FOXBOROUGH — Somehow it all makes sense, in an MLS kind of way. Jermaine Jones has a home in Los Angeles, briefly resided in Chicago as a youngster, and was publicly recruited by the Fire, but he has ended up a member of the Revolution.
And New England is all right with Jones. At least that was his message during interviews Tuesday, following his first practice with the Revolution.
"A lot of people [said] I was saying I wanted to play in Chicago," Jones said. "I said that was not true, I already said that on my Twitter."
Jones, 32, was assigned to the Revolution over Chicago — the two teams that claimed his MLS rights — in a "blind draw" Sunday. Jones, who grew up in Frankfurt, Germany, and made his Bundesliga debut in 2001, had been awaiting the decision at the home he purchased four years ago from Hollywood actress Tori Spelling.
"Who knows me knows that I am a family guy and try to be close to my family," said Jones, who, according to a league source, will make $4.3 million for 18 months. "My family made the decision with me. My wife made a big point — to go to New England if they want you so bad. It's good for a player, and she knows me. And this was my decision.
"I don't try to make my head crazy, like I have a house in LA and I want to play in LA. I take it like I have Chicago and New England, these are the two teams that are interested and this was my focus."
Though the Revolution seem to have backed into the deal with Jones, team officials noted that they had recruited him behind the scenes.
"The process probably started a month or so ago," Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. "While we weren't so public with our interest, both MLS and his representatives were well aware of our interest in Jermaine and we kind of kept it quiet until nearly the end."
Jones, who has played for 14 years in the Bundesliga, plus Premier League and Turkey's Super Lig, meets the Kraft family's requirements for a designated player.
"We've always said we would sign a DP but it would have to be somebody who would move the needle both on and off the field," said franchise owner Jonathan Kraft. "We think the best player for the United States in the World Cup and somebody who's played in the Bundesliga at the highest level in the world achieves that.
"So, to us, it fits with what we've talked about. And, on top of that, being a good guy. He's a solid, solid guy."
Jones participated in a one-hour training session in 80-degree heat, scoring a goal in a half-field scrimmage, and could be available to play when the Revolution visit Toronto Saturday. Jones has not played since the US team lost to Belgium, 2-1, in extra time July 1 in the second round of the World Cup in Salvador, Brazil.
"When he walked in the door today, there's an instant respect," said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. "And I think our players who started the last game averaged 23 years of age, and I think they are looking for someone to lead and that's exactly what happened when he walked in the room."
But Jones is not one to lead only by example.
"Who knows me knows I'm not a guy who likes to lose,'' Jones said. "So, maybe I have to kick someone in his [rear] — only in a good way. Who knows me knows I like to win and I will try everything so maybe we get some wins."
Jones's debut at Gillette Stadium was on a grass field installed for a US-Spain match in 2011. When he discovered that the Revolution play on artificial turf, he called forward Charlie Davies for assurance.
"You know, some people talked about how it's turf, and it got a little bit scary," Jones said. "I called [Davies] and he said it's normal, and I trust him. I prefer to play on grass. OK, it's fake grass but it's no problem."