Oct 11, 2013, 6:16 PM EST
KANSAS CITY — Two months ago, Aron Johannsson was just some obscure name, a kid who might one day be on the U.S. Soccer fan radar.
Today, he’s a starter in a World Cup qualifier. U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann named the Icelandic-American (born in Alabama, raised in Iceland from a young age) as one of his starters from Friday’s match against Jamaica in Kansas City.
As we keep saying, the match may be meaningless in terms of what it does for the United States in the qualifying picture; Klinsmann’s team booked its spot for Brazil with a win last month over Mexico. But what it means individually as Klinsmann’s core pool of players – probably just north of 30 or so with a realistic chance of getting on next year’s 23-man roster – cannot be underestimated.
For a soccer player, getting to a World Cup is everything.
Johannsson, a striker who plays at Alkmaar in the Netherlands (Jozy Altidore’s old team) is just 22. So he’ll have another chance or two, assuming the United States keeps extending its run of successful qualifying campaigns. The team has gone to every World Cup since last failing to make it in 1986.
Still, Johannsson is like everyone else – he wants to be in Brazil. As we talked about in the previous post on player opportunities, the roster of strikers is fairly stacked and packed.
Johannsson has apparently lapped Terrence Boyd, based on the start tonight. The odds remain slightly stacked against him, but this is a good start.
The United States starting 11 against Jamaica:
- Should Roberto Martinez be starting Gerard Deulofeu? 1
- Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o set for move to Major League Soccer 3
- UEFA Champions League Preview: Manchester United, Bayern Munich look to finish group stage on top 0
- Some very interesting names now available through Major League Soccer’s re-entry process 1
- 2014 World Cup Draw: Recapping the event (43)
- 2014 World Cup Draw: USA in Group of Death with Germany, Portugal, Ghana – Schedule, times, venues (34)
- What US Soccer wants from the World Cup draw (23)
- Now that we know the U.S. opponents, which 23 players should Jurgen Klinsmann bring to Brazil? (20)
- 2014 FIFA World Cup Draw: The sum of all fears scenario for the United States (17)
- Arena de Amazonia: Host of USA vs CR7
- USA Will Advance in Brazil
- Group B: No Walk In The Park
- Analyzing The Draw From An Azzurri Viewpoint
- Q&A With Alvaro Saborio
- Ronaldo: "I Didn't See the Draw, I Was Asleep"
- Messi: "There Are no Easy Opponents"
- England Are up in The Amazon Without a Paddle
- Mexico's World Cup Kit
- Fernanda Lima Raises the Bar For World Cup 2014