Every few years we hear about the next big thing in U.S. Soccer. More often than not, things haven’t worked out, because well, not every wunderkind turns into a superstar.
Well the next big thing up front for the United States Men’s National Team is Aron Johannsson, and he appears–so far at least–to be the real deal. The young forward has an interesting backstory, as he was born in Alabama but moved to Iceland when he was very young. He then came back to the United States to go to high school at the IMG Academy in Florida.
He actually initially suited up for Iceland’s U-21 squad, but later made the switch to the U.S. senior team. Now he’s made the 23-man roster that will be heading to Brazil later this summer.
As for his club career, Johannsson has been more than impressive. Last season he played for AZ Alkmaar (the same club Jozy Altidore used to play for) in the Netherlands, scoring 26 goals for them. For his impressive scoring record, Johannsson has been rewarded with a new contract.
According to the clubs website Johansson’s prolific form earned him a new deal at AZ until 2018. The Alabama born forward only arrived at AZ last January from Danish side Aarhus but has made an instant impact for the Cheese Farmers.
This is good news for both Johannsson and the USMNT, as Johannsson now has a permanent place to play, and play regularly. It should be interesting to see what kind of impact he has at the World Cup as he’s shown he’s more than capable of scoring goals for both his club side and the national team.