Iceland FA issues statement on Johannsson’s commitment to USMNT

AronJohannssonIcelandU21 (


Just one day after learning that AZ Alkamaar forward Aron Johannsson had committed his future to the U.S. Men’s National Team, the Football Association of Iceland has issued a bizarre statement on the 22-year-old’s decision to reject the country where he was raised.

The association urged Johannsson, who was born to Icelandic parents in Mobile, Ala., to reconsider his decision to represent the United States on an international level. The statement even encouraged the public and the media to pressure Johannsson to change his mind.

According to the statement, the FA has already asked Johannsson, who has represented Iceland at the youth levels, to participate in the senior team’s match with the Faroe Islands on Aug. 14.

The forward made a move from Denmark’s AGF Aarhus to AZ last season, scoring a combined 17 goals in 23 appearances between the two sides. Johannsson has a great opportunity this season for major playing time after the departure of potential USMNT teammate Jozy Altidore to Sunderland.

Read the full translation of the statement after the jump, provided by Johannes Birgir Jensson of the World Football Foundation (

Statement from KSÍ – Aron Jóhannsson should play for Iceland
Statement from KSÍ regarding Aron Jóhannsson

Aron Jóhannsson is an Icelander born in the USA in 1990 where he lived in the first years of his life. Aron’s parents are Icelandic. Aron got his soccer education under the KSÍ umbrella, with Fjölnir, where he played all the junior years (with a short stay with Breiðablik) and then played for their full team, before joining AGF in Denmark on September 1st 2010.

Aron Jóhannsson played 10 international matches for Iceland U21 in 2011 and 2012. Of these 10 games 8 of them were in UEFA competitions and Aron was a starter in each of them.

FIFA allows players to changes national sides once if they fulfill certain criteria, even if they have played with junior national sides, as long as they have not played an official A team match. One of the conditions allows players to switch to a country they were born in if they wish to represent it.

Aron has for the past year been unable to answer a call-up to the Iceland National Team from the national coach due to injuries. During that same time, news filtered through that the US Men National Team coach was interested in the player. Aron has no link to soccer in the USA at all.

Yesterday a statement from Aron was published where he expressed his desire to play for the USMNT. The only thing that has been pointed out to KSÍ from an interested party, is that his income potential, as a USA player, is much greater, both in the form of grants and sponsorship, than if he were an Iceland player. It is simply so that an Iceland National team member must play for land and country and for that they get honor and glory.

It is the utmost wish of KSÍ that Aron turns back on his ideas to change national teams. Aron is an Icelander through and through who we need in the tough international competitions. Aron has already played 10 U21 matches for Iceland and his future belongs there. Hopefully the public and media will respond and challenge Aron to continue competing for Iceland. KSÍ has already requested for Aron to participate in the next national team match vs. the Faroe Islands on August 14th.

There is no logic behind Aron relinquishing his Icelandic soccer identity.

Iceland Football Association


What do you think of this development? Do you see Johannsson changing his mind? Do you believe what the Iceland FA is saying?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

325 Responses to Iceland FA issues statement on Johannsson’s commitment to USMNT

  1. slowleftarm says:

    They’re totally right. He’s an opportunistic mercenary with zero connection to the USA, hoping to improve his club career by playing for the USMNT, maybe at the world cup. Meanwhile, my fellow USMNT supporters can’t stop jumping for joy at the thought of this guy taking the spot of an actual American on the plane to Brazil.

    • WK says:

      i appreciate your patriotism, but if someone wants to represent the US and has the quality to do so at the highest level, i’m okay with it. nearly every country in the world has taken advantage of a naturalized player so why not the US?

      • Kosh says:

        There is nothing patriotic in slowleftarm’s position on this. How can one American attacking the “Americanness” of another American, based on wired, flawed and disturbingly calibrated “Americanometer” be confused with patriotism?

        I think you are using the wrong word here.

        • Gnarls says:


          • Ken Salazar says:

            I just hate the hypocrisy of the fans that hate on Rossi and call him a traitor, then without a problem say that it is a-okay for Aron to be part of our team. You can’t have your cake and eat it too!

            • Doug209 says:

              You are absolutely right. If a player wants to play for one country over another and has a tie to either country they should be able to and people should be respectful.

              By the way, how have I never known about this site before? I like it.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                Seriously first time? It’s like an oasis in the soccer desert. At least that’s what it was like for me when I found it.

            • Jay says:

              I like to eat my cake. Not sure what good it is to just have it.

            • ThaDeuce says:

              So you are saying at AMERICAN soccer fans should have the same reaction when a dual national chooses the U.S. as when a dual national chooses the other side. This is SBI, The World of Soccer With an American voice, if you read Iceland’s official statement, you see it is their turn for sour grapes.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                saying “that” not “at”

              • ThaDeuce says:

                Seriously, don’t get this. Do you cry when Mexico wins and smile when we do? What the hell do you expect from soccer fans of a team but to cheer when we have good things happen (winning, acquiring talent), and btching when we lose? In what What world do you watch soccer?

        • Stop already says:


        • MN Footie says:


        • David M says:

          So, you think that Johannsson has decided to play for the US because he feels more American than Icelandic, feels close to the US, has always wanted to play for the US, etc?

          • Kosh says:

            How the heck should I know how Aron feels? I know blog posting gives one the feeling of god-like powers but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that I cannot even begin to pretend to know how Aron feels and even worse think that my opinion on his choice matters.

            I am just happy that in the real world the parameters that allow Aron (oh he of the lesser Americanness) to make his decision are broader than the narrow spectrum and weird criteria many are standing behind here. Those parameters allow most of us to welcome him and others Americans to play for us, should they choose to, and for those who “think” and “feel” otherwise to deal with it or just stew.

            • Kenny_B says:

              Well said Kosh.

              I think if he is good enough to make the team and has the hopes of competing in the World Cup someday he doesn’t have much of a choice. We very likely won’t get to see the likes of Gareth Bale play in a World Cup. How many other talented young players never get to play on the world stage?

              Who are we to deny this young man an opportunity to play because he doesn’t meet some undefined standard of feeling American enough?

