Jones could join US later this year


NEW YORK (AP) - Former Germany midfielder Jermaine Jones could switch to the United States later this year.

The 27-year-old Jones, who has appeared in the European Champions League for Schalke, has played three times for Germany in friendlies. He holds dual citizenship and has petitioned FIFA for a switch of nationality.

"We've had pretty regular communications with Jermaine's representatives and his advisers," U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said on Thursday.

"I think that paperwork for that has probably now been submitted to FIFA. And the earliest he would be eligible to move would be the 2nd of August, which would be 60 days after the rule change came into effect."

Jones, the son of a U.S. soldier, was Eintracht Frankfurt's captain before signing a four-year contract with Schalke in April 2007.

He made his Germany debut against Austria on Feb. 6 last year as a reserve, played the second half against Belarus on May 27 and was among the final roster cuts by coach Joachim Loew for last year's European Championship. He played the first half against England in November but has not appeared for Germany since.

Jones agreed in March to a three-year contract extension with Schalke through the 2013-14 season. Last month he told the governing body of German football he wanted to switch national teams.

"I certainly have had a lot of opportunities to see him play," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. "I would just like to wait until everything is taken care of on the paperwork side and we have the chance to bring him in before getting too much into detail. But, you know, he's been an important player at Schalke.

He's played in a lot of big games and that type of experience can always be very, very helpful."-AP

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