May 30, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT
The last few days have gone well for U.S. international Aron Johannsson. Very well indeed.
On Tuesday he jumped off the bench to head home just his second goal for the USA against Azerbaijan and now before he jets off to the World Cup this summer, the Icelandic-American striker has just signed a new deal with AZ Alkmaar.
Johannsson, 23, has been banging goals in for fun over the past 12 months and last season he scored 26 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie club. The Dutch club aren’t daft and have immediately tied the ice-cool finisher down to a long-term deal.
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.
All of this is good news for the U.S. national team, as Johannsson continues to impress whenever he’s given the chance to shine off the bench. So far he has appeared eight times for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side and although Jozy Altidore is clearly the USA’s first choice striker, Johannsson will push him all the way to try and nab a starting spot in Brazil.
Most likely Johannsson will be used as an impact sub off the bench this summer, as his pace in behind can catch teams out and as we’ve seen for the U.S. and AZ, when given the chance the blonde haired boy from Mobile, Al. can finish. He is better with a partner up top and if Klinsmann was to go with two forwards and push Clint Dempsey back into midfield, pairing former AZ teammates Altidore and Johannsson together would cause plenty of problems for opposition defenders.
The USMNT will be hoping Johannsson is full of confidence after signing this new deal, as the Nats will benefit at the World Cup from a man in the form of his life domestically and internationally.
Johannsson deserves the chance to show exactly what he can do from the start in the final two games of the sendoff series against Turkey and Nigeria.
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