        • kev2 says:

          He has no connection to soccer in the USA. There’s nothing wrong with wanting USA players with that connection. In fact, it is precisely the reason why many of us feel joy in watching USA compete, i.e., seeing the results of soccer growth IN THIS COUNTRY.

          • Chris says:

            He played at the US Youth Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

          • Left Wing says:

            you know.. at this time we really don’t know why he made this decision.
            Maybe the kid grew up thinking himself a crimson tide fan.. wishing he had a greater tie to the USA. Maybe this was re-inforced by the year in FLA. You can’t bash someone for wishing a greater link to the country he was born in.

        • Redneck says:

          Well put.

        • Paul Miller says:

          I think he’s a security threat. It’s the oldest trick in the Icelandic spy book – arrange for a future spy to be born in Alabama, so he can become a U.S. soccer player and gain unfettered access to the home of the free and land of the brave!

        • ThaDeuce says:


        • Karim says:

          +1…Dude was born here, so he’s a citizen. nuff said

      • jr5 says:

        Also, I don’t think he’s “naturalized”; if he was born here, unless he renounced his citizenship at some point, he’s a plain old citizen.

      • Samuel says:

        He is not naturalized, he is a US citizen by birth. That’s the law of the land, whether you believe it to be a misinterpretation of the 14th amendment or not, which we all know was enacted to make slaves full citizens. So, if illegal Mexicans from next door can have US babies, so can Icelandic parents who were here legally.

      • Mark Hardt says:

        He is more American than all those Germans Jurgen has recruited. Their only connection was an American Soldier father. They were not born in Mobile, Alabama. Sure he is doing it for the money but what is more American than doing it for the money?

    • dcpohl says:

      Preston Zimmerman is that you?

    • Colin in MT says:

      What is your definition of an “actual” American? Because according to the US Constitution, the actual document on which this country was actually founded, he’s an American.

    • Chris says:

      Section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution states that: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction
      thereof, are citizens of the United States” – he is an actual American, despite your xenophobia.

      • CCJC says:


      • kev2 says:

        lol at your reactionary response to assume “xenophobia” is the only reason why we’d want players with stronger connections to soccer in this country to represent our national soccer team. there are legitimate reasons to feel this way, that have nothing to do with irrational hate of things foreign. also, this is an essentially nationalistic activity, so it seems strange to criticize someone for being that way.

        • Mason says:

          Then explain it. If you resort to circular logic, then the feeling is xenophobic.

          • kev2 says:

            You don’t understand “circular logic.”

            (1) I derive enjoyment from watching the growth of US soccer.

            (2) I define that growth in large part according to the success of players that learned how to play soccer in the United States.

            (3) I define that growth in that way because I learned to play soccer in the United States.

            (4) Players that never learned how to play soccer here and solely played in Europe do not satisfy criterion 1.

            (5) Thus, I prefer that the players in do not represent USA.

            • What me worry? says:

              Aad yet, our best current players (even LD tried) went overseas to play. That is one of the major differences between Altidore and Wondo.
              Wonder if you feel the same way about the coaches?

            • Danthenolefan says:

              In that case we should have never accepted John O’Brien. He “learned” how to play at the AJAX youth academy. Marc Pelosi sorry not wanted here you “learned” to play at the Liverpool academy. That is so nonsensical. The best soccer in the world is played in Europe why wouldn’t we want Americans to learn their trade of choice from the best? It goes both ways and in fact was the reason Aron’s parents were here in the first place. Our colleges are second to none, it would have been like Iceland saying to them, you learned you skills from Americans we don’t want you.

            • Brett says:

              Your first and second premises are flawed because they’re based on a purely subjective position, established in the 3rd. You’re not applying true logic, but subjective criteria that have no epistemological certainty at all.

              And whether you like it or not, your position is one of rigid cultural isolation, one of the most common outward displays of xenophobia.

    • Michael V says:

      He’s American by law. He was born here and has dual citizenship. If you have a problem with it bring up to the US government.

      I have a similar story. I was born in America to foreign parents and moved within 3 years of birth back to their native land. I always felt American living in my parent’s country. Yes, it’s my parent’s country. I was born in the US. I had the chance to attend college in the US and have lived here since. Aron, similarly, returned to the US (with his parents) for a short time as a teen and played at the US Development academy in Florida.

    • Lost in Space says:

      “An Actual American”….by that you mean someone born on US soil? Someone who atteneded the US Soccer Acadamy in Florida?
      The fact that you seem to believe that there should be a test to validate someone’s Americanism has shown you to be a small minded individual.
      Hope you can get someone to help you with your issues.

      • CCJC says:

        Couldn’t have said it any better. I guess a lot of our fellow Americans suffer from Xenophobia.

        • kev2 says:

          (guy who doesn’t understand what xenophobia is)

          definition of xenophobia:

          “Intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries”

          I have plenty of love for people who live their whole lives in other countries. I just don’t think they should represent our US soccer team, regardless of legal status.

          • Mason says:

            “I have plenty of love for people who live their whole lives in other countries. I just don’t think they should represent our US soccer team, regardless of legal status.”

            Please explain why without resorting to, “Because they have spent their life in other countries,” as that would be circular logic. If you can’t do so, your desire is irrational, and therefore, xenophobic.

            • kev2 says:

              Watching you flounder about misunderstanding circular logic is amazing. Our dispute lies in initial definitions. You define an American soccer player as anyone with an American passport that happens to player soccer. I define it as a person who learned the game of soccer in America.

              • AB says:

                Then, as someone stated above, you should be prepared to say goodbye to all of the other US players that honed their playing abilities goodbye. Is that what you want? Only players that were born in the US and have only played in the US? Because that’s some pretty narrow-minded thinking right there.

                Or is there some other goofy definition you want that satisfies what makes a player worthy of playing for the USMNT?

          • BBB says:

            Thank you for that. The name calling on this site gets tedious, and is even more so when people don’t even know the meaning of their slanderous remarks.

            • Mason says:

              You mean libel, not slander.

              Slander is spoken. Libel is written.

