CARSON, Calif. – Jermaine Jones is fully healthy the first time in two months and quietly put together his best game in an LA Galaxy uniform during last Saturday’s scoreless draw with Seattle Sounders FC.
Jones, who was making just his second league appearance since suffering an MCL Sprain in May, shined against the Sounders providing the defensive stability that the team’s midfield has lacked in recent weeks.
Instructed by new head coach Sigi Schmid to shield the Galaxy back four, Jones flourished as he notched six recoveries, three clearances, and completed nearly 80 percent of his passes in the draw.
“He told me that he would love to see me more set in and play the six, and I’m comfortable with that,” Jones told reporters. “I have no problem with it. I played most of my career at that position. Today was more important to help the center backs and to stay zero and not give up a goal. I think that was more of my goal today.”
Schmid did not hold back when describing Jones’ performance, referring to the veteran U.S. international as a “warrior” after the draw.
“I thought Jermaine Jones was really good tonight. I asked Jermaine to play a more defensive role, to sit and stay connected with the two central defenders and he was very disciplined, and he did that job. For our team that is where he helps us the most, and it allowed [João] Pedro to move a little bit,” Schmid said. “There were a couple of times where Jermaine could go. As their cohesion develops or as we continue to develop how I want us to play there will be more moments for him to get involved as well offensively but what I wanted from him today he did everything I asked of him, and I thought he gave a great effort.
"He even went back to play center back for me at the end. He is a guy that is coming off an injury; he hasn't played 90 minutes since he has been off injury, it was a tough game [Saturday], but it shows what kind of warrior he is, being able to play those 90.”
Jones’ performance comes at a vital time for the midfielder as Los Angeles bolstered their squad with the signing of Jonathan dos Santos to a Designated Player deal just a day earlier. The addition of dos Santos creates added competition between the Galaxy’s midfield contingent which includes Jones, Pedro, Rafael Garcia, and Jaime Villarreal.
The 35-year-old midfielder is not shrinking from the challenge, however, saying that he welcomes dos Santos’ arrival and the upcoming competition for playing time in the center of the park.
“I like it when new players come; it adds pressure to everyone who’s there already," Jones said. "I’ve played most of my career with pressure, and that’s a normal situation for me. A club like the LA Galaxy wants to win titles so they’ll make a change when they have to.”