The status of Jermaine Jones is still uncertain, but that isn’t stalling preseason preparations.
>Jones’ initial 18-month contract expired at the end of 2015, leaving his future in question. The defensive midfielder was dominant during his first few months in MLS, helping the Revs to their first MLS Cup Final since 2007. His second season was less stellar as he produced zero goals and assists in 18 appearances. Still, the Revs have expressed an interest in bringing back the franchise player, if the circumstances are right.
In December, a frustrated Jones tweeted that the Revs made an offer that was "less than 20%" of what he made last season. In January, Jones stated that he was willing to take a pay cut if he got guaranteed years. Soon after, he once again expressed frustration about the negotiation process.
While the front office continues to talk to Jones, the players are getting ready for the new year.
"It’s a situation that we’re not really discussing or thinking about," Chris Tierney told The Bent Musket. "All that stuff will take care of itself. We’re just focus on the guys that are here and trying to get better for the season."
The absence of Jones is certainly noticeable for the Revolution. On the field, the captain served as a midfield general. Off the field, he was a positive locker room force that became the face of the club.
With Jones away from the team, possibly for good, other veterans have stepped into leadership roles.
"Jermaine was a big presence," Tierney said. "He’s a big personality, but we have plenty of characters in the dressing room that can come together and make sure the team is doing what it has to be doing."
Head coach Jay Heaps has a similar mindset when it comes to the Jones situation. The Revs returned 19 players from last season, including many that have been with the squad for multiple years. It's a talented group that should be able to get results on the field.
"I think it’s important that we continue to get better," Heaps said during the team's media availability on Jan. 23. "We were a very good team before Jermaine came, and obviously it was better [with him]. But now we need to make sure that the young guys we’re building our core around are continuing to progress."