By Chris AndersonThe soccer star whose name will forever be linked to the 2006 World Cup and now, with the New York Cosmos, has his sights set on a second World Cup.
Jermaine Jones, who became the first American to score three goals in a match on March 6, 2017, is making history again, this time with the Cosmos.
Jones scored his third goal of the match, a brace on March 21, against the New England Revolution, after his team’s goal in the 84th minute, after New England scored the equalizer.
Jones has scored six goals in his past seven games.
The goal also came as the Cosmos rallied from a 0-0 tie against the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Cosmos, winners of nine of their past 10, now sit at a 3-0 lead over the Columbus Crew, who are tied with the Philadelphia Union for the second wildcard spot in the league.
The first two games of the series, the Cosmos beat the Rowdies and then drew with the Union.
The third and fourth games are being played on Saturday at 1 p.m.
EDT (1800 GMT) in Columbus.
Jones is playing for the Cosmos’ USL PRO team, the Wilmington Hammerheads.
“Jermain Jones is a big-time goal scorer, he has great vision and he is a real leader,” Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said.
“I am very proud to have him on our team and to have our boys on the field.”
Jones, who had been on the books of New York for the past five years, signed a three-year deal with the club on March 1, 2016, but was not allowed to return to the team until the club traded him to the New Jersey Red Bulls on Feb. 27, 2019.
He joined the Cosmos for the 2019 season.
Jones has scored in back-to-back games for the first time since May 27, 2016.
He scored his first goal of a match against the Philadelphia United FC in the Cosmos first match of the season, a 1-0 win in front of a crowd of 13,086 at the New Era Field in Harrison, New Jersey.
In the first half, Jones had seven shots on goal, including three goals.
He had two shots on target in the first 45 minutes.
The third goal in that game gave the Cosmos a 1,000-yard game-winning goal in stoppage time, and Jones also scored the first goal in a 2-0 victory in the club’s first home playoff win of the year, against Orlando City SC in the Fourth Round of the 2018 USL PRO Playoffs.
Jones’ brace in the 2-1 win over the Red Bulls was his first in a playoff match since he scored a brace against the Montreal Impact in the Fifth Round of last season’s playoffs.
Jones scored the third goal as New York won 3-1 in extra time.
Jones joined the New Republic of Ireland national team for the 2018 World Cup, which ended in Brazil.
He is one of the few Irish players on the U.S. national team roster.
He started the U-20 World Cup in October and was named to the U21 squad for the 2020 Olympics.
Jones is the second player from New York City FC to score a goal in each of his first three MLS games.
Michael Bradley scored his 100th goal in June against Columbus Crew SC.
Jones, 31, played in the United States Men’s National Team for the third straight World Cup qualifying season.
He earned a contract extension in January after the team finished fourth in the CONCACAF qualifying standings.
Jones said his future is bright, but he has a long road ahead of him.
“I have to be a better teammate, I have to have more confidence, I know I have a long way to go,” he said.