Rovers intent on getting Jones to return.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Monday, May 30, 2011) -- Blackburn Rovers will try their best to keep defensive midfielder Jermaine Jones, a German-American who has pledged his allegiance to the United States men.
Rovers obtained Jones, 29, on loan from FC Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga in January and he started all 15 subsequent Rovers English Premier League matches, helping Blackburn to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
"If we can keep him at the club that will be fantastic," Rovers manager Steve Kean told the English media. "Jermaine is happy, his kids are in school. Hopefully he can see what we have done and we can get him on the books. We will sit down with Schalke in the next couple of weeks as he has been outstanding for us."
Under new ownership by Venky's Group, Blackburn is expected to be active in rebuilding a club that did not avoid demotion until the season's final weekend. Young, talented players, such as 20-year-old Canadian striker Junior Hoilett and 19-year-old defender Phil Jones bode well for Rovers' future.
Yesterday, Kean expressed some concern over being able to retain Jones. He would have preferred to have locked up players acquired by loan for possible extensions at the time the loans were agreed to, which was not the case with Jones and two others.
"We have to respect the parent clubs," Kean told the Lancashire Telegraph. "When we got the lads in on loan, we tried to fix prices up straight away and we were not able to do that. Now the loan periods are up, we will be in contact with those clubs and we will see the availability of the players. If they are available and we have got the funds to pursue it, then that is something we can take a view on. After that, if they are available and we want them, and they want to come, then we will see if we can get something done. If not, we will move on to other targets.
"Obviously (Senegalese forward) Mame (Diouf) goes back to Manchester United, (Paraguayan striker) Roque (Santa Cruz) goes back to (Manchester) City and Jermaine goes back to Schalke, so if we can get the three of them in, then that is fantastic. If not, then that is three positions we will definitely fill.
"You have to respect the parent clubs because they didn't want to make it permanent and that was obviously for a reason. Maybe they want to sell the player, maybe they want to bring him back into their own squad. They were very strong in saying it was only a loan to start with."
Jones' father was an American soldier, who was stationed in Germany, and he spent part of his youth in Frankfurt-Bonames. As a child, Jones also lived in Chicago and Greenwood, Miss. before his parents divorced and he returned to Germany with his mother.
Jones was recently named to the U.S. roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup, his first major competition with the Americans after appearing in four friendlies since his debut October 9 in a 2-2 draw with Poland at Soldier Field in Chicago. He assisted the first U.S. goal in that outing.
Jones was slated to be a member of the 2010 U.S. World Cup team, but he was injured, losing most of his 2009-10 campaign to a hairline fracture of his left tibia.
Bocanegra goes distance in St. Etienne draw
France was the last major European league to conclude play with a full Ligue 1 slate this weekend. U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra went 90 minutes for St. Etienne in a season ending 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.
St. Etienne (12-13-13, 49 points) finished the season in 10th place in the tightly bunched standings where only nine points separated seventh from 17th place. Three teams ended up with 49 points and two with 48.
In the second-tier Ligue 2, American goalkeeper Quentin Westberg made a rare appearance for Evian Thonon Gaillard in a 4-3 victory Friday over FC Metz.
Denmark laso ended its season Sunday. American defender Michael Parkhurst went the distance for FC Nordsjaelland Sunday in a 0-0 draw with FC Midtjylland.
American defender Clarence Goodson played 90 minutes for Brondby IF in its 2-0 triumph Sunday over Sonderjyske.
American Marcus Tracy and striker Chris Rolfe did not appear for Aalborg BK in a 2-0 loss Sunday to FC Copenhagen. Rolfe dressed, but did not play, while Tracy is out withy a knee injury.
Sweden and Norway play a season from April through October, similar to Major League Soccer, because of their harsh winters.
In Sweden, American Gale Agbossoumonde went the distance for Djurgardens IF, which was ousted from the Svenska Cupen via a 1-0 loss Sunday to IFK Goteborg in the fourth round.
American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya had a much better day, going 90 minutes and receiving a yellow card for Írebro SK in a 1-0 win over GAIS in the Svenska Cupen. He then received word he was being called into the U.S. Gold Cup squad as an injury replacement.
American defender\midfielder Ryan Miller also went 90 minutes for Halmstads BK, which was eliminated from the Svenska Cupen 3-0 by Malmo FF.
In Norway, American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud went the distance for Stabaek IF in its 4-2 victory Sunday over IF Start.
American forward Josh Gatt played the second half for Molde FK, which suffered a 5-0 loss Sunday to Haugesund.
American defender Sean Cunningham did not dress for Molde.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
Do you have a comment on this story or something to say about soccer in general? Send us a letter.
©Copyright 2011 SoccerTimes.com. All Rights Reserved.