Reports: Ghana to lose another young talent to USA

Ghana will lose yet another young talent to the United States of America as reports suggest that FIFA has cleared Philadelphia Union’s Derrick Jones to play for USA at the U-20 World Cup due to be held in South Korea from May 20 to June 11, 2017.

Jones, a 20-year-old midfielder, was born in Ghana but moved to the US at age 14 and has dual US-Ghanaian citizenship. (He had represented Ghana at the Under-15 level.)

This means that Jones will be eligible to play for the US in not just the Under-20 World Cup, but also the 2020 Olympics.

The Philadelphia Union midfielder is 6-foot-3 with good feet and has started five games this season for the Union in the ongoing Major League Soccer (MLS).

Derrick Jones was also named in the MLS reserve team of the Week for the first week of the 2017 season after putting up an impressive debut performance for the Union against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Union coach Jim Curtin made a brave decision when he handed a MLS debut to Jones who is Philadelphia's Homegrown product, and the midfielder put in a calm and composed performance throughout the game.

The Ghanaian-born is the first Homegrown player to come through the ranks of the Union academy to USL side Bethlehem Steel and now the MLS team. Curtin was impressed by what he saw from the midfielder in his first minutes in the MLS.

“I thought he was the best player on the field, for both teams. I’m very happy with Derrick. I thought he was excellent. He broke up a ton of plays defensively. Of course, as a coach who’s been around Derrick for a long time, I was nervous for him on his debut.

“The first player in our club’s history to go through academy, to Bethlehem Steel, to the first team – from that standpoint, a proud moment for our club. I give him a ton of credit; he’s worked hard in the preseason. He’s earned this opportunity and he didn’t just blend in there tonight, he left a real mark on the game and I’m really happy for him.”
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