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- DOB November 10, 1990
- Age 23
- Place of birth Mobile, Alabama
- POSITION Forward
- HEIGHT 6'0"
- WEIGHT 165
- U.S. CAPS 3
- CLUB AZ Alkmaar
- Current ASN 100 Rank 11
- Previous ASN 100 Rank 17
Aron Johannsson, Aarhus's sleek 22-year-old forward, is an unlikely United States national team candidate. Although he was born in Mobile, Alabama, he spent his childhood in Iceland and represents the country on the U-21 level. But a string of impressive performances in 2012 sparked the hope that he would change his allegiance (or that Jurgen Klinsmann would call the young man).And he did. Johannsson played in the August 2013 friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and must have made a positive impression because Klinsmann added the striker to his roster for the September 2013 World Cup qualifiers versus Costa Rica and Mexico. Expectations are skyrocketing for the Kevin Bacon lookalike.
Johannsson showed flashes of what was to come during the 2011-2012 season, netting seven goals in the final 16 matches of the season. (Part of the surge came from a position change that saw Johannsson move to forward in the 4-4-2 after spending most of his youth on the wings.) He broke out, however, the next year. Johannsson blew past his previous campaign's goal total in nine matches, including scoring a hat trick in four minutes against Horsens. He credits his improvement to hard work. “I came here two years ago and I was just a small kid from Iceland who was never really expected to do anything,” Johannsson told The New York Times. “In my old club in Iceland, I used to be the best player. When I got to AGF, I was nothing. I then realized I had to work very hard mainly in the gym to get physically stronger. I worked very hard to get into the team and now, two years later, things are going really well.”
Johannsson has ties to the U.S. that go beyond his place of birth. The forward spent 2007-2008 at Bradenton where he got to know Zarek Valentin and Gale Agbossoumonde, among others. For the time being, he's playing with Iceland—a fate that seemed even more sure after the country called him up to its full team in October 2012—but he may yet suit up for the Red, White, and Blue. "To tell the truth, I’ve never really thought about playing for the United States national team," Johannsson told the Times. “I’ve lived in Iceland almost my whole life. I’ve always had it as a goal to play for the Icelandic national team. But if Jurgen Klinsmann calls me and says he wants me to play for the United States, then it would be pretty hard to say no."—NOAH DAVIS
Noteworthy ReadsAron Johannsson in Big Demand (SportingNews.com)
Aron Johannsson Starts Strong (NYTimes.com)