecaps/Toronto FC (CAN) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR)

That's not fair. USL teams shouldn't get matched up (even though they are different countries)

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

If Plantini were really worried about the size of transfer fees, he would actually do something about it instead of talking about it and the letting the debt pile up.

It will be very interesting to see whether the Glazers (who have made serious budget cuts with the Bucs) will let Mr. Ferguson have every bit of that 80 mill for transfers or use it to service their debt.

Posted by: Louise9 | June 12, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

OK, Jermaine, you want to play for the USA? You're starting in the Azteca against Mexico. Your job is to do all of the midfield dirty work so that the other midfielders can attack the Mexican defense. And we're not going to sub you out, no matter how tired you get. :-)

(Seriously - as long as the guy has a good attitude, and a willingness to work hard and be a team player, bring him in!)

Posted by: SSMD1 | June 12, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

And, of course, since virtually no American fans have seen Jones play, he instantly becomes their favorite, and Bob Bradley should be fired for not playing him immediately. He becomes the guy that is absolutely key to our success. He's the guy we HAVE to cap right now. Bradley, what are you thinking? This guy's obviously better than what you have!

Posted by: very_clever_username | June 12, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Jermaine Jones is like the backup QB -- everyone loves him (until he plays).

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Excellent news about Jermaine Jones. I wonder if the days of training ahead of the Azteca match against Mexico give the team enough time to introduce him and get him acclimated?

Posted by: billindmd | June 12, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Completely OT
Falcons release Michael Vick
About time.

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I always thought Jones was English. Well US should pick him up. And Give him a try in an exhibition.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | June 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The fact that a Bundesliga regular (and apparently a pretty good one at that)is now available to the USMNT is obviously a good thing. Bradley and the coaching staff's ability to integrate him - should he be invited into camp for the Mexico and other WCQs is the challenge. I am hoping that the Confed cup gives us a better perspective on the actual status of this team. My feeling is that this guy will be part of the mix from here on out.

Posted by: sbg1 | June 12, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Classic delantero!

Posted by: DadRyan | June 12, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Ok...so there is this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqWtFAvIIII

The only video (not picture montage) that I could find at work.

Not a bad finish, but let's hold off on crowning him the next "great" American midfielder. I hear there is an even YOUNGER dual nationality player (19!) who has already played for Benfica and AS Monaco...Portugal AND Ligue 1!

Oh, wait...

Posted by: TwinCity | June 12, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The last time we tried a German was Thomas Dooley. The Tom Dooley era was the start of our dominance in the CONCACAF region and world (semi)respect.
I say give em a shot.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | June 12, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I applaud that new FIFA rule. Stunning that they are actually doing the right thing for once.

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@JoeS3: well in!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 12, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Wish we could have had Steffi Jones too.

Posted by: OWNTF | June 12, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

We don't need Regis II.

Posted by: Danno1313 | June 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

even though the A team won't be at the Gold Cup, you have to imagine Jones will be brought in for the tournament to integrate him into the team. Now all we need is a naturalized Brazilian and we'll be on our way.

Posted by: la2stl | June 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Or Jermaine Jenas.

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm not going to lie, I have no clue who this guy is. I just don't follow the Bundesliga much, so I'm not gonna say this guy is the answer to all of the USMNT's problems. I'm not going to speculate that he's better than the middies we have now. But he's definately worth a look. With qualifying, Confederations Cup and Gold Cup all happening around the same time span any possible depth can't be a bad thing. Add onto the busy schedule the fact that the MLS based players probably can't be called away from their clubs for all 3, I think having this guy in the mix can't hurt. At the very least, call him into camp before the Gold Cup and give him a look-see.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | June 12, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Pablo can finally retire now.

Posted by: pino149 | June 12, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, this is the US national team. Everyone is eligible for left back.

Posted by: JoeS3 | June 12, 2009 9:38 AM

DING DING DING

Posted by: Kev29 | June 12, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: me_ahogo | June 12, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The last time we tried a German was Thomas Dooley. The Tom Dooley era was the start of our dominance in the CONCACAF region and world (semi)respect.
I say give em a shot.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | June 12, 2009 10:04 AM

******************************************

We tried at least a couple others. I'm thinking Mason and Wagner under Steve Sampson?

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | June 12, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

You guys want a German on the team? I know an unemployed one, currently living in LA...

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Can't Jones fly in to SA just to practice with the team, or is there a set number on that? (or he could sneak in).

