In his brief time with the New England Revolution Jermaine Jones has already played Columbus Crew SC on five occasions. Each of these games have been highly physical affairs. Jones, who can both dish and receive hard tackles, has no problem with these intense matchups. In fact, he enjoys them.
"For me it’s not a problem," Jones said. "I like it. I like to battle with these guys and they have a good team and they have some good players inside."
Some of the most heated battles on Saturday were between Jones and Tony Tchani. The two players certainly aren’t strangers as they have exchanged blows on the field and comments off the field in the past. The rivalry renewed itself this weekend, maintaining the same level of intensity.
It didn’t take long for the two midfielders to meet. In the 12th minute, Jones fouled Tchani when trying to retrieve the ball. The play resulted in an early yellow for Jones.
"That happens when you talk too much," Jones said with a smile while reflecting on the card. "It was trash talking in the game, I take the yellow."
The physicality wasn’t just limited to these two players as harsh tackles could be seen throughout the field with both teams being guilty.
With 30 called fouls, split evenly between the two teams, it’s safe to say that this weekend’s match was heated. Though only one yellow was doled out by referee Silviu Petrescu in the first half, the game ended with six total, with three coming within a six-minute span in the second half.
Jones, who admitted that Columbus is a team that "talks a lot on the pitch", doesn’t see this as a problem. Rather, he has a lot of respect for Crew SC and their players.
"I like the games," Jones revealed. "(Tchani) is a good guy. A good player. So, I enjoy playing against Columbus."
With the Columbus game now behind him, Jones is looking forward. As a Designated Player and US international, he knows that more hard tackles will be coming his way, but having a target on his back is something that Jones fully embraces.
"It’s good to know people always like to make you mad," Jones noted.