Jul 29, 2013, 11:29 AM EDT
The depth of Jurgen Klinsmann’s US national team squad was already pretty incredible.
Now its just got even stronger.
This morning AZ Alkmaar’s promising attacker Aron Jóhannsson has released a statement, in which he declares his intent to represent the USA.
Jóhannsson holds dual-citizenship, and the Icelandic FA were very keen to have him on board.
But it seems as though Jozy Altidore’s former strike-partner at AZ has picked the US.
Jóhannsson’s comments, which were posed on his Facebook page, leave little doubt that the striker born in Mobile, Alabama will now switch his allegiance to the Star and Stripes.
I have decided to make myself eligible for the USA national football team. I was fortunate in that I could choose between playing for Iceland or the USA since I have dual citizenship. It was neither an easy nor hasty decision, because I was faced with two good national teams. I thank the coaches of Iceland for their interest in me and wish the Iceland national team all the best in the future.
Jóhannsson, 22, has played for Iceland’s under-21 side 10 times, scoring once but he is now able to switch to the USA after not competing in a full international for Iceland. After joining AZ last January, Jóhannsson scored three goals in five games and will be looking to lead the line for the Dutch side this season following Altidore’s departure to Sunderland.
So, after Gold Cup success and Klinsmann having all kinds of selection headaches ahead of the World Cup qualifiers and beyond, do the US really need Jóhannsson?
Ask Altidore how good this kid really is… somebody already did? Well, here it is from Jason Davis back in April.
“I think he’s definitely open to playing for the U.S. I don’t think he’s 100% made up his mind. I think he’s leaning more towards Iceland at this point,” Altidore said. “I think the opportunity of going to a World Cup pleases him a lot. We’ll have to see. He’s a really good player, a player I expect to see a lot of good things from.”
And here is Altidore’s reaction to Jóhannsson’s decision this morning.
So only a few months ago Jóhannsson was opting towards Iceland, but now after the USA’s clinical Gold Cup dominance, maybe Jóhannsson believes he must commit his future to the US now if he is going to have any chance of making the World Cup squad next summer.
It’s a big ask. But the Icelandic-American striker born in Alabama certainly has time on his side. Klinsmann will give him a chance to impress, and that will likely be in the USA’s friendly with Bosnia on August 14 in Sarajevo.
Now it’s up to Aron.
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