Jermaine Jones hails coach Klinsmann
Schalke's US international midfielder Jermaine Jones has found his feet in the American team under the management of Jurgen Klinsmann, he has told Die Welt.
In 2009, Frankfurt-born Jones, 31, opted to play for the US after falling out of favour with Germany coach Joachim Low. The son of a father who was serving with the US military in Europe, Jones had won three caps – but they were all in friendlies, meaning he was able to switch allegiance.
He has since made 31 US appearances and has shone under the coaching of Klinsmann, who led Germany to the 2006 World Cup semi-finals - along with close friend Low, then his assistant boss.
"I was sceptical at the beginning," Jones said. "I knew he [Klinsmann] was still in contact with Joachim Low. I thought that under Low I was left out of the squad - and now his best friend, of all people, is here [coaching the US]. But that is a thing of the past. Both of us are fully focused on the US team now."
Jones said he had had to be patient after not playing in the first few games of Klinsmann's reign, explaining: "That was pretty frustrating, but I fought back and started playing again.
"Now I am one of the leaders in Klinsmann's team. He banks on me, and we have a super relationship. I am delighted I was able to get to know him as a coach."
Under Klinsmann, "a perfectionist", much has changed, he added. "That starts with what the players eat," he said. "America is not really a footballing nation. The view was: 'Let's kick the ball around for a bit and eat whatever we want to.' A burger was not a problem.
"Since Klinsmann's arrival, we have become better in every way and are well-placed in World Cup qualification.”
Jones said the recent 4-3 victory over Germany had worked wonders for Klinsmann and the team, adding: "The articles had all been written - Germany had apparently already won the match before kick-off."