            • Joamiq says:

              Xenophobe is not some slur. It’s a word with an actual meaning. And that meaning happens to perfectly describe people who don’t want people that they perceive as “others” representing them.

              • BBB says:

                No, it doesn’t.

                ‘Fearing and hating’ someone b/c they are an outsider and “not wanting someone representing you” b/c they are an outsider are nowhere close to being the same thing.

                When words representing hatred for others (homophobic, racist, xenophobic, yada yada) are tossed around casually they lose their meaning….which you’ve inadvertently proven.

              • Doug209 says:


                But he isn’t an outsider. He was born in the United States. Maybe people are having a hard time with the idea of having ties to more than one country. I was born in California as were both of my parents and grandparents. My mother is Mexican heritage and my father is German/Italian. I feel a certain amount of ties to Mexico, Germany and Italy.

                Now imagine people with a parent from a country or as this kid was born in the United States to foreign parents. That is part of the beauty of our country. We are all different, but we are all American even if this kid also has ties to another country.

              • BBB says:

                @Doug – my comment was about the mis/over-use of inflammatory language by some immature people on this site, not about this kid.

                I’m glad he picked the USofA and hope he ends up being a stud on the USMNT.

              • AB says:


                People don’t want him representing them because he is an “outsider,” right? Well, how is he an outsider when he has American citizenship and has lived in the country? It seems like he’s only getting this label of outsider (or whatever) because he happened to live in Europe for quite some time…which sounds kind of irrational and silly. It’s about as close to xenophobia as you can get, since value is placed on team selection, and this guy is saying, hey, I don’t think he deserves that value.

              • BBB says:

                @AB – You may be missing my point. None of the people expressing the opinion that players with tenuous ties to the US shouldn’t play for the Nats are expressing “fear” &/or “hatred” for any other country or culture. If they did, THEN it would be Xenophobic. Had someone wrote, “Aron, shouldn’t play for us because he’s a dirty, stinking, Icelander, and they are all evil and worthless to the core and only want to rape and pillage our society” THAT would be Xenophobic. It is also a very far cry from feeling someone with little tie to a country should not represent that country at the expense of a player with closer ties.

                The appropriate response to someone expressing an opinion you don’t like is, “I disagree, because [enter reasoned and cogent thought],” not calling that person the first knee-jerk, grossly-exaggerated, hate-monger label comes to mind.

                Do you see the distinction between a reasoned but disagreeable opinion and hate speech (which Xenophic remarks would be)?

              • BBB says:

                Yikes – the column adjustment made that look like “War & Peace.” Sorry about that.

      • Stop already says:

        +2 Boom!

    • Neruda says:

      If he was to be selected for brazil by the US he may be taking a spot of a German American or a Mexican American but there are no guarantees and he has to know that. Does Iceland even have a real chance of making the WC? He’s got a chance to play in one for the US because the qualify for the tournament. It’s his decision in the end and klinsmann wants the best options.

      • Troy says:

        Exactly he will get a chance to make the squad probably as many as 3 times. Will he maybe maybe not. Iceland is just throwing a tissy fit.

    • Beto says:

      I agree. This isnt the case with our other European born players who actually have a family member who is or was American. Its his choice but Iceland has legitimate beef here.

      Personally i would be excited to welcome him into the pool but i wouldn’t cap tie him real quick; maybe after the WC… more so is he even an improvement over EJ, Gomez or Boyd?

      • Chris says:

        The upside is greater than EJ and Gomez, and with Gomez’s looming knee surgery you have to consider if Herc will be able to perform at his best. Boyd’s also got huge upside, and I think by next summer it’s conceivable both Boyd and Johannsson rank higher on the striker list than EJ and Gomez.

        • slowleftarm says:

          So you guys want to toss aside EJ or Gomez for this clown? I think you’ve lost sight of what international soccer is supposed to be about.

          • Tyler Kitchens says:

            Ummm this IS international soccer. Players who have citizenship in two countries get to chose one. No disrespect bro but ya sound like a whiny you-know-what. He has every right to be afforded an opportunity to make the USMNT. If he does, welcome. If not, he made his decision and he’ll have to live with it.

          • Chris says:

            I didn’t say let’s toss them aside – but now we can take a look at Johannsson and let the players who show best earn their spots. EJ and Gomez shouldn’t automatically be in just because they’ve been there before, if we’ve got better options available.

          • RB says:

            “I think you’ve lost sight of what international soccer is supposed to be about.”

            Oh the irony.

          • What me worry? says:

            Do you mean winning?

      • Luke says:

        Not positive, but someone was saying in a previous thread that since he’s represented Iceland in FIFA youth tournaments, if he files his one time switch, he’s forever bound to the USMNT without being cap-tied.

        • Chris says:

          That’s correct – the one-time switch would mean we don’t have to cap-tie him in order for him to be ineligible to play for anyone but the USA.

      • Tckc says:

        If he switches, he’s automatically tied Brahe dude is American. Born in Alabama. His parents moved, over that he had no control. I he wants to rep the US now, awesome. But frankly I dont know why he would want to rep a nation of immigrants who all immigrated from somewhere but seem to forget that fact when it suits them. You grow the game with the best eligible players playing. If he is one of the best and he is eligible he should play. Stop whining

    • bottlcaps says:

      A bit hypocritical, don’t you think? The whole history of US soccer is filled with foreign born Americans, playing for this country. Look at the 1950 World Cup team with three foreign born players. The current pool of USMNT players is chock full of foreign born players. But Johannsson is AMERICAN born, a US citizen by all rights.
      Why would he not play for a better team, if he’s qualified to do so. Indeed, it is a braver choice by throwing in to what has become, a very,very competitive team, and one, I’m sure he is clear on, makes no guarantees, he will even play for the team if he chooses to switch.

      Contras that with Iceland who guarantees him a spot on the team.

      The plain simple fact is that this is a possible ticket to Brazil and he grabbing the gold ring. Iceland has no chance, and the USA has all but clinched it’s spot.

      He brings to the table a successful European career and more importantly, Youth, if he doesn’t make the cut for 2014, he in a good spot for later ones.

      A good move by him and the a good acquisition for the US.

