The LA Galaxy signed Jermaine Jones in the offseason to plug the midfield hole vacated by the departures of Nigel de Jong, Steven Gerrard, Jeff Larentowicz, Mike Magee and Landon Donovan. The former Colorado Rapids half-back was the ideal veteran presence to clog the center of the pitch.
Although he was nowhere near his European and US international form, Jones boasts plenty of experience for the younger Galaxy players. Unfortunately, the 35-year-old suffered an MCL injury against the Chicago Fire that kept him out for two and half months.
A rash of injuries has plagued the Galaxy during the 2017 MLS season, but the tough-tackling midfielder is near full strength and recovered according to Adam Serrano of LA Galaxy after his 30-minute cameo against Manchester United:
“It’s good to be back after 10 weeks, but it’s still not 100 percent. Sometimes I still feel it. The doctors and everyone say that the time is now to go and get over that pain,” Jones told reporters. “The ligaments have to get used to kicking balls and that kind of stuff. It was a good training game for the players that were injured.”
Los Angeles was dismantled by the Premier League giants 5-2 in the friendly match at StubHub Center. It was a positive for the club to get some much-needed minutes for Jones and Daniel Steres as they work themselves back to full fitness. Jones may also be featured in the Galaxy’s next match as his health continues to improve:
“I don’t know. It’s the coaches’ decision. I’m not 100 percent right now,” Jones said. “I want to go step by step right now. I don’t want to go too early and have to go backward again. It’s important that the team wins and we get three points.”
The Galaxy will host the Vancouver Whitecaps and perhaps head coach Curt Onalfo will give the start to Jones as the club tries to get back on track. Los Angeles has lost five of the last six games in all competitions.
The Galaxy will need all their healthy bodies to rise out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference. Jones, Steres, and Pele van Anholt should be available for the five-time MLS Cup champions.