There have been rumors of Jermaine Jones joining MLS since the end of the World Cup. Almost every team had been paired with the player, but as of late it seemed to be a two-horse race between the Chicago Fire and the New England Revolution. The Fire’s first offer had been rejected by Jones, but they kept trying to win him over. Unfortunately for the Fire, MLS stepped in and in a very ill-conceived manner settled which club Jones would go to. It was announced on Sunday that the Revolution had “won” Jones.
Jones will be joining the Revolution as a Designated Player. He has been a top USMNT player since 2010. He has German-American dual citizenship and after getting very few minutes with Germany joined the USMNT. He has been fruitful for the team. As a defensive midfielder his goal tally is not high, but he made a crucial goal during this summer’s World Cup. This turned many heads and earned him a lot of well-deserved respect. Fans were excited to hear he was hoping to join MLS, and everyone is looking forward to see what he does to help New England.
The bad taste left in fans’ mouths from this trade comes from how MLS handled the situation. Although the league has its rules, it often ignores them when dealing with “top” talent. Jones was seen a big enough player to ignore allocation order. This is okay. Although it seemed that Fire deserved him more, there was still a toss up with the Revolution. MLS decided to have a “blind draw” for Jones in a very questionable way.
It seems rather embarrassing for a professional sports league to let the decision come down to a draw. There were many other aspects that could have been considered for the decision. There’s the matter of who “discovered” or bid on him first, or even where Jones himself would rather play. Those are few examples, but there are many other ways MLS could have decided.
However, what’s done is done. Hopefully Jones will bring success to the Revolution and soon fans will forget he was won with a draw.