Schalke's Jones eligible to play for USA in September

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Earlier this month at the 59th FIFA Congress, football's governing body announced that the age restrictions regarding players' international status would be lifted. Within days, Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones, who has played in three friendlies for Germany, announced he would offer his services to the United States.

The immediate effect was a massive whoop for joy among US soccer fans--and lots of copy from journalists, including some on all started imagining the spirited 27-year-old holding midfielder lining up for the US in this summer's Gold Cup or in August's World Cup qualifier in Mexico.

But those imaginings were quashed when we here at were informed by the US federation that the age restriction would not be lifted until October 1.

Now, it turns out that's not the real date either. The official date, according to the US Federation, who contacted FIFA, falls 60 days after the FIFA Congress, or September 2. (The confusion apparently came from another rule change, which deals with the protection of minors and comes into effect on October 1.)

So, based on this new information, the first match in which Jones is eligible to play for the United States is the World Cup qualifier on September 5 at home against El Salvador.

Got all that?