After Tim Howard’s comments questioning the passion of some dual-national USMNT players stirred up controversy, his national team teammate, Jermaine Jones, responded to the insinuation.
Howard, who on Wednesday said “having American roots doesn’t mean you are passionate about playing for that country,” clarified those comments shortly after. He even named Jones in his quasi-retraction, calling the midfielder one of the team’s “heartbeats” and “a rock” in an interview with ESPN FC.
Even so, Jones felt compelled to address the comments. “With all the respect for Timmy, I feel it’s not if you’re half American or full-American. It’s more what you have in here [taps his chest],” Jones said in a separate ESPN FC interview.
The 35-year-old Jones, who officially signed with the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, said calling the passion of dual-nationals into question is a treacherous topic.
“It’s dangerous stuff where you have to be careful what you’re saying,” he said. Jones also said the habit of blaming losses on dual-nationals or separating their contributions to the team is nonsense.
“Now, where everything goes wrong and we lost the first two games, we say maybe the German-Americans are the problem,” he said. “But when we played the World Cup, I scored. [John] Brooks scored, and it’s ‘oh, the German-Americans are American boys.'”
To Jones, the larger issue lies in drawing a distinction between the dual-nationality status of players, period.
“But you have to see the bigger picture, and that’s the whole team. There’s not an American guy and a German-American. The whole team played bad, so that’s the fact. To put it on this guy or this guy, I think it’s not correct from nobody.”