With the playoff push in full swing, the New England Revolution made a splash over the weekend, landing U.S. international Jermaine Jones through a rather unconventional process.
A blind draw saw the Revs land Jones’ services at the expense of the Chicago Fire, who pursued the 32-year-old throughout the summer.
Instead, New England is the winner of the Jones sweepstakes. The Revs currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the New York Red Bulls for fifth place.
Jones gives the Revolution what they sorely needed: a midfield general. MLSSoccer.com’s Matthew Doyle broke down what head coach Jay Heaps is getting in the former Schalke 04 star.
“Jones is not a No. 6, even if he tackles like one,” Doyle writes. “He's going to roam all over the field chasing the ball, acting as a No. 8, and that means the Revs are going to have that physical presence they've been missing - someone whose first job is making the opponent struggle playing through the most profitable parts of the field.”
With an impressive attacking force led by Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury and Lee Nguyen, Jones adds the sandpaper element the club was missing. The Revs, on paper and based on recent form, are one of those teams that cannot be overlooked if they manage to sneak into the playoffs. Throw the records out the door in the East. It’s that wide open.
Toronto FC will face Jones and the Revolution this Saturday night at BMO Field. Michael Bradley vs. Jermaine Jones, partners in the United States midfield, in a match with massive playoff implications. This week can’t go by quickly enough.
D.C United leapfrogs Sporting KC
Second place beating first shouldn’t come as a major shock in any league, but it was the way in which D.C. United trounced Sporting Kansas City on Saturday that raised eyebrows around the league.
With the 3-0 win, Ben Olsen’s club now occupies first place in the East, capping a remarkable turnaround after a disastrous 2013 campaign.
D.C. scored three times in seven minutes at Sporting Park, adding to the defending MLS Cup Champions' woes at home. For a team so good on the road, SKC’s troubles at home are confounding.
D.C. destroyed Kansas City on the counter attack with Fabian Espindola leading the way. The 29-year-old’s MVP candidacy is getting stronger by the day.
A disclaimer before we move on, but it’s worth noting: it’s one game. Sporting KC remain the favourites in the East and rightfully so based on their impressive track record. With that said, however, D.C. hasn’t let them run away with the conference. Sleep on the former doormats at your own peril.
Goal of the week
When at their best, there isn’t a better partnership to watch in the league than Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. Dempsey isn’t credited enough for his ability to create in the midfield and Martins compares with the likes of Thierry Henry, Jermain Defoe and Bradley Wright-Phillips in terms of pure finishing.
Earlier this season we saw a potential goal of the year candidate from Martins after an incredible chip against San Jose.
This goal against Portland over the weekend is even better.
I need to sit down. Wow.