Few players in Europe are as hot as AGF Aarhus forward Aaron Johansson. Even fewer have the chance to play for the United States, but Johansson does. Or at least he did.
Johansson has accepted a call-up to play for Iceland in next week's World Cup qualifiers. As soon as he steps on the field in his Iceland shirt, Johansson will be cap-tied to the small European country and end his chances of playing for the U.S.
The 21-year-old has 11 goals in 11 matches this season for the Danish club, including a hat trick in just four minutes. His play has sparked rumors of a possible move to Arsenal, even if they are somewhat farfetched.
Johansson was born in Mobile, AL to Icelandic parents and moved to Iceland when he was three years old, making him eligible for both countries. But as expected for a player who grew up in Iceland, Johansson has always considered himself Icelandic, which he told Brian Sciaretta.
To tell the truth, I’ve never really thought about playing for the United States national team. 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.
Klinsmann has not come calling, though, and even if he did, Johansson would still be partial to Iceland. Besides feeling Icelandic, he has played for Iceland's youth national teams so he is no stranger to the program or with any reason to feel frozen out. Iceland was always the very, very likely choice for Johansson.
There is still a chance that Johansson can play for the U.S., albeit a very remote one. He will not be cap-tied until he plays in a World Cup qualifier so if he doesn't play in the upcoming matches that he has been called in for, he will still be eligible to play for the U.S. Then Klinsmann could call him up and get him to play for the U.S., but that is obviously a very, very long shot and barely worth entertaining.
Johansson has made his choice. He is going to play for Iceland.