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WATCH: Aron Johannsson scores sublime strike for AZ Alkmaar, as U.S. international stays red-hot

Mar 8, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT

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If U.S. national team fans are worried about where goals are going to come from at the World Cup this summer, don’t fret… this kid Aron Johannsson is red-hot.

On Saturday USMNT forward Johannsson scored his 15th goal of the season for AZ Alkmaar against Heerenveen in the Dutch Eredivisie. Then added another before the break to put AZ 2-0 up.

If you watch the video above, you can see the 23-year-old’s first goal is no ordinary strike either. Johannsson beautifully cushioned a pull back on his right foot before hammering a controlled volley into the roof of the net to put AZ 1-0 up in the 16th minute.

Johannsson continued to impress early in the game as the AZ man looked lively and up for it. Will a strong end to his domestic campaign force Jurgen Klinsmann to start the American forward in Brazil this summer?

Scoring goals like this certainly won’t harm his chances.

  1. bizzmeister - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    I honestly was expecting something A LOT more impressive judging by the title but oh well. I know the guy is great, i’ll say it again, I would take him over > Jozy for WC2014.

    I’ve already seen enough to choose him.

    • josh907 - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:42 AM

      Jozy has done everything Johannsson has done. Tell me when he does something new or somehow gains 50 caps on Altidore.

      • jimmycrackcorn99 - Mar 9, 2014 at 1:13 AM

        Obviously Johannsson won’t make up 50 caps before WC 2014, and Jozy has a decent history playing football in the Netherlands. Are you saying start the player who has played more games? Surely not.

        If you ask me, you go with the guy who’s hot – a good striker on a run has a mental edge. On the flip side, the guy in the doldrums stays down – at least for a while. Unless JA picks up his game very soon, he may see limited play time at the WC.

      • josh907 - Mar 9, 2014 at 1:27 AM

        Well you have no clue on how things workk. You’re basing things on form. Form can change on the drop if the dime. Thus form isn’t important until you get to Brazil. So you can’t be playing Johannsson when everything else says Jozy is better.
        And yes, you start the player who has the experience when they have equal accomplishents. You are completely clueless if you disagree with that.
        Also if you’re going to simply play the guy that is hot then Wondo should be on the team at the very least.

      • bear06 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:13 AM

        Umm Johannsson is a quality player in the making. He’s on pace to even or break Jozy’s record from last year.

        Johannsson’s first touch and technical ability is superior compared to Altidore.

      • josh907 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:20 AM

        Who cares if he breaks Jozy scoring mark in the Netherlands. It’s just the Netherlands and all that would mean is they both had great seasons. They would still be equals. Also Jozy’s strength and power is superior to Johannsson’s. They are diferent players each with their strengths. Jozy’s touch and technical ability while he was in the Netherlands was very good as well. He would beat several defenders by himsef as well as play one-twos with his team mates. Johannsson’s technical ability is probably better but Jozy’s presence is much greater.

      • bear06 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:27 AM

        It’s funny how you’re telling jimmycrackcorn99 that he has no clue and is completely clueless. I’m sorry to inform you but you’re the one who has no clue and is completely clueless. It’s obvious that you haven’t watched Aron Johannsson play. Also you prefer strength and power over first touch and technical ability? Really?!? People like you who think that way have it all wrong and have no clue about the real game of football. This is not the damn NBA or NFL FFS!

      • josh907 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:47 AM

        You lack way too much reading comprehension skills to even bother with. No where in the comment does it say I prefer pure strength over technical ability. It clearly says I prefer a complete player over one who only has technical ability. Please go educate yourself or something.

      • smhindeed - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        this isnt the point. on eyeball test johannson is easily the most skilled striker we have. he’s more clever than altidore as well and just seems to think faster. during the course of a game he does things that i havent seen altidore do from a technical standpoint and that’s what i am more interested in.

      • jimmycrackcorn99 - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        Thanks for the support Bear06, I probably couldn’t have defended myself any better. I am certainly no expert on all matters, but I have been actively playing and following international football for about the last 40 years. Of that time, I also lived in Germany for about 20 years, so I think I have a decent knowledge base to build upon.

        For me, Johannsson is peaking at the right time, he has the striker’s sense for the goal, which Jozy certainly is capable of. Form does not change on the drop of a dime, sorry to inform you. It creeps in and dominates a striker’s mind, making him lose his confidence, slowly tears at his mind set. Unfortunately both Clint & Jozy are in the dumps but JK is still giving them a chance to prove themselves, which I applaud – slumps do stop, just a question of WHEN?

        Until then, you have to go with the guy who is mentally and statistically on top. And that is without a doubt Aron Johannsson. I personally hope that they both break free from their bad form because they are solid footballers and could make a difference in Brazil. Time will tell.

      • bear06 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:22 AM

        You lack too much real football knowledge to even be bothered with. Altidore is far from a complete player. The elite football nations like Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Germany all prefer players who have technical skills over players who are just big. The truth is that you’re one who needs to get educated because you just exposed yourself as clueless.

    • bear06 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:24 AM

      @jimmycracker99: No problem man. I call out BS when I see it.

  2. steves4 - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    I like Aron. I think he’s a great player so let me preface this with that statement.

    He’s scored around 20 goals in all comps this season(according to espnfc.com, which may or may not be totally up to date). All but 1 are against dutch opponents. As it stands he’s played 10 games in Europa League, against presumably higher quality opposition, and has only scored 1 time during the initial qualifying phase. None in the group stage or knockout rounds.

    On top of that Aron has 7 appearances for the USMNT, granted 5 off the bench, with only 1 goal. 17 games against competition that isn’t based in Holland and he’s scored twice. 28 games against Eredivisie opponents and he’s scored 19. I’d like to see more before we crown him as the next chosen one.

