In the visitors locker room at BMO Field last week, Jermaine Jones smirked when I asked whether, after all his career stops, he had any anxiety before his first game with the New England Revolution.
After all, here’s a man who’s played in a World Cup with the United States national team and at powers like Besiktas,, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen.
But it was still a new league and a new home. On the latter point, it’s starting to feel that way just in time for New England to look to make it four wins in a row on Sunday against Chicago.
[RELATED: Latest MLS standings]
[RELATED: MLS stats]
“It’s starting to really become my home,” said Jones. “Step by step, everything is going good.”
More importantly, with a win the Revolution could very well be six points ahead of the pack for a playoff spot in the East.
Jones is seeing that the talent of MLS, or at least his new team, is perhaps a bit higher than expected. And he’s seeing success despite thrusting himself into a lineup after a long lay-off.
That’s how he wants it, though, not that it doesn’t prevent a host of challenges. From MLSSoccer.com:
“I think it’s the best to come straight to the pitch and play so much games,” Jones told MLSsoccer.com. “I prefer that than to wait and play from weekend to weekend. It’s no problem for me.”
“I like to play more in front, more 8 and not 6, but I was happy to be on pitch,” said Jones about his 45 minutes of action against Sporting Kansas City. “When I play No. 6 I have to work forward and back. Still you can see that we don’t play so much games together, we have to find us. It’s a normal process and you have to train that. Game for game, we’ll be better.”
Tell you one thing: knowing New England’s playoff history and watching the Revolution dismantle Toronto FC and reigning champion Sporting KC, I wouldn’t want to see their name on my team’s schedule. Sorry, Chicago, and good luck.