With all the criticism for Jermaine Jones that happens to be going around after the Russia game ( despite him actually having played well, in my opinion), I think a lot of people are actually losing sight of the difficulty of the role he was asked to play. Landon Donovan himself was asked to play a pretty similar role against Costa Rica. Donovan wasn't bad in that game, but he wasn't nearly as influential or dangerous as is to be expected from him. Indeed, he struggled probably as badly as Jones did for large portions of the match. Hell, Landon even missed a sitter that made Jones' second half miss against Russia look absolutely forgiveable. Both were tasked with being the furthest central midfielder forward in a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 where Altidore was the target striker and we had two fairly traditional wingers. What's even more interesting is that the player next to them proceeded to have superb games. Jose Torres, by most accounts, did very well in that game, dictating tempo and redistributing well. Michael Bradley as well took the reigns against Russia, although he was much more of an attacking threat than Torres turned out to be. In summary, the role Jones was/is tasked with is pretty difficult. Even if I would like to see other players tried in that role, should we persist with the 4-1-4-1/4-3-3, I think we may need to change more than just the central midfield.