Where In The World Is Jay Demerit?
Rise and Shine: The Jay Demerit Story, opens in theaters across the country this week.
If you’re looking for Jay, you might catch a glimpse of him at his premiere in Seattle. Tune into any major sporting network on television and you’ll find Jay promoting his movie. You can also find Jay by “Following” him on Twitter or “Liking” his Facebook page.
One place you will not find Jay however, is training with the United States Men’s National Team.
Type in “Jay Demerit” on Google™, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a soccer post related to him since the 2010 World Cup ended. The top search engine hits are reviews, interviews, and summaries of his upcoming movie, but very little in regards to the USMNT.
Which begs the question: Why isn’t Jay Demerit training with the USMNT?
Instead of playing the conspiracy card with outlandish assumptions, The Ledger partnered with a respected soccer mind to try and come up with a logical answer.
The Ledger spoke with Sports Illustrated soccer columnist Steve Davis, to discuss what has vexed many of those standing in Demerit’s corner.
I asked Davis to play the role of USMNT coach Jürgen Klinsmann, and tell me what he see’s, or doesn’t see, in Jay Demerit. Davis simply replied,
“Jay hasn’t done anything positive or negative to keep him off the roster. I’ve covered plenty of Vancouver Whitecap matches this season, and during one or two game stretches I’m thinking, ‘OK, Jay’s getting ready to do his thing’, but the good stretches haven’t been consistent. He’s doing everything he possibly can to produce at the MLS-level, but you and I both know, the the differences in producing on the MLS stage compared to the international stage are night and day.”
Davis immediately stated afterwards that Demerit’s lingering groin injury has definitely hampered his progression.
“Look at Oguchi Onyewu’s knee injury. It’s been two years, and Gooch just recently has returned to his normal form. Jay’s groin injury is a difficult one to fully recover from at his age.”
Demerit will be 34 going on 35 years old when WC ’14 comes around. Not impossible, but difficult nonetheless.
I skirted the issue with Davis regarding Klinsmann’s hiring having a factor in Demerit’s omission.
“It’s tough to say, but I highly doubt it. No international coach, especially with the pedigree of Klinsmann, comes into a new system with grudges.”
Davis was sure to state that Klinsmann is in no position to play games with his players, as expectations among the USSF brass are at an all-time high.
“Qualifiers are right around the corner. Jürgen is trying to find the best young players he can. He has less than a year to mold a crew if he wants to get to Brazil.”
When I posed this question to him: After a good showing in the 2010′s Confederation Cup and World Cup, does Jay deserve another shot at making the team?
Davis emphatically replied,
“Look, no one deserves anything in this game. Regardless of how great you are as a player, no matter how much passion and love you have for the game, no one deserves a championship or a roster spot.”
That’s not a shot at Demerit, rather a cold hard fact of this beautiful game.
We broached the topic of Jay reaching his peak during WC ’10, and concluded that Demerit’s meteoric rise to the world stage was a wonderful story. Demerit definitely didn’t disappoint, as he made the best of a rare opportunity. That unique opportunity however, may have been his best, and only shot.
Lastly, Davis went on the record to say he is “pulling for Jay Demerit”, and that if anyone has the will to make it back, “Jay surely has it in him”.
In speaking with other trusted soccer minds amongst the social network butterflies, responses have been mixed. Sean Lawlor, Chief Editor of Defensive Discussions stated,
“It’s injury related mate. Jay is injured, and Klinsmann is using this opportunity to look at younger players. If by some chance a younger better player comes along, those are the breaks in futbal.”
Sean Dorwaldt, President of Dallas Football Elite added,
“Something had to happen internally that no one is talking about. It’s odd that Jay hasn’t even been invited for a call-up. If anybody can break down those barriers though, Jay Demerit would be the one. He’s been through a lot, and knows what it takes to get back to the top.”
The Ledger’s final take? Simple.
There are “facts of the matter”, and then there are “facts of life”.
Fact of the matter is: Jay Demerit was able to live the dream of a lifetime playing in the World Cup. Every footie on this soccer planet would give up their first-born to get to the level Jay did.
The fact of life is: Although Jay got his opportunity, and despite the circumstances surrounding his injury and the untimely changing of the guard, the opportunity may never come again.
But, if there is one man who can overcome the odds. One man who can look rejection in the face and laugh. If there ever was a human being that can take absolutely nothing and turn it into pure gold, it’s Jay Demerit.
All he’s ever needed in life is one shot. One shot to prove himself. One shot to move in for the kill.
Let one of Klinsmann’s youngsters slip up during qualifiers. Because when Jürgen looks to the sideline for a replacement…Jay Demerit will be standing at the ready.
Ready to prove himself once again.
Follow Jay Demerit on Twitter @D6MERIT
The Lone Star Sports Ledger would like to think Steve Davis for contributing his time and knowledge to this article.
Follow Steve Davis on Twitter @SteveDavis90
Follow me on Twitter @soccer9omics