    • Vic says:

      Here we go… get ready

    • YO says:

      He is a United States citizen like it or not.

    • STX81 says:

      I’m pretty sure the pilgrims crossed the pond to better their living situations too.

    • Bill Brasky says:

      Typical Icelandic imperialism.

    • Jurgen Klinnsmann says:

      This statement isn’t entirely correct, he did play one year in the US youth system at Bradenton, so doesn’t have no connection.

    • btmm says:

      You’re right. This immigrant is going to take a job away from a real American. Like Haitian-American Jozy Altidore. Or Mexican-American Herculez Gomez. What about Irish-American Landon Donovan? Hell, Dempsey’s from Texas and they’re always threatening to secede. Let’s cut them all and get some red-blooded patriots in there.

      • slowleftarm says:

        Thanks but the guys you mentioned all grew up here, learned the game and are, you know, actually American in reality, not just legally/technically. You know the difference, stop pretending you don’t.

        • STX81 says:

          In what reality does being born in Mobile, Alabama not make you American?

          • joe says:

            HA! So true! I get what you are saying, and soccer is improving in the states, academies and PDL teams are starting up. Maybe in 25 years your dream will be rooted in reality but now? To be competitive (read: advance) in the WC, this situation is what it is. And even other countries take advantage of it.

          • TimbersGary says:

            Umm, have you been to Mobile, AL?? It’s a stretch to call that America.

            I kid, I kid. But seriously, there’s a reason his name starts with “slow.” Maybe if we slow down we’d understand the difference between an American citizen and an American in reality.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          I can understand the sentiment, but you are wasting your energy. It’s simple. He is a extremely talented soccer player and a citizen of the United States worthy of a look.

          Your interpretation has absolutely no merit or relevance according to the United States Constitution nor FIFA or the vast majority of National Team managers. If a player meets the legal requirements, is the best/most qualified for the job in his play and has the character/attributes to blend into a team… good on him. No one who matters has inked a spot on the roster for him, just offered him a shot at proving himself. Trying to meld some kind of nonsensical, seat of your pants, implied, ideological litmus test to the qualification process has no place in sports, the spirit of open and fair competition or a free America.

        • Mason says:

          I’d better go get my “Actually American” endorsement in my passport.

        • Tckc says:

          -1. You’re a fool. Unless you are 100% Cherokee you came from immigrants too. Get off your horse.

          • Falsify says:

            You are correct. Surprising the amount of hatered I’ve read in some of these comments. Apparently to be American you have to grow up in Kansas and be born in an American flag. I’m glad it makes those people uncomfortable because the rules for citizenship won’t change anytime soon.

      • SJ says:

        Don’t forget that Scottish-American Stu Holden.

    • Increase says:

      He is not gunna get a spot right away. Klinsi makes everyone work for it. Look what he did to Jozy and Donovan. If he works for it and sucks it up and plays in crappy games vs Trinidad I have no issues with him. Once he has some crap thrown at him he will be one of the team.

    • Tyler Kitchens says:

      That you Preston Zimmerman?

    • divers suck says:

      So slowleftarm, this Aron kid ASKED to be BORN in Alabama? Doesn’t (can’t) get much more American than that! He has every right to pursue an American NAT inclusion if he so desires!…I seem to remember Nevin Subotic and Guisseppi Rossi honing their skills in the USA system before opting elsewhere. Is this not the same thing in reverse?…Their choices, none of us have the right to question them!

    • Mark says:

      That’s great that he wants to play for the USA. But honestly, and I’m not being xenophobic, I would prefer Americans that were raised here and that were brought up through our own system to be on the national team b/c it only helps the sport here.

      Local, homegrown talent has a broader support base and that base will be more likely to be more enthusiastic about the spreading the sport. Homegrown players are also better positioned to help improve US Soccer if they’ve had the experience of going through the American development system themselves.

      For example, Jermaine Jones will have no idea of how better to improve local youth organizations or the collegiate scouting process here in the US after he retires from the National team. He isn’t going to promote the sport as an ESPN commentator or work in the office for Sporting Kansas City or speak at high schools.

      He will most likely go back to Germany; the place he calls home.

      • joe says:

        This I get, but I think it will be more predominantly that way in the future, what with youth programs and academies and the like really starting to gather strength.

      • Waterlewd says:

        So, as many have already stated, Johannson went to the IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, FL for a year. So I guess he qualifies for you now? Cool, right.

        If we’re taking bets on where Jermaine Jone will live after his playing career, I’d like to claim Los Angeles in the betting pool.

      • divers suck says:

        Forgive me Mark if I happen to think that overseas Youth Organizations and development are light years ahead of us. How is it bad for the Jermaine Jones’s of this world to be a product of that?….You are, indeed, xenophobic!

        • the original jb says:

          I thought it was a well-stated opinion. And although I disagree, it’s a subject that’s worth exploring more deeply.

          Your name-calling is out of line and does nothing to further your argument except to jump blindly and stupidly onto some “political correctness” bandwagon that is going nowhere.

          • divers suck says:

            Stop already original jb! I wasn’t the one who brought up xenophobia, he was! I’m tired of people like you questioning ones American heritage, regardless of where they were raised. This country is and always been a country of “mutts”. Jermaine Jones and countless others are products of military folks serving our country who happened to have a child(children). You questioning how American they are in choosing who to play soccer for is repulsive and, INDEED, xenophobic!!

      • Mason says:

        Speculation, at best, as to what Jermaine Jones would do after he retires from competition. He might decide he like to move to southern CA and go play for Orange County Blue Star on the weekends.

        If you haven’t noticed, the USMNT is being run by a German, an Austrian, a Mexican-American, and an American-American right now.

        • User 222 says:

          yep… and dont forget a Hindu-American at the top…. want more???? how about a Scottish coaching the US Womens?

      • yut0811 says:

        What about the vast numbers of quality international talent playing in the US? When it comes to an athletic club, the quality of the product far outweighs the origin of the product.

      • Like Klingsmann did?

      • Kenny_B says:

        Riiiggght… He can’t contribute to US soccer after he retires because he’s from Germany…..cough, cough Jurgen Klinsmann cough cough

    • Scott says:

      Who made you the arbiter of Americanness?

