Jermaine Jones earned his first call up with the U.S. Menâ€™s National Team at the age of 29, making his first appearance on Oct. 9, 2010, against Poland. Born in Germany to an American father and German mother, Jones only became eligible to play for the U.S. a year earlier.
Twelve caps and one goal later, the powerful midfielder is now back in the National Team squad. His last appearance in a U.S. kit was against Mexico in August, and now that Jones is playing regularly for Schalke 04 in the German Bundesliga, U.S. Menâ€™s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann wanted to reward Jonesâ€™s hard work with another call up. Jones is one of 21 players on the roster to face France on Nov. 11 and Slovenia on Nov. 15.
â€œJermaine was able to put a tough time behind him with Schalke after he wasnâ€™t playing,â€ Klinsmann told ussoccer.com after he released the U.S. roster. â€œNow with the new coach Huub Stevens he fought his way back into starting 11, and heâ€™s hungry to come back into our group. Itâ€™s logical to acknowledge his efforts and bring him in.â€
The new Schalke coach has made a huge difference in the fortunes of Jonesâ€™s professional career. After Schalke hired Huub Stevens on Sept. 27, Jones made his first appearance in almost two months, entering as a substitute in the 3-1 win against Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League. Since then, Jones has seen his playing time grow substantially, his last four appearances all 90-minute efforts.
â€The first time when [Coach Stevens] came to training, he said in front of the team that everyone now has a new chance to play and show what he can do,â€ Jones said. â€œI gave my best, and Iâ€™m happy to be back on the field in Schalke. I hope I can play the whole season.â€
Though he is happy to be playing regularly for Schalke, Jones is also excited to be back with the MNT and has his sights set on Les Bleus.
â€œIâ€™m feeling good to be back with the team,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s nice to see the boys again. I look forward to the game against France, and I hope we can get a good result.â€
Since his last U.S. game, three more German-Americans have been added to the squad: Fabian Johnson, Alfredo Morales and Danny Williams. There are a total of seven players from German clubs on the roster.
â€œI think itâ€™s great that the German-Americans that play well in Germany have a chance to play for America. I think itâ€™s best for the team. We want to play good football, and I think everyone who plays good should have a chance to show what he can do for the National Team," he said.
After waiting so many years, clearly Jones is excited to get that chance all over again.