Jermaine Jones isn’t the type of player that likes to watch from the sidelines, which has made the beginning of the season difficult. The Designated Player had successful sports hernia surgery during preseason and has only recently been active during practice. Although he’s eager to get back on the field, Jones is taking a cautious approach.
"I feel good," Jones told Dalen Cuff on State of the Revs. "Of course every player hope that he can play on weekend, but we will see. I don’t want to force it."
Being without Jones through the first four games of the season has greatly affected the New England Revolution. Although Andy Dorman and Daigo Kobayashi have provided solid moments, they simply don’t make the same impact as the US international. After losing their first two games by a combined score of five, the Revs managed a scoreless draw against the Montreal Impact before collecting a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes.
Jones admitted that watching his teammates endure such a stretch was tough.
"I got an injury after the national team and then have to make a break and see the boys really struggling," Jones said. "They still play good but don’t score and lose the game. I cannot help the boys. I was a little bit upset."
Jones, who arrived in New England last Thursday, watched the Revs from afar as he rehabbed with US National Team specialists in Los Angeles, CA. Though there was great distance between the two parties, Jones still maintained his leadership role.
"What I was seeing on TV, I tried to give back and help them," he said. "It’s always good, I think, when you have a good touch to every player."
One player that Jones has provided advice to is Juan Agudelo. Agudelo returned to the Revolution after a short stint in Europe. The 22-year-old was instantly given a spot in the starting eleven, and, although he’s shown flashes, Agudelo hasn’t gotten on the score sheet.
Jones, who knows Agudelo from the national team, has spoken to the young player, explaining that the goals will come.
Jones summarized, "I told him, ‘Hey, go the easy way, try to make the easy way work for the team and you will score. You have that quality. And if the team wins, you can push everybody up. If you score, you may make one good game. Still, everybody will talk about you, not the team.’"
It hasn’t been an ideal start to the season for the Revs, who are just a few months removed from playing in the MLS Cup Final. With the first goal and win now behind them, the team is hoping to build momentum.
A big factor in finding success in 2015? Trust.
"We got like the first two games we played good and we have a lot of chances," Jones said, "but to my eyes a little bit players start to be like, ‘It’s normal’ — they young — to start to be like, ‘Okay we played the final last season so now I can make my own game.’ But this is the beginning of the mistakes. If everybody gives the trust to the person next to him, we will come back and play the same football that we played last season. But if everybody start to play for each self, we will lose a lot of games."