Jermaine Jones suffered a hamstring strain in the final minutes of the U.S. national team’s World Cup qualifying-opening 6-1 victory over St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday, putting the USMNT’s midfield lynchpin in danger of missing Tuesday’s road tilt with Trinidad and Tobago.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Jones was unable to train with his teammates on Sunday, but head coach Jurgen Klinsmann expects the 34-year-old to be ready to go on Tuesday anyway.
One might assume that Jones, who will be a couple months short of 37 years old during the 2018 World Cup, might not figure into the USMNT’s roster in Russia. While it’s a mild surprise, given his age, that Jones was called into the first camp of the new World Cup cycle, it’s significantly more shocking that Klinsmann would risk rushing back Jones, a player with a lengthy history of injuries, on just three days’ rest, if he believes him to be that important to the program going forward.
Defensive midfield is perhaps the one position at which the USMNT has a considerable amount of depth to replace a key player at this time. The likes of Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan, Wil Trapp and Perry Kitchen are all perfectly capable of starting at the base of midfield for the USMNT, and will all be 32 or younger in June of 2018.