    • Jake says:

      How do you know how much connection he feels to the US team? He was born here after all. I don’t know a lot more about his family, but I do know that.

    • yut0811 says:

      Umm, last time I checked, he is an actual American. He still holds dual CITIZENSHIP. If you want to go that route though, what about the hispanic players that play for the US that could’ve played other countries? They are athletes. They are going to do what they feel is best for them and their careers.

      To relate this to you, have you ever left a job for a better one? Have you sold an old car for a newer, better one? Have you moved from one place to a newer one because it’s better for you? Stop being the pot calling the kettle black.

    • JDavids says:

      Why not apply that logic to coaches too? KLINSMANN OUT!

    • Samuel says:

      I agree with you … only in the first sentence. What Iceland FA is claiming is totally correct. Because he was born in the USA and because of the laws that we have in effect Jóhannsson is entitled to a US passport and access to the United States at any time he wants. So, if his personal decision is to play for the country that has gifted him citizenship at birth, no one absolutely no one is to criticize his motives. I am sorry for Iceland FA, but I also welcome Jóhannsson.

      • Vic says:

        According to Fifa and US immigration laws he has every right to play for United States. That doesn’t make it right. He learned his soccer in Iceland, they’re the ones who developed him. I feel bad for Iceland. However, since Fifa laws are loose, I’m glad we have him. If I were living in Iceland I would be pretty mad at him and rightfully so.

        • Kenny_B says:

          I’m sorry but the kid developed himself through years of self-dedication. He had training to help him along but nobody makes it to the pros without a massive amount of hard work. To claim the country developed him is silly and his time spent in FL is further proof of that.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Once again, slowleftbrain makes an uninformed comment.

      Unfortunately, he (she?) also gets to be the first poster.

    • 20 says:

      1. The career of a professional footballer is a short one. Can you blame him for making the best move for his career? Trying to put myself in his shoes, I can’t. Every player dreams of playing in a world cup, no doubt he has a better chance of it with the USA.

      2. How do you know this is simply a professional move? People all of over the world dream of moving to this country. Maybe Aron would like to play in MLS someday and sees that as a logical step after declaring himself for the USMNT. Maybe he yearns for more of a connection to America.

      3. Actual American? That’s what he is. He was born here, he is a citizen, end of story. I will jump for joy if he scores a goal in the world cup someday, or if Terrence Boyd does, or if Mix Diskerud does, just the same as if a player born and raised in America scores. These guys choose to represent the USA even though many of them are pressured not to, and I respect that.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      USMNT is a *business* that represents the interests of US Soccer. The players represent the USMNT, not the USA. Get over the illusion that FIFA international competition is primarily about representing country. It is primarily about making money. Secondarily, it is about making more money.

      Would you let an Icelandic man work for an American business? ‘Cause that’s all the USMNT is.

    • Pingunça says:

      jin·go·ism (j ng g – z m). n. Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.

    • JayAre says:

      Iceland needs to get over it, They are not the first to benefit from this or lose from this “dual-nationality” thing. Just look at France @ the last U-20 world cup or their last few world cup squads. This kinda thing happens all the time. You deal with !!!!

    • Mark Hardt says:

      He is more American than all those Germans Jurgen has recruited. None of them were born in Mobile, Alabama. He might be doing it for the money but I ask you what is more American than doing it for the money?

  2. WK says:

    looks like this one stung a little. trust us, we know how it feels.

    • Gnarls says:

      Giuseppe who?

      • Mason says:

        Giuseppe Row-my-acl-ssi.

        (Too soon?)

        • Timber Danny says:


        • STX81 says:

          People need to get over Rossi. He was never in the US system. He always targeted playing for Italy. And its not like he’s lighting it up for Italy either. He doesn’t deserve the flack get gets.

          In the end Stu Holden (born in Scotland) has more international trophies than Rossi. Time to move on people.

          • Left Wing says:

            true. but he is “actually” american, wearing yankee hats and everything..

            • joe says:

              The least American thing is wearing a Yankee hat, which in and of itself is a hilarious, paradoxical statement.

          • Mason says:

            That’s my point, lax-er

            (BTW: I’m not claiming Rossi’s injury history would be any different if he had played for the US. That’s untestable.)

  3. Mason says:

    “There is no logic behind Aron relinquishing his Icelandic soccer identity.”

    He wants to play in the World Cup. Sorry, Iceland.

    • Neruda says:

      But wait doesn’t he want to “get honor and glory” by playing for “land and country”. Gotta love the soviet era translation on that. Fact is does want to play in big games and WCs. The Icelandic FA is almost calling him petty for choosing the US for a bigger stipend and sponsorship. I think it’s much more to him than those things.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        The better translation is, “If you play for us we will win more and therefore make more money…at your expense.”

  4. DeLarge says:

    That certainly is bizarre.

    His er, connection to the USA is having been born here. I strongly urge the KSI to understand that Aron has ONE career, and must maximize his earning potential.

    • Frank says:

      I think some of it got lost in the translation and while it does come across as a bit desperate I think the Icelandic FA is doing the right thing and not giving up without a fight.

  5. The Imperative Voice says:

    Has the one time switch been filed?

    Tad defensive/desperate.

  6. Vince says:

    Rossi did the same thing this will happen with the new rule. Aron is doing it to play in the World Cup, Diskerud wishes he could play for both, and Jones plays because he can’t crack the German team. At the end the player is going to play for who they think will benefit their futures the most. We should never critize players for choices like these.

    • Beto says:

      This is going to happen more and more every year as the people are traveling, studying, working and living abroad more these days than ever, from every country

      • Neruda says:

        In a word it’s another step in globalism. Globalism gives the us a big advantage in soccer than over other regional powers.

      • Joe+G says:

        Think about pro athletes who travel the world (in many sports) with a spouse from one country and children born in others and perhaps naturalized in yet another. The fight over the next generation has already begun!!

    • Gnarls says:

      I think it’s natural to criticize players for choices like this. It stings from a national pride position. But end of the day, we gotta accept it.

