When Aaron Johannsson steps on the field for AZ Alkmar he has one goal in mind, and that is to make World Cup Brazil in 2014 and play for the USA.
Ever since the USA hired Jurgen Klinsmann in 2010, dual citizenship became a priority in his methods of recruiting new talent to the player pool. This meant according to him any one could play for the USA as long as they or their parents were born in the USA, and did not play for another national team before.
With these players that he’s brought in, have come the good and the bad but for the most part it has been good, and has the USA roster stronger.
Going into this year, Iceland felt their chances of making the World Cup might finally come true with a decent draw, and in addition having a player like Johannsson left them believing anything was possible.
However for Iceland there was one problem with Johannsson; he was born in the USA and to him that meant more than anything.Iceland had called him up though several times since the age of 14.
When Johannsson scored 9 goals in 12 appearances in 2012-2013 for AZ Alkmar, two national teams came calling in the USA and Iceland. At that time Iceland thought for sure for Johannsson would choose them but he knew playing for Iceland would mean a World Cup pipe dream, so instead he chose the USA.
When that happened, Iceland sent in a protest that eventually failed because Johannsson never played for Iceland in a World Cup qualifying match or in tournament like the Euros which meant he was able to play for the USA, which was his favored choice.
Johannsson wanted to prove he belonged with the USA squad, so when Klinsmann officially capped him against Bosnia he showed the USA fan base why he can be so lethal for them. In two appearances for the USA, Johansson has made the jobs of Jozy Alitdore and Eddie Johnson much easier.
When Altidore left for Sunderland, Johansson’s dream of going to Brazil became a good possibility as long he continued his hot streak of goals. Well as luck would have it in 8 appearances so far in 2013 Johansson has scored 5 goals, and is one reason AZ Alkmar is having success this season
Those 5 goals give him 12 goals in 17 appearances, and if he keeps it up, it will pose the same question that Bob Bradley had in 2010 when it came to a decision of putting Edson Buddle on the squad or not, having not been in too many qualifying games, but scoring 10 goals right before the Cup.
For Bradley the choice was to keep Buddle because he saw a man who was hot, and as long as Johansson stays hot and keeps scoring I’m sure Klinsmann will choose the same.