CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Jermaine Jones spoke out against comments by his U.S. national team teammate Tim Howard after the Colorado Rapids goalkeeper stated that foreign-raised Americans did not have the same commitment to the national team as other players.
Howard later clarified his comments to USA Today in an interview with ESPN stating that he was not simply referencing players born or raised abroad. Jones, who was born in Germany, stated that although Howard clarified his comments, they set a “dangerous” precedent.
"It's dangerous stuff where you have to be careful what you're saying," Jones, who joined the Galaxy officially on Wednesday after serving as Howard’s teammate in Colorado, told ESPN FC. “With all the respect for Timmy, I feel it's not if you're half American or full-American. It's more what you have in here [taps his chest].
"If you go on the field and you give everything for this country, then of course sometimes there's a situation where you're not playing good. But it's normal. That can happen to everybody, and that's what you have to understand."
Before being fired in November, former U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann embarked upon a wide recruitment of players throughout the globe especially in his native Germany. Klinsmann’s tenure ended after a pair of poor performances by the USMNT to start their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
After pair of losses, the USMNT – and some of their foreign-born players – came under criticism which Jones admitted was unfair.
"People, especially in this country, they always try to figure out what [are] the mistakes," Jones said, noting the contributions some German-Americans made during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
"Now, where everything goes wrong and we lost the first two games, we say maybe the German-Americans are the problem. But when we played the World Cup, I scored. [John] Brooks scored, and it's 'oh, the German-Americans are American boys.'
"We played two bad games, yes. That's a fact. All the criticism that comes from outside, that's good. That's soccer. It has to be like that. But you have to see the bigger picture, and that's the whole team. There's not an American guy and a German-American. The whole team played bad, so that's the fact. To put it on this guy or this guy, I think it's not correct from nobody."