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This might not be the conversation you’d expect to hear among sports photographers covering the practice of a team a few days away from a national championship game:

“Where’s the German guy?” one photog asked.

“What’s his name again?” another asked.

Other photographers volunteered: “Jones.” “Jermaine.” “Jermaine.”

“See, I’ve heard of him."

"He’s the guy with the gray hoodie and the dreads.”

“Jumping around now.”

“That’s him? With the orange shoes? That’s him?”

“That guy is not Jones.”

The guy they’re looking for — 32-year-old German-American Jermaine Jones — was on the U.S. team that played at the World Cup in Brazil this summer. Afterward, Jones joined Major League Soccer in the U.S. and a fortunate draft pick gave the New England Revolution the chance to the sign him through the 2015 season.

The midfielder’s impact was immediate. The Revolution recovered from an eight-game losing streak and went on a tear.

"I know that the focus was on me, and I told everybody that I can make the difference," Jones said. "And I showed a lot of people now this young team, not only with me, can make something happen.”

Team owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft reportedly agreed to pay Jones $3.3 million. Revolution head coach Jay Heaps — who was a player for the club during its four previous MLS Cup appearances, in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007, says the Krafts’ support for this team has been “amazing and unparalleled.”

“I think Mr. Kraft and Jonathan have been unbelievable," he said. "There’s not really a request that we don’t get, but at the same time, they’ve been really strategic, and a part of what we’re doing.”

To many, that support was a surprising break from the past.

"I think the best adjective to describe Revolution supporters would be long-suffering," said Adam Sell, a member of the Revolution fan group the Midnight Riders. Sell says after their last Cup appearance in 2007, fans endured years when the club just had no spark.

Boston Magazine placed the blame for that on the owners. In April, it ran a story with the headline: “The Krafts Are the Worst Owners in the League.” The gist of it was that the Krafts were focused more on their NFL team, the New England Patriots, and were reluctant to spend money on high-quality players for the Revolution. Consequently, the team wasn't on track to get a stadium of their own in a better location. Right now, they play, with the Patriots, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, 40 minutes outside Boston.

So when the Boston Magazine story came out, another long-time fan, Bryan Lincks, says he agreed 100 percent.

"There’s some negativity amongst the fan base with the Krafts pre-Jermaine Jones," Lincks said. "But that’s not the case anymore. Getting Jermaine Jones — complete game-changer. The most important thing that’s ever happened to this team.”

The Revolution's remarkable turnaround has gotten buzz nationwide — and not just because of Jones. Lee Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American Revolution player who rose to rock stardom status as part of a Vietnamese team, was profiled in the New York Times recently as “one of the league’s most dangerous attackers.” This week MLS named him one of the best players this season.

Nguyen says the attention is a testament to how well the Revolution plays as a team.

"Because if you do well as a team, people recognize individuals," he said. "That just shows how well this team has done and how much more notoriety we have in this league as well."

For the Revolution’s longest-tenured player, Greater-Boston native Chris Tierney, Sunday will be the culmination of years of hard work.

"This is the club that I grew up supporting, it’s the club I’ve always wanted to play for," Tierney said. “To bring a trophy back here, where soccer is really a hotbed, and doesn’t really get the credit that this fan base deserves all the time — to be a part of the squad that does that would be amazing.”

And fans say a win could help seal a deal Revolution supporters have been hoping for for years — a new stadium in the Greater Boston area. That's something the Kraft family says it's working on.