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Icelandic-American Johansson, Europe's hottest striker
by Paul Kennedy, October 1st, 2012 10:32PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, denmark, men's national team


[AMERICANS ABROAD] Jozy Altidore and former MLS standout Yura Movsisyan (who plays for Russia's Krasnodar) share the scoring lead for players playing in Europe's top leagues with eight goals, but another player with U.S. ties can top that. Icelandic-American forward Aron Johannsson has scored 11 goals in 11 games for AGF Aarhus in Denmark's Superliga.

Johannsson, 21, was born in Mobile, Ala., to Icelandic parents attending the University of South Alabama. They moved back to Iceland when Johannsson was 3, but he later attended IMG Academy, playing in its soccer division.

He joined AGF, then playing in Denmark's second level, in 2011. In 2011-12, his first full season in Denmark, he struggled for the first part of the season but finished with eight goals for AGF, now back in the Superliga.

He set a Superliga record in September with a hat trick in less than four minutes and later scored a fourth goal in the game against Horsens.

“To tell the truth, I’ve never really thought about playing for the United States national team,” Johannsson told Brian Sciaretta of the New York Times in early September. “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. “

Sources told the Icelandic news agency RUV that Klinsmann had contacted Johansson about playing for the U.S. national team.

Johannsson, who has played for Iceland's under-21 national team, would need to petition FIFA to make a one-time switch.

Icelandic's next World Cup 2014 qualifiers are against Albania Oct. 12 and Switzerland Oct. 16. If Johansson plays for Iceland in either match, he'd be ineligible to play for the USA.

If he is not called up, it would be a sign he might want to make the one-time switch, the paperwork for which typically takes several months.

U.S. players who have made the switch include Jermaine Jones, Edgar Castillo and Fabian Johnson.

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