Veteran United States national team midfielder Jermaine Jones announced his retirement from professional soccer on Friday, thanking his teammates, coaches, clubs and fans in an Instagram post.
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After 18 years I say good bye. I have a clear vision, after I had a couple of months to concentrate on what comes next!!! THANKS to all my teammates, coaches and clubs who stuck with me & believed in me through all of the years. And a special thanks to all the fans who supported me all the way. See you all soon ✌🏽🙏🏽!!! Good luck for the game today. #🇺🇸vs🇧🇷
A post shared by Jermaine Junior Jones (@jermainejunior) on Sep 7, 2018 at 8:44am PDT
Jones’ post comes nine days after USMNT legend Clint Dempsey announced his own retirement. While the 36-year-old didn’t enjoy the hallowed stature of Dempsey, he earned a solid reputation as a sturdy, physical midfielder who played every minute of the Americans’ 2014 World Cup campaign, which saw them escape a tough group and lose to Belgium in extra time in the Round of 16.
His most memorable moment for the U.S. came during that tournament against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, when he scored this belter to tie the game in the 64th minute (via ESPN):
Jones played professionally across Germany, England, Turkey and ultimately the United States, where he most notably featured in 20 matches for the Los Angeles Galaxy last season.
He spent seven of his first eight seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, and his most sustained success came with FC Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga, where he plied his trade from 2007-2014 (apart from a pair of loan spells) and became the second U.S. international to score in the Champions League knockout stages in 2013, after DaMarcus Beasley had scored for PSV Eindhoven in the Round of 16 eight years prior.
Jones initially played for Germany earlier in his career, but when it became clear he wouldn’t really crack manager Joachim Loew’s senior side, he was officially cleared by FIFA in October 2009 to play for Bob Bradley and the United States due to his dual citizenship. Born to a former U.S. Army soldier stationed in Frankfurt and a German mother, Jones’ prominence with the USMNT was indicative of a trend later emphasized by Jurgen Klinsmann, who made several German-born Americans regular fixtures in his teams.
In all, Jones made 69 appearances for the United States and scored four goals. While he missed the 2010 World Cup due to injury, he helped the Yanks finish as runners-up at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup and fourth at the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
Jones has been taking coaching certification classes and appears set to pursue a second career as a manager, having been named U-19 coach at youth soccer club Real So Cal this past May.
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