Revolution-Toronto FC Preview

The Associated Press

(AP) -- - The New England Revolution signed U.S. World Cup star Jermaine Jones as much for what he will mean to the team off the field as on it.

Although the addition of the former Bundesliga midfielder could help propel the Revolution into the playoffs, they're also hoping his star power rubs off on his new teammates.

"When he walked in the door, there was an instant respect," coach Jay Heaps said. "The players are looking for leadership, and that's what he brought."

The Revolution (9-12-3) missed the playoffs last season and this year are tied for sixth place, one point out of the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Despite a post-World Cup vacation, Jones intends to be available Saturday night when New England visits injury-ravaged Toronto FC.

"I would be lying if I said I was 100 percent," Jones said. "I will do everything I can do to help this team. Maybe I don't start from beginning. Who knows, maybe I will start on bench."

It's unlikely that the Revolution brought Jones in as a designated player to watch him sit on the bench for long.

The son of an American serviceman and German mother, Jones played every minute of the four American games at this year's World Cup, scoring a goal in the 2-2 draw against Portugal in the opening round.

After Brazil, he took some time to consider his options.

"We've been looking for a player like this," Heaps said. "The minute you hear that a player of Jermaine's caliber is out there, we jumped at the opp. ... He was exactly the player we wanted."

Jones, who said he had been considering MLS even before the World Cup, made it official with the league and then waited to find out where he was assigned. To sort out competing claims by the Revolution and Chicago Fire, the league held a blind draw Sunday, and New England was chosen.

Now the Revolution hope to receive a boost from the marquee signing as they try to notch back-to-back victories for the first time since a five-game winning streak from April 26-May 24.

New England's Lee Nguyen scored his team-best eighth goal Saturday and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth earned his sixth shutout in a 1-0 home win over West-worst Chivas USA.

Nguyen also had the winner in a 2-1 victory May 3 after the Revolution had gone 0-2-5 in their previous trips to BMO Field.

Toronto (9-8-6), tied for third in the East with 33 points, will try to keep from falling into a tie with the Revs following its 2-all home draw versus Chicago on Saturday.

Gilberto scored in his fourth consecutive match to put the club ahead in the 78th minute before the Fire tied it in the 90th.

Toronto, however, will be short-handed as it looks to bounce back with top scorer Jermain Defoe (abductor strain), Warren Creavalle (hamstring), Steven Caldwell (quadriceps) and Justin Morrow (hamstring) out due to injury.

"I've had a few of those perfect storms fly by Toronto over the last 18 months," coach Ryan Nelsen told the team's official website.

Andy Dorman and Chris Tierney, meanwhile, continue to be sidelined with knee injuries for the Revolution.

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