Earning your first call-up to the national team is a special moment but DeJuan Jones didn’t want to tempt fate after receiving a text from New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena saying that he made the United States Men’s National Team roster.
“I kept it under wraps for a while actually, because I had made a preliminary roster before and didn’t get called in,” said the left back. “So, I just wanted to keep this one as lowkey as I could. I actually told everyone maybe like a day before or a few hours before I got released. When it was finally out there, it was great, it was a great feeling. I got a lot of texts, a lot of people congratulating me. It’s great, but this isn’t the end of my journey. This is just the beginning. I was happy, but now that I’m here, continue to grow, continue to play, and show what I can do.”
While there is added pressure and competition when playing on the national team level, Jones is trying not to overcomplicate his game.
“So far since I’ve been here, it’s been playing my game, having fun, keeping it simple,” he said. “It’s my first camp, so there’s a lot to learn. Guys have been in the system for two or three years, plus. So, you know, it’s a lot to learn for me, but just taking it all in stride, trying to learn each and every day, watching film, doing whatever I can to put myself in the best position.”
That strategy and mindset seem to be paying off for Jones as his teammates stated that the left back is having a great performance at January camp.
I’m actually really happy for him because he’s had a really good camp so far,” said midfielder Sebastian Lletget. “I think he’s really shown Greg [Berhalter] what his qualities are, his skill level, the intensity he plays at.”
Goalkeeper Matt Turner had similar sentiments saying that Jones has been pushing himself with the USMNT.
Jones isn’t just impressing his teammates, he also is making an impression on USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter.
“Gregg [Berhalter] has just told me that I’ve surpassed the expectations they had for me coming in, so that’s really good to hear,” said Jones. “I’m excited to be here.”