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Jun 11, 2014

Jones won't celebrate vs. Germany

United States defensive midfielder Jermaine Jones discusses playing for the U.S. and the challenge Germany pose in group play.

SAO PAULO -- If U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones manages to pick a rare goal for the U.S. against his native Germany in the Americans Group G finale on June 26, don't expect an exuberant reaction.

"If I score against Germany, I will maybe not celebrate," said Frankfurt-born Jones, the son of an American serviceman, on Wednesday after the team practiced at Sao Paulo FC's training facility.

"I think it's respect there," said Jones, one of five German-Americans on the 23-man U.S. World Cup squad. "I grew up in this country -- they gave me a lot. I had my first caps for the national team for Germany. I'm happy [Germany coach] Jogi Loew gave me this chance, so I will not celebrate if I score."

Jones, 32, was a member of Germany's under-20 squad at the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, now known at the U-20 World Cup, and in 2008 played in two friendly matches for the vaunted senior squad but never became a regular with Die Mannschaft.

In 2009, FIFA changed its rules to allow players with more than one nationality to switch national allegiances, provided they hadn't played in a competitive game at senior level. Jones took advantage of the new rule and committed his future to the U.S.

A shin injury kept him from playing for the U.S. at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. But Jones is considered a key player on this American squad coached by former German star Jurgen Klinsmann, which begins group play against Ghana in Natal on Monday.

But even if Jones, who has two goals in 42 games with the U.S. since his debut in late 2010, won't react strongly to scoring himself, that doesn't mean he doesn't want to beat Germany -- one of the pre-tournament favorites -- in a match that could determine whether the Americans survive the first round.

"If somebody else scores," he said, "then I can celebrate."

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