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Playing with the starters for most of Tuesday’s practice, Jones appeared to already have that innate sense of where his teammates are. It’s a quality the best players have, but it usually takes months _ years even _ to develop such seamless timing.

“It’s a different style of soccer we play here than what he’s used to in Germany,” Cherundolo said. “I don’t expect it to all be finished within one camp, or two days of training. It’s going to take a few games, but I think he’ll be a good addition to the program.”

While Jones may be more comfortable speaking German, he speaks English well enough to bond with his new teammates _ so much so he’s already being included in the practical jokes, the surest sign of acceptance in team sports.

As Jones and Cherundolo talked to reporters Tuesday afternoon, captain Carlos Bocanegra sauntered over and stood silently behind them. When Bocanegra finally asked if he could ask a question, Jones laughed and Bocanegra walked off, smiling.

“Right now he’s happy just to be healthy again,” Cherundolo said. “He’s excited to be on the field again, and every training session with the team is good for him in building confidence, building more fitness so he’s able to bring his strengths to the squad.

“He’s physically an asset to any team,” Cherundolo added. “He puts his stamp on the game.”