22 year old Icelandic/American striker Aron Johannsson used his Facebook page today to declare his intent play his international soccer for the United States. The AZ Alkmaar goal scorer previously suited up for Iceland at the U21 level and further deepens a U.S. team, which may never have been deeper.
Born in Mobile, Alabama Johannsson grew up in Iceland although he spent the 2007-08 school year at the U.S. Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Johannsson had a breakthrough season in 2012-13, scoring 14 goals in 18 games for Danish Superliga club Aarhus, good enough to earn a January transfer to Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.
After his January move to the Netherlands Johannsson scored three goals in five games, while backing up U.S. number one striker Jozy Altidore. With Altidore’s recent move to Sunderland in the English Premier League, Johannsson looks set to take over Altidore’s role in the AZ lineup.
Johannsson said in his post, “I was fortunate that I was could choose between playing for Iceland or the USA since I have dual citizenship.” Johannsson added that, “it was neither an easy nor hasty decision because I was faced with two good national teams.”
Johannsson’s former AZ teammate Altidore said via twitter, that Johannsson is, “such a quality player and fans will love him.”
And don’t look now, but that deep player pool could be getting even deeper, with word that towering center back John Anthony Brooks has received a call up for the U.S. friendly August 14, versus Bosnia-Herzegovina. Johannsson also could be called in for the Bosnia-Herzegovina game.
Brooks has been on the U.S. radar for some time and U.S. fans were upset when the Hertha Berlin man couldn’t commit to the U.S. for the U20 World Cup this summer. The August 14 match is just a friendly and would not tie the German-American Brooks to the U.S., but as his first senior appearance for the Americans it could certainly be interpreted as a sign that Brooks is leaning toward following in Johannsson’s footsteps, adding further to that already impressive USMNT depth.