    • Petty Dan says:

      Unless the other team is Mexico. The one time switch should not be available to players that select Mexico first, then want to switch to the US of A.

      Yeah, I’m looking at you Edgar Castillo.

  7. Alex CO says:

    That statement wreaks of jealousy. This guy wants to represent the country of his birth. That makes sense and if people have a problem with him identifying himself as American and Icelandic, they can go cry me a river. Chosing to rep the US instead of Iceland, I’m sure was a tough decision and KSI needs to respect that. I bet this statement is going piss him off more than anything else.

  8. baropbop says:

    The last thing this group needs is drama. Bringing in Brooks and AJ is definitely a risk. Lets just hope they are more Jermaine Jones than Timmy Chandler

  9. Travis says:

    While I fully support the idea of if you are an American citizen you are an American this one must be a bit tough for Iceland to swallow. His ties to the US are only that he was born here and then left when he was 3. Also spent I believe one year at the residential camp in Florida.

    Ultimately I believe a player should pick where he feels the best connection to, if that is the US for Aron then great but if he feels a closer tie to Iceland he should stay. Picking a national team shouldn’t come down to where you have the best chance to play or win titles, you can make those decisions at your club team. If you are a dual national picking your country to play for it should be about which country you feel closest to. You should feel a sense of pride when you play for your national team, sometimes I feel like people forget that.

    • Chris says:

      “Picking a national team shouldn’t come down to where you have the best chance to play or win titles, you can make those decisions at your club team.”

      For any professional soccer player, the Holy Grail is the World Cup – as an Iceland international, he has the slimmest of chances of even qualifying for the World Cup. As a USMNT player, he will have a good shot at playing in the tournament, and who knows, maybe the US becomes something of a powerhouse in the coming years – they’ve certainly improved immensely over the last few.

      Furthermore, deciding to be a US national makes him more valuable and gives him the potential to earn more money, get better sponsorships, and could strongly affect his club situation. You can’t clearly delineate between club and country that way in terms of how it affects a player’s prospects for the future.

      This is a smart move on his part, as much as it may hurt for Iceland.

      • Travis says:

        Call it a romanticized view but I truly don’t believe that your national team decision should be based off monetary reasons. That isnt to say it doesnt happen i just believe it should be based off what country you would feel most proud to represent. I get a lot of what you are saying though

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Okay: you have a romanticized view.

          Look, I can agree with your sentiment, but the undeniable fact is that FIFA is a business that is making money off players, and nationals teams are businesses making money off players. It’s not fair to expect players to enter that very un-romantic environment and make romantic decisions.

          It’d be like only investing your money in businesses of your home country: sentimental, but poor business decision.

      • Joe+G says:

        Gee, I thought being an American instantly decreased your market value. :)

    • Jorge says:

      My sentiments exactly. +1

  10. alocksley says:

    Don’t forget, he played in the US Development Academy in Bradenton as well, so to say he has no connection to US Soccer is disingenuous.

    • Beto says:

      Forgot that… Good point

    • Mason says:

      It’s just a lie.

    • Joe+G says:

      Want to make sure we are talking about the same thing. He attended the IMG Academy in Bradenton, which is where the USSF Residency Program is. He trained with many of our residency players, but I believe the non-residency players were on a separate team. He got to know several of our players. The IMG Academy teams play in the USSDA (which I don’t think the residency players do — but I could be wrong).

      • Camjam says:

        If you look on their Website, they simply state that they offer different teams (ex. a U-16 in USSDA and U-16 Academy League), but it’s all housed in the same program.

        It also states in the “Program Notes” that the whole program is run under the same Coaching Staff (Scott Dean)

        • Joe+G says:

          True, but I don’t want people to confuse this for the more common description of “Bradenton” — the USSF U-17 residency program. I think some people are confusing the two.

        • chris says:

          No its not. The IMG academy is housed in the same program as the other sports they offer. It is a residency like team where players pay for housing and meals. They play in the Development Academy. The USSF residency is partnered with IMG but solely funded by the USSF and run by the U-17 coach ( Richie Williams). They play in no league and will probably be gone after this cycle

          • Joe+G says:

            Thanks. It’s easy to see how people get confused. Aron has friends from Residency, but never was supported by USSF for being there.

  11. baldomero123 says:

    Iceland FA’s position is understandable.

    • Camjam says:

      Their feeling is understandable. Their position on his actions…. not so much. It’s a personal choice and lest we forget:

      ‘Aron has no link to soccer in the USA at all”

      To a guy who was born here and spent a year at Brandenton….. the same place responsible for at least 5 players on the last Gold Cup squad alone.

  12. DaninWien says:

    This statement makes much more sense when you play Sigur Ros’ Untitled #8 in the background.

  13. THomas says:

    This is weird. Somebody should tell Iceland they sound like a jealous ex-girlfriend.

    What’s next? A press release from Iceland on how team USA ice hockey should forfeit their 1994 Junior Goodwill Games Gold medal because Gordon Bombay’s team switched jerseys before the third period?

  14. USMNT says:

    I am kinda on the side of the Icelandic FA, but he made his choice. In life you have to make a choice to do whats best for you. I think he realizes that the USMNT is a golden opportunity to open a ton of doors. With his perceived skill level and potential, he projects as top talent in europe. Having the added international career of playing in top meaningful games at the international level enhances his stock.

    If I were him I would have done the same thing. Think of it this way, if you were born in the USA to parents of (pick a tiny country) then your shot of making any international career short of you having Messi/Pele talent is next to zero.

    • ex_sweeper says:

      It’s a blow for Iceland, and it’s completely understandable that they are ticked off. The closest to the Iceland FA reaction that I can recall was the battle over whether Owen Hargreaves would play for Canada or England. The answer was never in doubt, but no country wants to be always the bridesmaid.

  15. KJ says:

    I’m glad US Soccer never did anything like this with Subotic and Rossi. If a player wants to go elsewhere, we don’t want them.

    • Dino1er says:

      Amen + 1 I WELCOME any American who wants to play for US, anyone who turns their back on us screw them.

    • Iggy says:

      Arena did it to Rossi – basically guaranteed him a starting spot, but he didnt do it publicly.

