Jermaine Jones rumors heat up as Fire tie
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media July 30, 2014 11:18PM
Updated: September 1, 2014 8:10AM
Jermaine Jones might not fill the Fire’s biggest need. He’s a midfielder, and that’s one position in which the Fire have depth and options.
But Jones would undoubtedly be a big-ticket acquisition and it looks as if he has a chance to come to the Fire, who played to a scoreless draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday at Toyota Park.
Multiple reports have linked the Fire with the 32-year-old who starred for the U.S. national team in the World Cup.
Fire coach Frank Yallop didn’t verify that a signing was imminent, but did confirm interest in Jones, who plays for the Turkish club Besiktas.
“We have interest in the player for sure. We spoke to the agent, but at this point there’s nothing to add until someone agrees or it gets concluded,” Yallop said. “The truth in the matter is we have interest in the player, but nothing’s been finalized yet.”
Whenever he has been asked, Yallop has said that team chairman Andrew Hauptman would back whatever moves sought by himself and technical director Brian Bliss. Jones’ arrival would confirm that.
It would also be welcomed by the Fire (3-5-12, 21 points), who recovered from last Wednesday’s 5-1 loss in San Jose with a shutout, but also recorded their 12th tie of the season.
“[Jones] would work wonders for this team [with] his offensive thrust,” defender Lovel Palmer said. “But he’s not here. We have to look at the guys in the locker room and keep building on what we have.”
As Palmer said, the Fire don’t have Jones yet. Without him, they shifted captain Jeff Larentowicz from the midfield to the back line to pair with Patrick Ianni, replacing the benched Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Bakary Soumare.
Both were also benched in the 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.
If Jones arrives, Larentowicz’s move could be permanent.
“I want to be on the field. I don’t mind where it is,” Larentowicz said. “He’s a good player. Love to have good players at our club, so if that’s the truth, then great. But I want to be on the field wherever I can help.”
NOTE: Midfielder Sanna Nyassi, acquired Tuesday from the Montreal Impact for Dilly Duka, was not part of the 18-man squad. Razvan Cocis made his competitive debut for the Fire when he replaced Chris Ritter in the 62nd minute.