“This guy’s crazy, but he can play” — Jermaine Jones in his own words


Colorado Rapids midfielder Jermaine Jones answers questions with the same urgency on display when he finds a yard of space. There’s no pausing, not even for a moment, when asked how he evolves from new teammate to leader.

“People know, ‘Okay, this guy’s crazy, but he can play,’” Jones says, taking on the vantage point of a forecasting new teammate. “But as we will get to know, he will always protect me. And if he goes, I go.”

What is it with this guy, anyway?

Admired but feared, self-assured yet combustible, to speak to Jones one-on-one for any focused amount of time is to be hit with an entire universe of emotions, logic, and philosophy. The man they called “fighting pig”  at Schalke is a tornado, winding his way through American soccer and somehow only picking up power with age.

Jones defies systems at times, even coaches. His 34-year-old legs barely stop moving, occasionally because they’ve been weaponized to cause grievous harm to the opposition.

But when all’s said and done, he usually wins. Not all the time, but more often than not.

Since returning from a meniscus injury in a 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund as a member of Schalke on Oct. 26, 2013, Jones has played in 59 league games between Schalke, Besiktas, New England and Colorado.

His teams have lost a whopping nine of them.

“People maybe from the outside see it now, especially now that I’ve come to Colorado,” Jones said. “It wasn’t one time that I gave a team the next push, the next step to start to believe. ‘He comes, he runs, he fights, he scores. All the stuff. He doesn’t come here to talk.’ This is why we have that success.”


Jones’ drive to lead comes from necessity. The son of an American serviceman and a German mother, his mother moved his family to Germany when he was six, leaving behind a father arrested as part of a drug trafficking ring.

Not that Jones knew this then, or even for decades. According to the New York Times, the midfielder grew up thinking his father had abandoned them, and wouldn’t learn the truth until his 26th birthday when his wife Sarah contacted father Halbert and arranged a phone call with Jermaine.

“Honestly I was always a leader,” Jones said. “I decided really early back in the day, I was always the oldest one of five kids, and grew up without a dad so I knew I could lead a family in a way without a dad to take care of my brothers and sisters. That’s how it started. Every time on every team I played, I was another player in the beginning but I would get into being one of the leaders.”

He didn’t have a man he looked up to, or followed “as an idol”, but navigated his way through a series of fits and starts.

“I had learning experiences to always come back and push myself more,” he says. “You can talk and people listen, but they only listen if you give 100 percent on the field. If you do that, they call you a leader. If you only talk outside the field of play, it’s… Nobody really cares what you say. That’s what I had to learn at a young age.”

Jermaine Jones might not even be here without Friedhelm Funkel.

Six months after earning a big transfer to Bayer Leverkusen from Eintracht Frankfurt, the Germany U-21 regular’s rise through the national team program had stalled.

He spent most of time at Bayer with the Bayer Leverkusen II, where he scored five goals in 15 games but couldn’t earn regular time with the first team. He says the rise in class when it comes to teammates and training was an eye-opener.

Funkel had taken over as manager of Eintracht, and offered Jones an opportunity: Come back on loan, not as just a player but with the expectation of growing as a leader.

Find your potential.

“He called me to go with him to lunch,” Jones said. “He said I want to get you back to Frankfurt, but you have to be the leader. I want you to be the captain and all the stuff like that.

“I was still young but I had failed in one team, and I didn’t want to fail in another. I focused on the game and I focused on leadership.”

Getty Images
Jones captaining Eintracht Frankfurt (Getty Images)

The stint at Eintracht shaped him in many ways. He became a more disciplined and focused player, and endured the frustrations that come with being unable to play his beloved sport thanks to surgery on his broken left shin.

By the way, that’s an injury he played with for close to half a season. Jones says he’s never been able to stomach missing soccer games given how many people would trade anything to be in his shoes.

“There’s things that you can put into this game where people say, ‘Oh wait, you are giving everything every game, every training, and that’s what gives (fans) the club, the name,’” Jones said.

“You give the work for a lot of people who are back home from working jobs and stuff like that. People have respect when you run hard for the team. You can lose but you gotta give everything.”

Yet his departure from Eintracht, the club who gave him the lifeline from Bayer, was not a celebration. Jones, the club captain, didn’t agree to a contract with Eintracht that met his expectations and desire. He left for Schalke, a move that would make him a regular in the UEFA Champions League and cement his status as a national team prospect.