  16. Gnarls says:

    I feel for the Iceland FA and Icelanders. It’s a tiny country with a tiny population. It’s not as if they’re constantly churning out world class footballers. But the decision was Johannsson’s to make. He chose the US. In that regard, Iceland FA’s statement wreaked of sour grapes just a bit.

  17. Alejandro says:

    Nat. team should be for pride not personal interests. That why you hire an agent and if you are good enough talent you make it happen on club level. Give a chance to an actual American who earned it with hard work, sweat and dedication. Give a shot to Mike Magee who been working his tail off in MLS

    • PetedeLA says:

      I agree.

      It’s a slap in the face to someone like Eidur Gudjonson (sp?) who had the talent to play almost anywhere, but always looked proud to play for (and often lose with) his country.

      But it’s his journey.

      • Alex says:

        Eidur Gudjonson wasn’t a dual national. Maybe he had the talent to play anywhere, but who knows what his choice would have been had he had, say, German dual-citizenship. Hard comparison to make.

      • Troy says:

        Eidur had no choice. If he had a choice who knows what he would have done. If Aron wants to play for the USA so be it. Who knows he may have always rather have grown up in America. Its not his choice where he was raised. Its his choice not America’s or Iceland’s, HIS. He seems to have made it and Iceland is just throwing a fit.

      • PetedeLA says:

        I’m just saying.

        There are people who take pride in representing their country in spite of the fact that they might rarely win games and have almost no chance of ever making it to a meaningful tournament.

        All over the world we see small national teams fielding teams with armatures and semi-pros playing big teams to the wall.

        They are patriots. And it is still a bit of what something like the World Cup is about. You represent your country and show pride in what it made you and gave you. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, fair enough.

        I’ll take Johannson. But this switch stinks of opportunism.

        If you don’t understand this, c’est la vie.

        • Chris says:

          And what, pray tell, is more American than opportunism?

        • MN Footie says:

          See, this type of comment is no good. You’re assuming so much about the kid, and you know a grand total of about three facts about him.

          Is it opportunism? Maybe it is; maybe it isn’t. If it is opportunism, does it necessarily “stink.” Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. You’d have to know the kid before you could say one way or another.

          So don’t slam a kid for making a personal decision of the type that you (or I, or anyone else on this message board) will never make, and for reasons that only those closest to him will understand.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          This idealistic patriotic version of our country is not based on reality. Fact: the vast majority of the population of this country are descended from people who were here for one reason and one reason only. Self interest. To better themselves. Opportunism. You think the immigrants who came here sprung from their mother’s womb bleeding red white and blue whistling the star spangled banner? They were driven here not by some fictitious love of a country they’d never been to, but by war, famine, persecution or….. simply a lack of economic opportunity. Not for old glory or uncle sam… to better themselves. Reality is, we have been raiding the best and brightest from other nations to our science/research programs and universities and corporations with “mercenary opportunism” throughout our history. Heck, one of our pride and joys, the space program was a direct result of importation of Nazi scientists after WW2. Like it or not, much more than patriotism/ service of country, it is opportunism, open competition and yes, greed that motivates and drives this country.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      “Nat. team should be for pride not personal interests.”

      Even though all the competitions are run by FIFA—a company that is in it solely for “personal interests”; i.e., money.

  18. Fan says:

    I thought it was too cold in Iceland to grow sour grapes? Iceland has known for many months that the U.S. is interested in Johannsson, and Johannsson in the U.S. The player made a decision and Iceland should respect it. Pleading with the player through the media doesn’t cast them in a good light.

  19. Ali Dia says:

    I’ve never seen an Icelandic person get upset, but in my imagination this is pretty much what it looked like.

  20. Scott A says:

    “Aron has for the past year been unable to answer a call-up to the Iceland National Team from the national coach due to injuries.”

    Damn, it’s caraazy how these players like Chandler always get injuries when it’s national team time.

    • Scott says:

      Chandler has already been capped, so turning down games fits your comment how? Turns out, his flying phobia may be at the root of his lack of appearances. He is totally freaked out at the thought of flying.

  21. beachbum says:

    Rossi was never going to play here, always if called he wanted to wear the blue. it’s more like Subotic isn’t it? and plenty of folks still get sour when those names are brought up. it is what it is in today’s game but I think Travis makes a strong point. anyway, not surprising that this kind of statement would come out imo. It’s patriotic, sincere. They are playing their trump card going for what they believe to be his Icelandic heart

    • Vic says:

      I think in Rossi’s case, he made the wrong decision. He could have been a regular with us and now he’s cap tied and out of the picture for Italy

      • beachbum says:

        perhaps, but it was what his heart always wanted (at least that’s what he and his family always have said)…how can you say that’s wrong?

        • Mason says:

          He took the harder path and failed, or has failed so far.

          • beachbum says:

            so the harder path means the wrong path for him? is that your point?

            he got hurt, didn’t that slow him down?

          • Mason says:

            If you shook a magic 8 ball and asked, “Did Gio Rossi make the right decision for him,” the only proper answer would be “Ask again later.” Were he struck down tomorrow, the 8-ball would have to say, “No.”

            He wants to play in a World Cup for the Azzuri, and right now it looks like that isn’t going to happen any time soon. It was a choice driven by a romantic notion, and it appears now that it has cost him the chance at at least two cycles. He could yet meet his stated goal, but if his goal were to simply have played in a WC and he had taken the USMNT call-up, he would have already met it. Sometimes, when you reach for the stars, the sun melts your wings and you plummet to your death.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Subotic is a good comparison – he did play some games for the US youth setup before Rongen deemed him to be of little talent.

      This would be if the US came out and asked its fans to convince Subotic to stay. “American Outlaws, here is Subotic’s twitter handle, ask him to stay!” Juvenile.

      Whine in private all you like, but respect the player’s decision.

      • beachbum says:

        I don’t hear them whining. Juvenile? that’s funny

      • Left Wing says:

        I love when the Rongen bashing for Subotic comes out. ha.
        I would love to hear his take on how he passed on him. Then two months later the kid is starting in bundesliga2 and a year later in bundesliga.

