FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It didn’t take long for Jermaine Jones to make an impression on his new teammates.
Jones took part in his first training session with the New England Revolution on Tuesday morning and could’ve been forgiven had he eased his way into the action after a lengthy layoff.
But that’s not his style.
“He showed his quality. He trained hard,” A.J. Soares said of the U.S. National Team stalwart. “You see his mentality where he comes out the first day and goes as hard as he can. It’s perfect. It’s the kind of guy you like on your team.”
Jones is the type of lead-by-example professional the young Revs could use heading into the final 10 games of the regular season. Along with captain Jose Goncalves and fellow veterans like Andy Dorman and Chris Tierney, Jones will be looked upon as a steadying presence in the postseason race.
That sense of leadership will be most critical for New England’s younger base of players, who gained valuable playoff experience last season but still require a guiding force from time to time.
“He’s going to be the guy that’s going to demand things from us and I think that’s going to make us better every day,” said 22-year-old midfielder Kelyn Rowe. “For me, it just helps me learn a little bit.
“It’s great for us, because we are young; a lot of us are, myself included. So to get a guy with so much experience – national team, overseas, Champions League, everything like that – it’s great for us.”
While Jones will spend the coming weeks acclimating to his surroundings, his new teammates are already well aware of the qualities he’ll bring to the group. The 32-year-old midfielder’s performances for the U.S. at the World Cup were well documented, and the Revs were paying attention.
“Any player that plays for the United States and plays that well earns the respect from all the guys in the league,” said second-year defender Andrew Farrell. “When you walk in the locker room, everybody is really excited, really giddy and excited to have him as part of the Revolution.
“I’ve seen what he can do, but I’m excited to see what he can do for the Revs.”