“This morning I saw that Bruce got released, and the biggest thing has to be now that U.S. Soccer don’t make the next mistake.”
So begins Jermaine Jones’ long talk on the future of the USMNT. While wearing LA Galaxy gear, the midfielder begged younger players to challenge themselves in Europe and asked U.S. Soccer to hire a strong personality rather than pluck a prospect out of MLS.
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Jones strongly advocated players going to Europe, aware enough to continually say how much he loves MLS and wasn’t trying to take a shot at it. Jones said MLS is great, but MLS’ best young talents should be pushing themselves further.
The current Galaxy and former Schalke man spoke of two cases in particular, lauding Christian Pulisic for moving to Borussia Dortmund and scratching his head in revealing a conversation with Jordan Morris where the youngster chose to stay home rather than accept the advances of Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga.
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It should absolutely be noted that it wasn’t cool of Jones to speak of Morris’ personal reasoning. We’re not excusing it, but it is a colorful and perhaps important part of the discussion. Jones went on to say that players can make that choice, but then can’t be upset when their place in the USMNT fold is threatened by a lower standard of play.
Some highlights, and the remarks on Pulisic and Morris: “I have much respect for this kid. He’s the Wonderboy for us and he makes stuff happen in games but we have other guys too like Kellyn, Yedlin is already over there, Brooks is over there, Wood is over there. …Jordan Morris he was already but he decided to come play for Seattle. If you want to make the next step in your career, you have to go over there.”
“(Pulisic) decided with his family to go the hardest way, and he made it so I respect that but I want to see more kids hungry like that and don’t pull just the other way. ‘I go and play MLS and never want to go over to Europe’ and hope maybe an MLS coach comes and prefers for MLS players. That’s not right. If you want to make the next step, what every fan is hoping, you have to be a coach to be straight. It hurts some times. It hurts MLS … but sometimes you have to talk the truth, and you need more players in the tough leagues.
“When Bob Bradley was the coach, how many players played in MLS? Most of the players came from Europe. You learn to get personality. You learn to get strong as a person.”
“It’s the fault of the whole system that players are not ready yet. If you take 25 year old player in MLS and compare them to a 19 year old player in Europe, the Europe player is farther in his brain and that’s not a good sign.”
“Jurgen (Klinsmann) called me to please call Jordan Morris. I talked with him and I asked him, ‘I know that Werder Bremen really wants you and you can play there. You can go farther.’ And he said, ‘You know what? I wanna go home. My dad is a doctor in Seattle and my mom that bought me and my girlfriend a dog and all that stuff.’ I was like, really? Why you go the easy way. That’s the point. That’s what I wanted to say.”