For two nations.

Jones logged a total of 98 minutes between a trio of friendlies for Germany in 2008, booking a win, draw and loss against Austria, Belarus, and England.

BERLIN - NOVEMBER 19: Jermaine Jones of Germany moves away from the challenge of Michael Carrick of England during the International Friendly match between Germany and England at the Olympic Stadium on November 19, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Jones, with Germany, moves away from the challenge of Michael Carrick of England in 2008. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

With no clear path to regular status with Germany, Jones made clear his interest in representing the United States under head coach Bob Bradley. After a summer of speculation, FIFA cleared Jones in October 2009.

He made his American debut after the 2010 World Cup, and picked up his first 12 caps under Bradley until the disappointing 2011 Gold Cup final loss to Mexico that led to the hiring of Jurgen Klinsmann as U.S. Soccer’s head coach and technical director.

Klinsmann’s era began with serious on-the-field problems, as he won just one of six games. An injured Jones saw action in just two of those matches – a 1-1 draw with Mexico and a 1-0 loss to France – but both men saw their USMNT fortunes rise in Jan. 2012.

Jones was handed the captain’s armband for a start against Venezuela, a 1-0 win that kicked off a four-match win streak for the Yanks. Jones played 90 minutes in three of those four matches, and went on to play every minute of the 2014 World Cup as a trusted ally of the coach, famously being counseled by the boss following Clint Dempsey’s go-ahead goal against Portugal (below right).

(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Their relationship is one that extends off-the-field, and Jones says it’s not about hailing from Germany.

“It’s that we respect each other,” Jones said. “We can talk about all stuff. Our daughters are friends. It’s a real relationship. It’s a coach and a player, but he knows how to treat me. If I am down, he might have to go hard at me. Sometimes I get crazy and scream at him, but he knows to take it. ‘Hey Jermaine is crazy, but I need him on the field. He’s the one keeps my guys together.’ The relationship I can honestly say it’s amazing. As long as he’s the coach of the national team, I will always be behind him. And if he wasn’t, it would still be good.

“He can close his eyes and I know I will do my best. Jurgen knows that. He knows that if I come to the national team, and I get on the field in an important game, I’m there. Copa America, World Cup, I show up for the important games. Sometimes I have friendly games where it’s not that important, but he has my back and knows if he needs me, I will be there.”

Jones won���t be talked into chatter about the World Cup in Russia. He wants to keep going, but is eyeing September’s World Cup qualifiers against Trinidad and Tobago, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

“You cannot lose the games, or instantly out of the next World Cup. So I don’t have my head on anything else. We have to beat both. We show up when we have to show up. I have the trust in my boys and me. We will make it to the next round of qualification and then make it so we go to the World Cup.”

In 2013-14, Jones played for three teams. Schalke finished third in the Bundesliga, Besiktas third in the Turkish Super Lig, and New England ran to the MLS Cup Final.

Oh, and his memorable goal against Portugal was part of the USMNT’s thrilling escape from the World Cup’s Group of Death.

Such is the life of Jones, a player ready to give his all on the field but more than willing to eschew club norms when it comes to contracts.

Yet Jermaine Jones is, in a sense, a winner of the highest order. Before he hit the pitch in New England, the club had lost nine of 12 matches, a run which included an eight-game losing streak.

He subbed onto BMO Field Aug. 30, 2014 against Toronto in a 3-0 win, the first match of a 8-1-1 finish to the regular season that propelled the Revolution past Columbus and the Red Bulls before falling to the Galaxy in extra time of the MLS Cup Final.

New England had a 8W-4L-6D record with Jones on the field the following season, which isn’t as dramatic until you consider the Revs went 3-6 when Jones went down with a groin injury, even falling to third-tier USL side Charlotte in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 29: Jermaine Jones #13 of New England Revolution celebrates with Charlie Davies after they won the MLS Eastern Conference Championship as the the New York Red Bulls leave the field at Gillette Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jones and Charlie Davies in 2014 (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

After an unceremonious loss in the playoffs that saw Jones suspended six games for bumping referee Mark Geiger, the midfielder moved onto Colorado. The Rapids had the third-worst record in 2014, and the second-worst mark in 2015, so there was work to be done.