D-mid is starting to get crowded: Edu, Bradley, Jones, Clark, Kljestan. I like.

Posted by: eadc | June 12, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Platini is shocked! SHOCKED! to find out there are financial inequities in European football!

Posted by: JkR- | June 12, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

TwinCity -- Thanks for the clip. It was a good finish (most goals are), but the really impressive ball work was done by the other two Schalke players. Anyone know their names, parentage and eligibility?

Seriously, though -- I'd be surprised if Jones is the only player that might be eligible and willing to join the USA fold.

Time for Gulati to earn his salary.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I thought of two more "financial inequity" cases with regards to Real Madrid this morning.

1) They bought Ezequiel Garay, an Argentine playing at Racing Santander and a rising star, after his great season last year. What did RM do? Loan him right back, so that they still owned the player.

2) Negredo. Started at Rayo Vallecano, switched to Real's B side, but was sold to Almeria. RM retained an option to buy, which they executed recently after Negredo netted 19 for Almeria.

Just two examples where the bigger clubs control the best players (and money).

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I've seen Jones play a few times. He can definitely play; the high ratings Josh8 cites are deserved. He's not going to turn us into world-beaters, but given a fully fit player pool he would be the best option to partner Bradley in central midfield. He has a large range on the field and, unlike most of our central midfield options, has a reliable first touch. Jones isn't someone that changes how we play, but he will improve how we use the current system. If memory serves, he also has a powerful long-range shot (might be getting that confused with someone else at Schalke, though).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | June 12, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Platini must have been sarcastic. "Financial balance" in European competitions? Is he having a flashback to his playing days? This actually could work out better than it doe in baseball. There, the Yankees and Red Sox rape the other teams and leave them with the occasional prospect. Here, teams may actually reap some financial benefit from the largesse of the top teams and avoid financial collapse. The only balance being skewed is at the very top. That madness won't spread -- look at the baseball free agent market last year. It was Texeira and everybody else. Sanity prevailed, except in the one case. That's waht will happen in soccer.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Gold Cup would be a great opportunity to integrate him into the team, as a few others have mentioned.

Posted by: billindmd | June 12, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

He isn't eligible to play until August, when the rules change takes effect. So he can't play in the Gold Cup.

Posted by: the_slammer | June 12, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

@270:

so that would make him the germane German Jermaine? and if he got swine flu (schweine flu?), we could talk about the "germane German Jermaine's germs." Or perhaps "Jermaine's germane German germs, man."

yeah, and play Gold Cup since he's on vacation anyway.

Posted by: troy6 | June 12, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

today is St. Anthony's day, the biggest party of the year in Lisbon, Portugal, so I am drinking already. join me, all of you.

Posted by: troy6 | June 12, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

D-mid is starting to get crowded: Edu, Bradley, Jones, Clark, Kljestan. I like.

Posted by: eadc | June 12, 2009 10:32 AM |
----------------------------------------------

Well, Edu is out for a while. We'll see how he rebounds. We haven't seen anything very exciting out of Kljestan this year. But, with Bradley, Clark, Jones and Feilhaber, we might have some depth in the central midfield.

I'm guessing it's too soon to bring him on for Confederations Cup -- I hope Jones didn't have that in mind. It would be nice to get him into camp for the Gold Cup and, if it works out, for the next set of WC qualifiers.

Ives has a piece on espn's site -- http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=649031&cc=5901 -- about other options. I'm guessing the piece was written before the FIFA rule change, since Ives is still referring to the "21 years old" youth team cap-tie rule. He focuses on Wallace (a maybe that is probably inching closer to the USA), Kandji (seems a definite, though that may depend on playing form), and Frei (wants to play for the Swiss, but if they somehow don't call on him, he may go the same route as Jones). He also mentions a central defender with Middlesborough - Sebastian Hines, and a trio of midfielders: yet another 5'7" Mexican-American - Marco Vidal (plays for Ciudad Juarez - Primera division club), Vincenzo Bernardo - with Napoli - and Mikkel Deskerud, a midfielder who plays in Norway.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Jermaine Jones is the fourth-highest rated midfielder in the Bundesliga. He certianly gets a serious look from us.

And the new FIFA rule could also open up a chance to get Edgar Castillo, who plays for Club America and is at the fringes of the Mexican national team (almost got capped earlier this year except for a passport problem.) And is (wait for it)--a LEFT BACK! Probably not the caliber of Jones, but given our woes at that position, worth trying to get him.

