Jermaine Jones may have a new position when the United States plays Honduras in a friendly tonight. Normally a midfielder, and an exceptionally productive one for the U.S. at the World Cup, Jones hinted at a position change for the match.
"Me and the coach were talking, and we have some surprise for everybody," Jones told MLS Soccer. "We talked and maybe you will see me in a new position."
Odds are that he would play at centerback. He's been used as a bit of a wide midfielder before, but only really as an outside man in a three-man midfield or as a shuttler in a diamond midfielder. It's tough to imagine him being used an outright winger or as a forward. Fullback is almost certainly off the board too, leaving central defender as his likely landing spot if he plays another position.
Jones would likely partner Matt Besler in central defense, which would make for an interesting combination. Besler's stay-at-home nature would compensate for Jones' inexperience and lack of discipline pretty well.
This is just a friendly so experimenting is fine. Jurgen Klinsmann has made it clear that formations aren't of much concern to him. He likes styles of play, roles and general shapes more so than rigid set-ups or even roles that fit into conventional teams. To that end, Jones as a centerback may work.
It's unlikely that Jones becomes a full-time centerback, but why not give it a shot? It can't hurt to see how he does. It also can't hurt to see how the U.S. does with that kind of player in the back in case it's something Klinsmann wants to continue trying with Jones or another player. Worse case scenario, it doesn't work.