Colorado’s now in second out West, and has not lost a match with Jones on the pitch (Six wins and two draws).

So, yeah, he wins.

“I hate to lose and people know that. If I step on the field, it’s only one thing, it’s winning. I do what I have to do to do that.

“Sometimes people don’t understand you have maybe 15 or 16, maybe 20 years of career. You can go through your career and say, ‘Ok, you win, you lose, you have fun, you play for money’. But I was always the one who said I’m so thankful that I get the chance to be one of the kids who get to get out of bed and be a soccer player.

“I played for Germany who is a big soccer country. And I played for America. To get that chance to represent two countries where you were born or are from, is unbelievable. To get the chance to play week-to-week on the field where people come and look up to you. You can change so much in people’s eyes. They believe, and you see somebody who has that (team) pride to them. You give them more back. You don’t have to be the guy with amazing quality like Cristiano or Messi.”

As dynamite and heart-warming as all of that is, a man’s still gotta get paid. And Jones knew that leaving Besiktas for MLS, as a World Cup hero nonetheless, was going to be a boon for commissioner Don Garber.

“The first time I came to America, this is what I told Don Garber when I talked,” Jones says, firing words at a mile-a-minute. “If I come to the league, this is the deal. For the numbers I’ve made in my career, for an American international player, there’s not a lot of players who can sit next to me.

“It’s no problem for me. I’ll come and I’ll bring quality on the field. They had eight-straight losses. I said I will come, we will change a team and we will go to the final. You can ask them, I told them when I signed the contract, and I did it!”

Jones says he purposely only signed a short-term contract, saying New England would see his value and they’d go from there. When the Revolution balked at his demands, he wanted to move closer to his family on the West Coast.

No hard feelings. Hello, Mile High City.

“I told my agent what I wanted,” Jones said. “I try to show people on the field and then they will treat me with that respect. If they don’t treat me like that, then that’s fine, then I do what I did with New England. I shake hands and say, ‘Thank you for the time, but it’s time to go and I will go’. That’s how I work.”

But why Colorado? There was interest across MLS, never mind across the Atlantic, but also concerns with the six-game suspension Jones accepted for the physical altercation with Geiger. And Colorado technical director Paul Bravo admitted Jones wasn’t their top target when free agency opened ahead of this season.

What tipped the scales, though, was head coach Pablo Mastroeni, a man whose playing style would fit just fine in a conversation about Jones, who gives the coach full marks for the Rapids’ turnaround.

“I would say big credit to Pablo,” Jones said. “The passion from Pablo, this guy lives for the sport. He lives the sport like 24 hours. When we play, I think he runs more on the outside line than some players do on the field. You see a guy who has that passion. In 2010 he was a player who wins the Cup, who gets that kind of respect.”

Jones wanted to restore the standing of Colorado as a club, but also as a difficult place to play. He hadn’t played on the road against the Rapids, though he had played in the building in the famous “Snow Fro” World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, but he watched his Revs beat Colorado there 2-0 in 2015.

“I want to make a dream happen that people look to Colorado and say, ‘Two or three years ago, it’s not that team anymore, man. You’re going to there, you have to fight for it. Colorado, it’s tough. Yeah there’s Seattle, L.A., maybe Dallas, Portland. No. Now people say Colorado’s taking a spot. That is what I want to see. We are in second position, two games behind Dallas, on the West Side, from my opinion the stronger side than the East.

Jones says he’s calmed down from the constant red card threat he was earlier in his career, but he’s not going to give an inch down the stretch.

“That’s what I do. I always try to be a nice guy, but of course you see me on the field, like with (Geiger), that’s the passion in me. I hate to lose. My game is running and fighting for every centimeter on the field, to win a game. Maybe I make a mistake, but still I try to protect my team.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 21: Soccer player Jermaine Jones (C), wife Sarah Jones and family attend the Petit Maison Chic fashion show honoring Operation Smile on November 21, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Petit Maison Chic)
Jones, wife Sarah, and family in 2015 (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Petit Maison Chic)

The competitive drive isn’t going anywhere, whether Jones plays until he’s 50 or rides into the sunset before the next World Cup.

He loves his role as a family man, ever-present for his children the way his father couldn’t be for him.

Which isn’t to say life is going to be easy for the Jones’ kids, especially in the backyard.

