A legitimate case could be made for the New England Revolution being the favorite in the MLS playoffs. If you believe in the Revolution, chances are good that you have an appreciation for what midfielder Jermaine Jones has brought to the club.
Consider the numbers.
Jones joined the Revolution in late August after the team won the league's blind draw for his services. Since then, the Revolution has gone 9-1-1, including a 4-2 victory at Columbus to kick off the playoffs.
Although Jones, 33, is a newcomer to MLS, lots of soccer fans might be familiar with him from the World Cup this past summer in Brazil. He played the duration in all four of the matches for the U.S., and he scored a memorable goal in a 2-2 tie with Portugal.
Jones was among seven U.S. players on the World Cup team to hold dual-citizenship with another country and have competed for those foreign national team. Five of these players, including Jones came from Germany. The others were from Iceland and Norway.
Jones' dad was a U.S. Army soldier and his mom was from Germany. He made eight appearances for the Germany Under-21 team from 2001-2003. In 2004, he played one game for Germany's national B team. In 2008, he made three appearances in friendlies for the Germany national team.
After a FIFA rule change in 2009 allowed him switch nationalities because he hadn't played in competitive matches for Germany, Jones opted for the U.S. A shin injury kept him out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but he was a serious factor for the team in Brazil.
Jones has the skills and experience, so he would likely have made a notable impact for the Revolution in any situation. But he said being able to play a role similar to the one U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann gave him at the World Cup made his MLS transition that much easier.
"I like that kind of game, where I have a little bit more freedom," Jones told MLSSoccer.com. "National team is the same: Jurgen gives me the same freedom. I love to go box to box and try to sneak sometimes around and see if the ball drops down like the last game. I'm happy that both coaches give me the freedom."
Jones had played professionally in Germany until his transfer to MLS.