Aron Johannsson is officially locked in as a member of the U.S. men's national team.
FIFA approved Johannsson's one-time international allegiance switch on Tuesday, making him a full-fledged U.S. player, one who is eligible to participate in Wednesday's friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
Originally, the Alabama-born Johannsson, who previously represented the Iceland U-21 side and had to file his appeal to switch to the USA, was called in just to be integrated into Jurgen Klinsmann's squad and train while watching the rest of the 21 available players suit up. Instead, he'll be able to step onto the field donning a U.S. crest, should Klinsmann call his number.
"I'm super happy," Johannsson said in a U.S. Soccer statement. "When I came here, I didn't expect that I was going to be eligible to play. The coach told me right after training that the approval came through. I'm very excited."
Johannsson, 22, has already scored three goals in three games -- two coming from the penalty spot -- in all competitions for AZ Alkmaar, where he has succeeded USA's Jozy Altidore as the top striker on the squad after moving there from AGF Aarhus in the winter. Now, he'll be joining forces with Altidore on the international level, potentially as early as Wednesday.
“We are obviously very thrilled for Aron,” Klinsmann said. “It’s an exciting time for him. He’s done a great job in these couple days getting to know the guys. Hopefully if the game goes well tomorrow night, there will be a chance for him to make his debut with the U.S. national team.”
The news is not likely to be received as well in Iceland, where Johannsson moved with his Icelandic parents at age 3. The country's FA chief had previously alleged that the player's switch was against the rules -- despite Johannsson meeting all of the necessary requirements -- while urging the striker to reconsider his decision.
- Sports & Recreation
- Aron Johannsson
- Jurgen Klinsmann