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Report: Jermaine Jones to MLS transfer tied up in red tape

Aug 22, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT

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United States men’s national team stars making the move to Major League Soccer have traditionally been allowed to choose their team without league or allocation order interference.

That may not be the case for USMNT midfielder Jermaine Jones. The 32-year-old German-born mid wants to play for Chicago, but The Sporting News is reporting that he may not get past New England.

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And that’s a problem. Jones has apparently agreed to a contract figure with MLS in order to get him into Frank Yallop’s Fire, but New England wants him for their squad. Jones isn’t averse to New England, but would want more money to go there.

So there’s the rub.

From The Sporting News:

As reported by Goal USA earlier this month, Jones rejected a two-and-a-half year, $6 million contract offer to join the Fire earlier this month, but negotiations with MLS continued, which opened the door for the Revolution to enter the conversation to sign the World Cup standout. Jones, who originally had desires to play in or closer to Los Angeles to be closer to his family, has chosen to accept the most recent MLS contract offer to play for the Fire, but sources tell Goal USA that MLS is not willing to guarantee that Jones would be sent to the Fire upon signing a deal.

That stance is a puzzling one considering how the acquisitions of U.S. national team starters and designated players have been treated in the past. U.S. regulars have traditionally signed with MLS knowing which team they were signing to play with. The same has applied to all of the designated players previously signed by MLS.

Why the league is handling Jones differently remains a mystery, but as things stand, Jones might wind up having to seek options in Europe if he and MLS can’t come to an agreement before the league’s roster-freeze deadline of Sept. 15.

Jones most recently played at Besiktas after stints at Schalke, Blackburn Rovers, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen. The league plays loose with its rules, and needs to find a way to get Jones to his preferred destination.

  1. dfstell - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    This is probably something for MLS to tweek next CBA. I’m not a fan of leagues set up for parity, but MLS will have to decide if they like this rule enough to deal with the fact that it is costing them some players who would improve the league and be (somewhat) recognizeable names. There are pros and cons to every rule……if MLS didn’t have a rule like this, you’s see these players congregate to the bigger markets and sexier teams.

  2. mlsconvert88888 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    “United States men’s national team stars making the move to Major League Soccer have traditionally been allowed to choose their team without league or allocation order interference.”

    I’m not going to pretend to understand all the ins and outs of MLS roster rules, but your opening line kind of confuses me; isn’t the entire point of the allocation order to divvy up USMNT players*?

    *Unless they are a DP**, ala Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley
    **Only if it’s a DP the league paid the transfer fee though, other DP’s still need allocation, ala Mo Edu

  3. pauloblitzz - Aug 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    Issue here is as apposed to say the CD or Bradley deals is the the highest bidder isn’t the team the player wants to go too. We never heard anything about CD not wanting to go to Seattle or even that he preferred to go there. He just ended up in Seattle because they wanted him and where willing to pay a lot more for him. TFC where close to signing him but didn’t. They did however land MB not long after and they seemed to be the only real big money player involved there. This JJ situation is a bit in the middle of being a huge deal like CD and MB and being a smaller one like Edu was. I think the league should say hey Chicago your getting JJ but your going to have to cough up a something to NE. Whether it’s a sign and trade or league compensation is what they’re figuring out I guess. Unless JJ is going to NE than it’s about how much more money he wants assuming he’s willing and that’s that.

  4. mikeevergreen - Aug 23, 2014 at 12:37 AM

    Funny how these things don’t happen to players who want to play for Galaxy or Red Bull.

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