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Scouting Report: Joevin Jones

Chicago Fire blog Hot Time In Old Town predicts that their former left back will be in the MLS Best XI as a Sounder.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Let's use the power of the SB Nation network to check in with Hot Time In Old Town to see what they think about losing their former left back to the Seattle Sounders. Sean is their former manager and still a writer there. The following is his scouting report on the Trinidad & Tobago national;

When Joevin Jones was signed by the Chicago Fire, the general reaction was puzzlement. The guy who'd flamed out on two trials with Toronto, of all places? He's the answer at left back? Of course, as the results bore out, there was plenty of reason to be skeptical of the personnel decisions of the then-Fire braintrust of Frank Yallop and his band of merry somnambulists - but the rancor over Jones' signing was short-lived, as he exceeded expectations from the first week of training camp. Now we're left scratching our heads again, this time because he's being shipped out.

Jones is a guy who can play anywhere on the left side of the pitch; most of his reps for the Fire were at left back, but he did feature as an out-and-out winger a few times, and plays that position routinely for Trinidad & Tobago. His primary attributes are fantastic pace, which he leverages by combining well at high velocity through the midfield. His first touch is uneven, and he much prefers dribbling toward the area to crossing. He has the positioning issues typical of a guy who's shifted to defense later in his career, but can often simply outrun those mistakes. He was an uncomfortable fit for the Men in Red in 2015, simply because attacking wingbacks usually struggle when asked to sit back and soak up pressure; the Fire were under siege most of the second half of the season, and Jones had difficulty making an impression under those circumstances.

All that said, Jones did come back from the Gold Cup in a bit of funk, and never really recovered. Rookie Patrick Doody took advantage of that to win the starting left-back job that had been Jones' from preseason. Was Jones making noises about his contract (which is admittedly a steal)? Was he just tired from international play? Did Yallop decide that playing a swashbucking wingback on a bunker-and-counter side was madness, and prefer Doody's safety-first inclinations? Here's the maddening thing about supporting the Fire: We know that we'll never know.

My best guess? Garth Lagerway just fleeced the Fire something fierce, and Jones will become the Leo Gonzalez replacement Seattle's needed for a couple years. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jones on MLS Best XI lists sometime over the next three years.

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