Jermaine Jones has a new home, finally.
[ FOLLOW: PST’s MLS season preview coverage ]
The 34-year-old World Cup veteran will play his club soccer for the Colorado Rapids in 2016 after the bottom-of-the-barrel Western Conference side acquired his MLS rights from the New England Revolution in exchange for general allocation money and the Rapids’ first-round pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft on Friday. Targeted allocation money was used to buy down Jones’ salary cap charge, thus he will not count as a Designated Player in 2016.
The U.S. national team star will miss the first six games of the 2016 MLS season due to suspension, having been hit with a hefty ban for shoving referee Mark Geiger during the Revolution’s playoff elimination last season.
On the surface, the Revs robbed the Rapids in this deal. There was a zero percent chance Jones was going to return to Boston, thus they would receive nothing as compensation had he left the league or retired (this is the case in any MLS deal involving an out-of-contract player, so in a way they’re all highway robbery). The Rapids figure to be pretty terrible again this year, meaning that first-round draft pick they traded away will likely be in the top-five. Not to mention the allocation money, however much it may be.
The suspension is actually the least terrible part of this deal for the Rapids. Given his age, Jones is unlikely to ever play a full season again — particularly this one, given he’s likely not in optimal game shape. The USMNT is the other big winner of this deal, as Jones can officially begin his suspension this weekend. Had he not signed with a club before the summer, he would have been ineligible to play in the 2016 Copa America Centenario.