The Jermaine Jones injury has created an air of uncertainty. We know that he had a sports hernia. We know that he needed surgery. We know that he’s set to miss 6-8 weeks. Beyond that, we are left with questions, so let’s see if we can cultivate some answers.
Who fills in for Jones?
One of the most pressing questions has the most obvious answer. Andy Dorman will slot in at defensive midfield in a like-for-like swap. Dorman won’t ignite the attack with diagonal balls like Jones can, but he will offer grit and experience. Dorman is a fine replacement, especially since he and Scott Caldwell already have a longstanding relationship.
That said, the 33-year-old Dorman will need relief at times. The Revs are currently scheduled to play eight games between now and the end of July with the possibility of more being added because of the US Open Cup. Additionally, Dorman has developed a propensity for yellow cards, a habit that will lead to suspension. With this mind, we could see Daigo Kobayashi grab some minutes. Other outside options include Zachary Herivaux and Andrew Farrell.
Will this end Jones’ time with the US National Team?
No, I don’t think so. The coming years will be busy for the U.S. between World Cup qualifying, Copa America Centenario, and the usual slate of friendlies. Jones will almost certainly earn a call-up at some point as his experience and skill are greatly valued by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Keep in mind the Klinsmann convinced DeMarcus Beasley to reconsider international retirement ahead of this summer’s Gold Cup.
This doesn’t mean that Jones is a shoe-in for the 2018 World Cup. Already a far-fetched dream, Jones’ second surgery in a few months makes the road a bit more difficult. The 33-year-old will have to make a full recovery if he still hopes to make the trip to Russia.
Does this affect Jones’ quest for a long-term contract?
I think so. Jones’ initial 18-month contract will expire at the end of the 2015 season. The Designated Player has been clear that he wants a long-term deal in order to stay in New England. Already one of the most successful players in Revolution history, the request isn’t an absurd one. Still, the front office needs to consider their options before making a final decision.
Primarily, team officials need to ask if the Jones money would be better spent elsewhere. Jones is a fantastic player, but he’s also an aging one. With Shalrie Joseph’s decline still fresh on the minds of many, you have to wonder if it’s wiser to find and sign a younger option. At the very least, the Revs should wait until the latter stages of the season before making a significant offer.