“When my kids are around, I play always to win,” he said, deadpan.

“If they see me out on the field and say, “Papa, can we play a game?” I don’t let them win. My boys can be 7, my daughter can be 3. I play a game, like a kid’s game, they have to beat me. I don’t care. My wife can say she’ll throw me out the house if I don’t let them win.

“I’ll say, ‘No I don’t have to, because no one will let them win outside’. They have to beat people to take the next step and move forward. No one’s going to come up to you and I say, ‘I like you, I’ll let you win.’ That’s not the world.”

And it’s certainly not his world either. You don’t have to like Jermaine Jones, but odds are he’s going to win.

Tigres stun Chivas with wild comeback in five-goal thriller to win Liga MX Clausura


Tigres fought back from 2-0 down to beat Chivas 3-2 after extra time in a crazy second leg of Liga MX’s Clausura final, as Tigres were crowned Clausura champs.


Tied at 0-0 from the first leg of the final in San Nicolas on Thursday, Chivas roared into an early 2-0 lead at Akron Stadium as Roberto Alvarado and Victor Guzman both scored inside the opening 20 minutes.

But then Tigres roared back in the second half with Andre-Pierre Gignac scoring a penalty kick with 25 minutes to go, then six minutes later Sebastian Cordova made it 2-2 to force extra time.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Arsenal | Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man City | Man United

When the game looked destined for penalty kicks Guido Pizarro then scored a deflected winner in the 110th minute for Tigres, as two late red cards saw Cordova sent off for Tigres and Gilberto Sepulveda sent off for Chivas.

At the final whistle it was Tigres’ players who celebrated one of the most incredible comebacks in Liga MX final history, as they secured an eight Liga MX trophy and their first since winning the Clausura in 2019.

How to watch Chivas vs Tigres live, stream link and start time

Kick off: Sunday, May 28 – 9:25pm ET 
TV Channel: Telemundo, Universo
Online: Stream via Peacock

Second leg Chivas vs Tigres video highlights – 2-3

First leg Tigres vs Chivas video highlights – 0-0

Premier League final table: Final standings for 2022-23 season


If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

After the break for the 2022 World Cup, the Premier League returned with a bang and the start to 2023 delivered plenty of fun and it continued into the business end of the season.

Manchester City chased down Arsenal to win yet another Premier League title. Manchester United’s new-look side reclaimed a place in the top four, and so did Newcastle. Brighton and Aston Villa surprised by qualifying for Europe, while Liverpool dips into an unusual competition for its recent standards.

Teams were relegated. Managers were sacked. And here’s how the table looked when all was said and done.

Premier League final table – End of season

Premier League standings

NBC Sports’ standings and scoreboard

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Leicester relegated despite final day win over West Ham


Leicester City has been relegated to the Championship despite getting the win it needed to have hope of survival: a 2-1 defeat of West Ham United at the King Power Stadium on Championship Sunday.

Leicester entered the day two points back of Everton for 17th place on the Premier League table and got goals from Harvey Barnes and Wout Faes to secure three points, but Everton outlasted Bournemouth 1-0 to match the Foxes and keep them below the dreaded line.


Leicester finishes its season with 34 points in 18th place on the Premier League table.

West Ham, on the other hand, will be forgiven for focusing on the Europa Conference League Final but fought hard for an equalizer even though it only found a Pablo Fornals marker after Leicester had gone ahead two. The Irons finish 14th with 40 points.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Too little, too late for Foxes

“Too little, too late” may go down as the story of the Foxes season.

Leicester did not get its recruitment plans correct — somewhat forced by Financial Fair Play — and then put too much faith in Brendan Rodgers to make things work.

Dean Smith got some performances out of this men, few better than Sunday, but this ultimately feels like a fait accompli: Sometimes, the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Despite big seasons from Harvey Barnes and James Maddison, this was that.

There’s also the question of playing for a draw against Newcastle on Monday, but let’s not heap criticism on Dean Smith for taking a calculated risk. He deserves better.

Leicester vs West Ham player ratings: Stars of the Show

Leicester vs West Ham player ratings

Harvey Barnes goal video: Leicester lifeline!

