BRENT LATHAM - Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Controversial German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones has finally received approval from FIFA to switch his national allegiance to the US, assuring that if he is to play internationally again, it will be for the Stars and Stripes.
A player is allowed to switch only once under current FIFA rules, so Jones is American for the duration of his playing career. Whether the Bundesliga hitman will appear for the US anytime soon is another question, as Jones is still out with a hairline fracture in his leg, and time is running out for him to convince Coach Bob Bradley that he will make a useful addition to next year's World Cup squad.
The Schalke 04 midfielder's application has been delayed since this summer as FIFA was missing some paperwork from the German federation. Jones will almost certainly miss the next FIFA international break in mid-November, so his next chance to play with the full team would not be until next March.
Amidst a compact club schedule aimed at ending the European season early, there is only one friendly date in 2010 before the summer recess, so Bradley will not have too much opportunity to see Jones or fellow recent national pool team addition Edgar Castillo before choosing his World Cup squad.
Jones is expected to be out of action several more weeks. He had appeared three times for Germany in friendly matches before declaring his intention to switch to the US over the summer.