CARSON, CA (December 23, 2016) – The LA Galaxy and Jermaine Jones are in talks to come to terms for the midfielder’s services for the 2017 season. Jones is out of contract, but not eligible for free agency. The Galaxy made a trade early this month with the Colorado Rapids to aquire his negociation rights. The thing is, Jones played in 9 regular season games last season. The Galaxy could be walking into a trap.
LA Galaxy And Jermaine Jones: Galaxy Taking A Big Risk
Jones had a base salary of $600,000 last season, with Colorado buying his contract down with TAM. He just turned 35-years-old. He came out with a bang for Colorado, but after sustaining a knee ligament injury.
He didn’t appear to recover completely from it in his return to the Rapids late in the season and in the playoffs. It’s still unclear where he is health/fitness wise and what the Galaxy could get out of him in 2017. In that, this is an extremely risky venture.
Jones probably still sees himself as a star on the field, in MLS, and with the U.S. Men’s National Team. And he probably wants to get paid like one. That said, the Rapids paid him over $50,000 per appearance last season due to injury.
This could still be a great signing, but it needs to come at the right price. Jones could still miss time for being called up for the USMNT. He might not recover completely or could get hurt again. If the Galaxy can get him for around $200,000 or so, it could probably a good value deal. If they have to pay him TAM level money or God forbid, use a DP slot on him, this is going in the exact opposite direction the club has indicated.
The hiring of Curt Onalfo and Peter Vagenas signal that the club is trending younger. It seems almost contradictory after letting Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane walk that they would go after an old European who wants a big salary.
Still, Jones could work out on the field. He’s been primarily a central midfielder for the national team. He and Sebastian Lletget could start a nice partnership. Think Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas, but with more bite. Jones also could get in the way of the attack. He played a lot like a No. 9/No. 10 at times for the Rapids. Just like how Keane and Giovani dos Santos got in each other’s way at times, Jones could interfere with Dos Santos (the player the Galaxy are looking to build their attack around).
If they can get Jones at a discounted price, great. He’ll provide a locker room presence and veteran leadership, something that helped Colorado’s kids a lot in 2016. If he can find a place on the field that doesn’t clash with Dos Santos, he can be extremely effective.
If not, he’ll be a big waste of money that could completely stall Dos Santos for a third straight MLS season. All in all, this still looks like a very risky move for the LA Galaxy.