The long, drawn-out and mutual courtship between Jermaine Jones and Major League Soccer has finally come to a conclusion. The U.S. national team star has finalized a contract with the league that will send him to the New England Revolution, following a blind draw with the Chicago Fire.
The Fire also had been in the running for Jones' services, but the Revs won the lottery for his services.
The Revolution stated in a release: "As a designated player of a certain threshold, Jones was not subject to allocation ranking for dispersal to an MLS team. The Revolution and Chicago Fire expressed an interest in Jones, and had the available salary budget and a designated player slot to accommodate him. Following a blind draw between the two clubs, Jones was assigned to the Revolution."
Sources tell Goal USA that New England will pay Jones a $4.5 million combined salary for the remainder of 2014 and 2015, with an option for 2016.MORE: Balotelli in photos | Done deals | Hottest WAGs
The deal to bring Jones to MLS nearly fell apart earlier this week when, according to Goal USA sources, MLS was unwilling to commit to letting Jones know which team he would be assigned to before signing a contract. The league eventually came up with a salary figure that Jones was willing to accept to play for either Chicago or New England.
Jones, 33, joins a Revs team in desperate need of a strong presence in central midfield, which is exactly what the U.S. World Cup star could give New England. Jones was one of the U.S. team's best players in Brazil, showing his technical quality, tenacity and leadership during the U.S. team's run to the World Cup round of 16.
The signing of Jones signals a major shift in philosophy for the Revolution, long regarded as one of the cheapest teams in MLS. The Jones deal is easily the most expensive entered into by a Revs team that had never previously had a million-dollar player on the books.
The Revs are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, one point behind the New York Red Bulls for the final playoff spot in the East.