Remember Joevin Jones?
Jones was our left back during the disastrous 2015 season. He made 28 appearances, scored a goal, but was generally seen by the fans as not good enough to play for the team that finished the season with the worst record in Major League Soccer. The front office ultimately agreed and traded him to the Seattle Sounders for a draft pick.
His time with the Sounders has been pretty successful. While he isn’t a guaranteed starter, he’s been a solid contributor to their defensive corps and was perceived as an integral part of the 2016 Sounders team that won the MLS Cup.
It appears, though, that Jones isn’t quite satisfied. Last month it was announced that he’s leaving the Sounders at the end of this season to join Darmstadt 98, currently playing in the German second division. This is a tricky situation— any time a player is in Lame Duck mode there’s always a risk that problems could arise.
Those concerns appear to have borne out this week. The Seattle Times is reporting that Jones has left the Sounders without permission to link up with Trinidad & Tobago. Seattle had intended to release Jones for international duty next week so he could participate in some crucial CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. But Jones apparently didn’t want to wait— a member of the coaching staff reportedly received a text message within the past day or so from Jones saying he had already left.
T&T are set to play a “warm-up” friendly against Jamaica on Thursday, and Jones is apparently now available for selection for that game.
Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey wouldn’t say whether Jones will face any kind of disciplinary action when (if?) he returns. This is an awkward situation for the Sounders— Jones is leaving in a few months anyway, and it’s not too difficult to imagine a scenario in which the player decides to go on strike for the remainder of the season, forcing the Sounders to either continuing to pay him for doing nothing until the contract expires or release him and let him go to Germany early.
Did the Fire end up dodging a bullet with Jones? You be the judge.