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Why Jermaine Jones won’t land in Major League Soccer

Jan 6, 2014, 6:26 PM EDT

Costa Rica v United States - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Getty Images

Here’s where people start adding 2 + 2, and somehow arrive at 5:

Jermaine Jones seems out of favor at FC Schalke 04 in Germany.

Jermaine Jones is a U.S. international who has expressed interest in wearing an MLS jersey at some point.

So … we all wonder if Jones may be bound for MLS in the January window. That’s the “5” in this scenario.

And an MLS arrival could happen. On the other hand, here’s why it probably won’t:

There is absolutely no question that Jones could help most MLS clubs. Beyond Seattle (Osvaldo Alonso) and Real Salt Lake (Kyle Beckerman), Jones would represent at upgrade at the defensive midfield position. At some addresses, like New York or Los Angeles, he would elevate the midfield, pushing someone (Dax McCarty, Juninho or Marcelo Sarvas, for instance) into a connecting role or a slightly more attacking role.

Bottom line, there are plenty of MLS clubs that could use Jones’ talent and that added element of contagious fearlessness that Jurgen Klinsmann rates so highly. (Plus, think of marketing possibilities … like JJ sno fro night!)

But it probably won’t happen. In a nutshell, the economics of the domestic game are against it.

First, MLS clubs typically don’t open the wallet for defensive midfielders. Most of the money is going to those in “sexier” positions, the goal scorers or playmakers.

Second, Jones is 32. That’s the age where a smart player understands he has one big contract left. Jones surely wants to capitalize, and Major League Soccer probably isn’t the place to do so. Not when he can make more money by staying in Europe – whether that’s another run in England, another German club or whatever – even if he won’t be a featured man on the roster as he would be here.

Finally, it would be even more difficult for an MLS club to justify Jones’ salary with full knowledge that he would miss a big chunk of the summer fulfilling World Cup duty. (Plus, whatever matches he would miss while serving the (let’s face it) inevitable suspensions for red cards and yellow card accumulation.

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