Posted by: macheath | June 12, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Alkis gets his due. Nice.

Posted by: JohnnyPolo24 | June 12, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Well done and a big up to one of my old football squads the British Tigers. Still getting it done year in year out.

Posted by: uknowmeas-GQ | June 12, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Ives is saying October.

Posted by: Reignking | June 12, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Do our DCU tics for Sat get us in for the Freedom match as well? Is there any chance to go out and come back between games without having to buy one's way back in?

Posted by: mbetka23 | June 12, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we can just call him JJ.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 12, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

@mbetka23 DCU tickets will get you into the Freedom game, but you can't leave in between games unfortunately.

Posted by: soccerfan80 | June 12, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

>>

Has this guy been hibernating for the last 2 years and missed all the worldwide financial collapse? Too big to disappear?

Posted by: delantero | June 12, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I graduated high school after five years because I was left back. Still waiting for Bob Bradley's call.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 12, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I wish Twellman had retired BEFORE his reprehinsible dive against DCU in extra time. I lost all respect for the guy with that move.

Posted by: raymonddevenney | June 12, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@Reignking -- I believe I read the same thing -- that the rule thing is supposed to take effect in October. I forgot about that. Maybe, we'll get to see Jones' USA debut at RFK.

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Born to an American soldier, lived in Germany all of his life, decided to play for Germany (3 times(, didn't make the Euro 2008 team, and now, effectively, he says, "I'm taking my ball and going home."

I make no judgments...yet.

Posted by: TwinCity | June 12, 2009 9:23 AM

Maybe we should call him Jai Ho!

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | June 12, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Sequel: Slumdog Millionaire and the Seven Maimed Children.
"Jai ho, jai ho. It's off to beg we go."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | June 12, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

BlackandRedRedDevil--

Forgive me--it's Friday and I am tired. But I am not sure I am picking up what your putting down. Then again, I haven't seen Slumdog Millionaire.

Posted by: TwinCity | June 12, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

270 looks to have taken up Troy6's call to arms.;-)
It's Aloha Friday!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYxnXMYHMPY

Posted by: DadRyan | June 12, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Jones started 30 games in a top league on a winning team, the US only has a couple players that can make that claim, thats why Jones should get a shot at being a starter immediately.

Also is Jones left footed or right footed?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | June 12, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

@TwinCity -- I've seen SlumDog, and I still don't get it.

Might I suggest this musical interlude (Eanie Meany - Jim Noir)?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdAF4k_sTXU

or, the star-studded Adidas version...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US9LXoIew4Q

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, Kaka: "Tu -- al banquillo"

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, guys. My bad joke. I was going for him being a ho for changing nationalities. His name is J. (w)HO(re).
Yes, it is Friday afternoon.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | June 12, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

First, I'm going to focus on reasons I don't like this.

1) Every time we here about an emerging player in some random article, like Peterlin for Everton, we say, oh cool, I can't wait, what position does he play?

The answer every freaking time... defensive midfielder. Is this all we can produce at the moment?

2) This will just make it easier for Bradley to ignore Adu, Torres, Feilhaber, Szetela, anyone you're curious about going forward.

3) There should only be ONE destroyer in the starting lineup. You don't just throw all of your talented midfielders in the middle and ignore where the passing, vision, GENIUS is going to come from.

Reasons I like it:

I think that Edu, Bradley, and Clark now have an experienced player to look up to and to learn from. Mastroeni should be looked up to by rugby players.

And, if Bradley MUST use two defensive midfielders, then a seasoned one won't go amiss.

This is all assuming he isn't a crazy narcassist interested in pissing in the water tank.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | June 12, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

@Demon -- to be fair here, "we" didn't produce Jones. He's a German, who happens to have US citizenship -- from which the USMNT will benefit. He may be the best player to come to the program yet, under such circumstances.

Given our offensive shortcomings, and the weakness of the back line, a pair of good defensive mids is a good thing. This should free up Donovan to play more centrally and offensively, in an effective way, until we develop our own Iniesta or Gerrard (maybe if Charles Renken can fully recover from his knee injuries).

Posted by: fischy | June 12, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

One of the top ranked midfielders in Germany? Well, since our supposed "best" player couldn't even get on the field in germany, I would imagine that we'd have to give this guy a serious look.

Posted by: hacksaw | June 12, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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