Jermaine Jones completed a transfer to Besiktas in the Turkish Super Lig yesterday from Schalke. The move should allow him to get first team reps for the rest of the season as he eyes the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The veteran midfielder should be able to crack the lineup and join a more attack-minded midfielder, Olcay Sahan, for the Black Eagles.
However, this move does not help or hurt Jones’ position with the United States Men’s National Team as he should make the roster for Brazil. Whether or not he starts is a question that will be impacted far more by the internal competition on the national team.
Jones has always been one of Jurgen Klinsmann‘s favorites and has seen plenty of playing time with the National Team, being paired with Michael Bradley on many occasions. However, it can be tough to decipher Klinsmann’s interpretation of players as he puts midfielders on the pitch as wing-backs and loves to see Eddie Johnson on the left.
The biggest competition for Jones’ starting position may be Geoff Cameron, who continues to start at right-back for Stoke City. Cameron shines on a rather lackluster team, but has had to grown into the role as he has moved from center-back. Klinsmann has also used Cameron in the midfield, where he looked extremely comfortable.
Will Klinsmann be comfortable with Brad Evans at right-back, thus moving Cameron into the crowded midfield? Also, there is always a surprise from the current January camp once titled Camp Cupcake. Could that be DeAndre Yedlin of the Seattle Sounders, who made the cut for the match against South Korea this Saturday? If Yedlin makes the roster for Brazil, then Klinsmann is showing confidence in the young player and is again giving his team more depth at right-back.
The midfield is already crowded with Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Graham Zusi, Landon Donovan, Fabian Johnson and Sacha Kljestan. There are other fringe players that are either getting looks in the current camp or have seen time under Klinsmann in the past year. These players include Kyle Beckerman, Danny Williams, Joe Corona, Jose Torres, Brek Shea and Dax McCarty.
This is the deepest roster position for the USMNT, but Jones should still have a role during the World Cup. He will just have to make his way into the starting lineup for Besiktas and let his play do the talking.
The move is personally beneficial for Jones as he goes to Turkey on a six-month loan that also gives Besiktas the option to buy in the summer. The league is competitive, and his new team finds itself just two points outside of a Champions League spot with last-place Kayseri Erciyesspor next on the schedule. The playing time will help, but he better keep an eye on his USMNT teammates as they are looking to take the bulk of the minutes from 32-year-old midfielder.