Wout Faes goal video: Foxes double the lead

Pablo Fornals goal video: Irons pull one back

How to watch Leicester vs West Ham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30am ET Sunday
TV Channel: SYFY
Online: Watch live on Peacock + Watch live on NBCSports.com

Key storylines & star players

Leicester would love to see Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Wilfred Ndidi pass fitness checks, but Dean Smith will have rested and ready Harvey Barnes and James Maddison in a bid to score more goals than the Irons.

West Ham could be seeing the penultimate appearance of Declan Rice in an Irons shirt, as the big-money midfielder is being linked to several big clubs in the Premier League.

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: James Justin (calf), Jannik Vestergaard (calf), Wilfred Ndidi (thigh), Caglar Soyuncu (thigh), Ryan Bertrand (other)

West Ham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Gianluca Scamacca (knee)

Leeds relegated from Premier League as Harry Kane hits 30-goal mark


Leeds (31 points – 19th place) have been relegated from the Premier League after they were beaten 4-1 by Tottenham at Elland Road on the final day of the 2022-23 season.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Harry Kane scored twice more to complete his second 30-goal season, as Tottenham (60 points – 8th place) missed out on the Premier League’s final European place with Aston Villa beating 6th-place Brighton to qualify for the Europa Conference League. Now, a painfully pivotal summer of hirings and signings awaits for Spurs.

It was a nightmare start for Leeds, who needed not only a victory of their own but also points to be dropped by both Everton and Leicester above them. Tottenham’s first foray into Leeds’ penalty area ended with Kane hammering the ball past Joel Robles.


New half, same story for Leeds, who conceded once again barely a minute into the second half. Kane turned provider this time, as he lofted a blind ball into the channel for the overlapping Pedro Porro, who barely had a sight of goal with Robles smothering the near post. But, Porro placed a pinpoint strike just inside the far post from a tight angle.

Leeds gave themselves a faint hope when he slotted home after Georginio Rutter picked him out between two defenders in the 67th minute, but Kane answered just two minutes later with his second of the day and the 280th — and potentially final — goal of his Tottenham career.

Leeds United relegation reaction

Club statement:

“Everyone connected with Leeds United is deeply disappointed by the club’s relegation back to the Sky Bet Championship, after three seasons in the Premier League.

“Relegation is painful, and we apologize to our fanbase that the performances this season have not seen the club consolidate our status as we had all hoped.

“However, Leeds United remains in a strong position to build a team that can challenge for promotion from the Championship next season.

“We know things have not been good enough, we know we have to improve, but please be assured that behind the scenes we have worked hard to ensure that the past will not be repeated. Our focus is now on how we get straight back to the Premier League.

“Thank you for your unwavering support for the players and the badge, our objective is to continue to build the club into the one you deserve.”

Stars of the show

Leeds vs Tottenham
Photo: FotMob.com

Leeds vs Tottenham, final score: 1-4

2nd minute – Harry Kane hammers home Tottenham’s opening goal

47th minute – Pedro Porro places a pinpoint strike inside the far post for 2-0

67th minute – Jack Harrison gives Leeds a late lifeline

69th minute – Harry Kane answers immediately with his 30th goal of the season

90th minute +4 – Lucas Moura adds to Leeds misery with Spurs’ 4th goal

How to watch Leeds vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV channel: CNBC
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium + Watch on NBCSports.com

Key storylines & star players

Leeds have had plenty of time opportunities to drag themselves out of the bottom-three and away from the relegation scrap as a whole, but they are now winless in their last eight games (0W-2D-6L) and have won just three of their last 24. Their biggest problem? The Premier League’s worst defensive record in 2022-23 — 74 goals conceded in 37 games. In each of the last four seasons, the side to concede the most goals has been relegated.

With another summer of uncertainty (from the manager to most of the first-team squad) on the cards for Spurs, Sunday could be the final time Harry Kane pulls on the white shirt of Tottenham, following reports this week that he will ask — or perhaps has already asked — to leave the club if a fair offer is made. Kane’s 278 goals make him the club’s all-time record goal scorer, and his departure could signal a full-blown tear-down and rebuild for the incoming manager still to be hired.

Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Tyler Adams (hamstring – out for season), Luis Sinisterra (ankle – out for season), Patrick Bamford (thigh)

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Cristian Romero (undisclosed), Rodrigo Bentancur (torn ACL – out for season), Hugo Lloris (hip), Eric Dier (hernia), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (undisclosed)

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