Ontario Fury Sign Former USMNT Player Jermaine Jones
Ontario Fury of the MASL has announced the signing of Jermain Jones for the remainder of the 2019 regular season. Ontario is in the midst of a postseason push with the club trailing the Tacoma Stars for second place in the Pacific Division.
The signing was officially announced during a press conference at Ontario’s home venue, Citizens Business Bank Arena, on Tuesday. Per team and league policies, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Following the recent additions of Landon Donovan by San Diego and Lamar Neagle by Tacoma, we’re proud and excited to be continuing the trend of household names joining the MASL and our division,” said Bernie Lilavois, Fury President. “When we can bring in a player like Jermaine, who was starting games in Major League Soccer less than eighteen months ago and is a fierce competitor to this day, that speaks volumes about how far our sport has come. We can’t wait to see this American hero don the Fury crest and create lots of unforgettable memories for our fans.”
Jones could not be heading to the Inland Empire at a more crucial time. Ontario needs a near-perfect record during its final five games of the 2018/19 regular season in order to compete for a playoff berth.
“My motivation for coming here was the whole package,” said Jones. “I love and miss the game and I enjoy the challenge of what is ahead for us in the coming weeks. I’ve been away for a little while and coming back to play indoor soccer seemed like a great opportunity. Talking to Bernie (Lilavois), I really liked what he said and what they’re trying to build for the future. After thinking about it for a bit, I came out to training and from there it was clear that I wanted to do it.”
Born to a German mother and an American serviceman in 1981, Jones lived in Illinois and Mississippi as a young child but subsequently grew up in the German state of Hesse. He joined hometown club Eintracht Frankfurt as a teenager. Jones went on to make over 200 appearances for Frankfurt and fellow Bundesliga clubs Bayer Leverkusen and FC Schalke 04 during his 15-year career. The German American’s most successful stint was with Schalke from 2007 to 2014, taking the field over 140 times and featuring in six different UEFA Champions League campaigns.
“The main goal now is to make the playoffs and for me personally to give back some of the experience that I have,” said Jones. “Indoor is a different game than outdoor, but the focus is still being good on the ball and scoring goals. I’ve been out there doing that for a while, so I cherish every chance I get to help the young players, the coach and the club.”
In addition to his time in Germany, Jones suited up for Blackburn Rovers of the English Premier League in 2011, Turkey’s Besiktas in 2014 and stateside for Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs New England Revolution, Colorado Rapids and Los Angeles Galaxy between 2014 and 2017.
After representing Germany three times at the senior level and completing a one-time switch to the United States in 2009, the midfielder immediately became a regular under head coach Bob Bradley. Jones missed out on the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to injury. He continued to play a central role for the U.S. over the years, tallying 69 caps and reaching the game’s biggest stage in the summer of 2014 under head coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
At the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Jones displayed arguably the most memorable moment of his career in a 2-2 draw with Portugal. His right-footed strike from 25 yards out temporarily tied the score at one apiece.
Jones was also a member of the U.S. squads which took second place in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and fourth place in the 2016 Copa América Centenario.
“Having competed at the highest levels of global soccer, Jermaine adds a wealth of skill, drive and experience that any squad in the MASL would be lucky to have,” said Jimmy Nordberg, Ontario head coach. “Given we’ve lost a lot of very close matches against top-caliber opponents this season, signing such a seasoned veteran of the international game has the potential to make a huge difference for us down the stretch. This signing has us even more determined to keep battling for our city and our region. We’d love nothing more than for our fans to see Jermaine lead the charge for us in the postseason.”
Ontario Fury travels to take on the Tacoma Stars, its direct rivals for the remaining Pacific Division playoff spot, this coming Friday, March 12. Ontario then hosts El Paso Coyotes on Sunday, March 24, in another must-win fixture and the expected home debut of Jones. Ontario will then host U.S. star Landon Donovan of the San Diego Sockers on Thursday, April 4th.
Photo Credit: Ontario Fury