MIAMI - Schalke 04 and former Germany under-21 midfielder Jermaine Jones could be eligible to play for the United States as early as August, U.S Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said on Thursday. The 27-year-old has made three appearances for Germany in friendly matches as well featuring at youth level but a new FIFA ruling allows players to change national teams so long as they have not played in competitive games for the full national side. "We've had pretty regular communication with Jermaine Jones' representatives and advisors. He has said privately and publicly that he wished to file for eligibility switch and that has now happened," Gulati said in a teleconference ahead of the July 3-26 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. Gulati said he understood that if the paperwork went through as expected Jones would be eligible for the U.S from August 2. The U.S, runners-up in the Confederations Cup, face Mexico in a World Cup qualifier on Aug. 12 in Mexico City - potentially the first game that Jones, whose father is American and mother German, could feature in. U.S coach Bob Bradley said he wanted to wait for the eligibility switch to go through before commenting on Jones' possible role in the team. "You wait for things to become final, in terms of paperwork and so on -- then you go into the process, taking into account all the things you do with any other player," he said. "I've had a lot of opportunities to see him play, would like to get everything sorted on the paperwork. He is an important player at Schalke, he's played a lot of big games and that kind of experience can always be helpful."
3 July 2009
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