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For years, Jermaine Jones' performances with the USMNT ranged from nondescript to downright bad. Yet, through it all, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann stuck with the German-American midfielder.
Occasionally—like against Mexico last fall—U.S. fans would get to see a glimpse of Jones' potential, only to have it overshadowed by a series of lackluster efforts.
However, in the three group matches in the World Cup, Jones has been one of the team's best players. His effort has been fantastic, and Klinsmann has finally found a system that can take advantage of his rampaging runs forward without exposing the U.S. defense.
Jones' goal against Portugal was outstanding, and he suffered through a broken nose in Thursday's match against Germany.
He's simply been one of the U.S.'s most important players in the tournament.