    Jozy scored 31 goals against the same dutch competition last year and now we very well could be seeing a repeat of someone who can score against lower skilled defenders but not against higher quality competition.

    • bear06 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:15 AM

      Johannsson has 24 goals in all competitions and just because Jozy can’t score in the BPL doesn’t mean the same will happen to Johannsson. Just look at Suarez who also scored a bunch of goals when he was at Ajax and now he’s one the best players in the BPL.

      • steves4 - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        I totally agree with you. Aron could be a revelation in the BPL should he move there. Jozy is clearly not enjoying it over there right now and there’s no doubt that Aron’s form is currently far superior.

        But right now he’s got 24(thanks for the correct number) goals in all comps with only 1 coming against competition not based in Holland, despite playing 10 matches in the Europa League. What I want to see out of him is some sort of production against higher quality competition.

        As for the comparison to Suarez, not sure what to say, his skill, technique and talent are world class and obvious to anybody who has watched him play. Aron isn’t in that level and the comparison isn’t exactly apples to apples.

        Do I think Aron could be great? Of course. I would just like to see more from him before we crown him as the clear future.

      • bear06 - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:47 PM

        I’m not comparing Johannsson to Suarez. I was just replying to your comment that Johannsson will be the same as Altidore. Suarez scored a lot of goals when he was at Ajax and look at him now. Johannsson can succeed in the BPL if he goes to a good club that provides service like a Southampton, but I would rather see him in a upper table club in the Bundesliga or La Liga.

      • steves4 - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        So 23 goals against dutch competition(thanks for the correct number) and 1 goal in the Europa League despite playing in 10 matches. All I’m saying is that I’d like to see more out of him before we crown him as the next great striker. They play Anzhi next week so hopefully he’ll put one or two in.

        As for the comparison to Suarez, it’s almost unfair to Aron. Suarez has world class technique, ability, talent and skill and he makes that clear each and every time he plays. Aron isn’t at that level and it’s absurd to say that right now. Suarez was clearly ready to more on from the Eredivisie.

        Btw, I’d love to see him go to a first tier league and perform at a high level.

      • bear06 - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        He has 24 goals in all competitions right now and is close to breaking Jozy’s record from last year. If he has a good WC then he will clearly be ready to move on from AZ.

        BTW the Eredivisie is a pretty good league. It’s a top 10 league and its great for young attacking players to develop.

  3. kinguga - Mar 9, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    You don’t choose Johannsson over Altidore. You choose him over Dempsey. AJ isn’t the type of center-forward Klinsmann wants.

    • bear06 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:16 AM

      He is if he is partnered up with another center-forward.

      • josh907 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:22 AM

        Klinsman doesn’t run a two forward system. There is only one center forward on the field to start.

    • bear06 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:30 AM

      @josh907: Yeah, I know and he plays a 4-2-3-1 but he changes his formation in the second half. He could change his formation before the WC and have 2 forwards up top.

      • josh907 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:43 AM

        Unlikely

      • bear06 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:16 AM

        You don’t know that.

      • lyleoross - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:18 PM

        I’m gonna go with Josh on this. JK falls back to the same configuration over and over and over. It seems to fail more often than not and then he adjusts at the half. To me it seems he would need a huge sea change to do something else and that seems unlikely. JK is what he is, no matter what the fans might want.

        Logically speaking, two forwards means you’re confident in your backs and what they can do. Everyone who is confident in our backs please raise your hand.

      • bear06 - Mar 10, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        No. The 4-2-3-1 has shown that it works when all the best players are available. It would not need a huge sea change to put 2 forward up front like JK has shown to do in the 2nd half of games. JK is a very good manager so he knows what he’s doing.

      • lyleoross - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        So, if the 4-2-3-1 works for JK with his best players, and presumably he’s gonna have his best players at the WC, then why would he change?

        On the other hand, in what games are you saying that the 4-2-3-1 worked? Low level Gold Cup games? I’ll have to go back and review the scoring, but I’m still gonna stick with the notion that JK plays the formation he plays because he believes in it. The likelihood that he’s gonna shake that out without good cause at the start seems unlikely. On the other hand, we only have to wait four months to see.

        And yes, I agree, JK knows what he is doing…

      • bear06 - Mar 11, 2014 at 10:26 PM

        Well the U.S. had its best year in history last year with the 4-2-3-1 system most of the time. I think he will change his formation in the second half of games like he has shown to do before if things needs to be changed.

  4. midtec2005 - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    put Johannsson in the hole behind Jozy and put Dempsey out wide. Problem solved. The real question is who starts, Dempsey or Zusi?

    But watching LD work with Robbie Keane the last few years, I’d like to see him upfront with Dempsey. The dynamic might be similar. Stick Jozy and Johannsson on the bench. That way you can get Zusi on the field too, who is a better player than both. What I said in this paragraph obviously won’t happen (and might not work)… just a thought.

    • bear06 - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:26 AM

      Dempsey is not at his best when he plays on the wing. When he was on form he has been a beast for the U.S. as the false 9 under Jozy.

  5. lyleoross - Mar 10, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    JA is the best of what old style U.S. development could make. He is fast forward, but not hugely creative or technical. If you set him up he will deliver… if you set him up. I know his technical skills got better in the last year, but they are no where near good enough. The question becomes is AJ creative? Can he make things happen for himself and other players? The answer has to be I hope so, because Jozi can’t and he will be eaten against Portugal and Germany. In many ways you have feel sorry for him, he has improved markedly over the past two years, but if you compare him to almost any top of the line striker he loses. The boat has to be out on JA, but if I were JK I’d be figuring out a way to put him in pressure situations asap.

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