  22. Del Griffin says:

    Suck fermented shark, Iceland!

  23. Vic says:

    We’ll see if he ever gets invited and ever shows up…

    • Troy says:

      He already has been invited I thought to the Bosnia game? Maybe I got my peeps wrong. He is a talented youngster and at some point will get a shot. In fact I could see it being soon and he could make a run at this WC in my opinion.

      • AcidBurn says:

        From my understanding his paperwork has been submitted and it is unclear whether the paperwork will be ready by the Bosnia game.

        Even if his paperwork isn’t ready, JK can still call him in to train with the team (I believe JK did this with Fabian Johnson before his paperwork cleared).

      • Chris says:

        Think you’re confusing him with John Anthony Brooks, a German-American dual national defender who plays for Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. He’s been called up for the Bosnia friendly, and indications are that he will accept. I would not cap-tie him, but it’s highly encouraging. Johannsson’s switch may not be formalized in time for that friendly.

        • Left Wing says:

          So JAB does not have to file a one time switch, but Aron J. does?

          Since its a friendly, aren’t they both eligible to play in it?

          • THomas says:

            I believe JAB wouldn’t have to switch if he wanted to play for Germany because he played in a US U-20 game. And you can only switch once, so once you do that, the decision is final.

            So for Johannnnnnnsssssssson he’d have to make his one time switch in order to play in a game with the US, thus tying him to the US for all eternity.

            But you can train in camps back and forth all you want, so long as you’re not on the game day roster.

            • THomas says:

              I meant to say JAB WOULD have to file for a switch to play for US. Sorry.

              • Joe+G says:

                It’s a bit complicated, but …

                JAB has never played in a competitive youth game for either team, so he can come in and play all the friendlies he wants with both Germany & the US.

                AJ has played for Iceland’s U21 team in competition, so to play *any* game with another country, he has to have an approved switch.

  24. Snack Time says:

    Is the income of a USMNT player (which, I believe, is merely a supplement to a player’s club salary) enough to convince him to switch? How much can you get paid for playing the Faroe Islands?

    Aron probably makes enough through his club. He just saw us win the gold cup and wants to join the party. Iceland is doing well with their youth levels, but they are minnows at the senior level. Iceland has a FIFA ranking of 73 (although FIFA rankings are crap), which puts them between Haiti and Jamaica in terms of CONCACAF teams.

    He’s an American who wants to play for the USMNT; this is a situation where everyone can win. Let’s let him play in some interesting matches and compete with our current forwards. It will bring the quality of our team up (whether Aron is a part of it or not), and make everyone happy (except the KSI).

    • Joe+G says:

      It’s nice pay, but it’s not earth-shattering for a Euro-based pro. Here are the numbers from 2010 (including WC bonuses):

      The U.S. players were also well compensated for World Cup work and other assignments between April 2010 and March 2011. Based on formulas spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement between the players’ union and the USSF, Bocanegra earned $347,583 for match appearances, team performance and other categories. Michael Bradley was second at $345,782, followed by Landon Donovan at $342,989 and Tim Howard at $339,388.

      The previous year, the top earners received about $150,000 apiece.

    • Mason says:

      Iceland’s FIFA ranking is buoyed by the fact that they are European and play their federation championship and WCQ matches against European competition (even though they mostly lose and occasionally draw.)

  25. TGA says:

    this is all so funny…..USA college soccer and basketball programs are routinely rostering Icelandic players. no problem rite. Also, this kid knows that we are in the early stages of the next ice age and iceland in very short time will in fact by Iceland….I like his smarts… Also you can blame him for not wanting to play Faroe Islands…when he can play Belgium and Germany in friendlies…

    • Chris says:

      Don’t get it twisted – as an Iceland international, he’d have a chance to qualify to play in the UEFA Cup (the European equivalent – although far more difficult and higher prestige – of our CONCACAF Gold Cup). Playing for Iceland doesn’t mean just playing Faroe Islands. However, Iceland would also have to qualify for the WC through UEFA qualifying…much harder than the USA’s path through CONCACAF.

  26. Vic says:

    I can totally empathize with Iceland on this one. He is much more Icelandic than American. However, Fifa has made it fairly broad on who can play for which country. Many have criticized Guisseppi Rossi, so to be consistent those same people should see where the Iceland FA is coming from. At the same time as a fan of the USMNT I’m glad we got him.

    • Eurosnob says:

      Unlike the Icelandic federation here, when Rossi committed to Italy, the USSF did not issue a statement, in which it openly called on media and public to start pestering the player and saying that his decision to play for another country was a money grab.

      • beachbum says:

        maybe because they knew he would play for Italy as long as he was called? It was never a mystery

        • Eurosnob says:

          I don’t think that overtures between AJ and the USMNT were unknown to the Icelandic federation (since their press release pretty much admits it), but even if it were a mystery to them, their press release is completely out of line and unprofessional. If they simply said that they were disappointed in his decision and asked him to change his mind, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it. But they essentially accused him of selling out, while other Icelandic players play for honor and glory of their country, called his decision illogical and tried to stir the public and media against him.

    • Tyler Kitchens says:

      Who are we to say he is much more Icelandic than American? Just because he grew up there? If that logic is determinative then Julian Green shouldn’t play for USMNT because he spends most of his time in Germany. Slippery slope your argument is…

    • Joe+G says:

      I’ve never worried about the 51%+ rule. Players have the option to choose and they make that choice for a variety of reasons. He will always be Icelandic and maybe that will be his first choice for everything else, but for FIFA purposes he has chosen the US and we are okay with that.

      Just like Rossi is a Jersey boy for everything but soccer. He even pays his US taxes…

  27. Dinho says:

    As someone who was born in South Africa and moving to the United States as a 6 year old, I can understand his desire to play for the country of his birth. While I do feel more “American” than “South African,” I do feel a strong tie to my country of birth, especially still having family there.

    While I have no idea whether Aron still has family here…it is no surprise that he would feel comfortable and almost compelled to play for the United States.

    The Iceland FA (or whatever they are called) should let him make his own decision and have some more understanding.

    Welcome, Aron!

    • Kosh says:


      Same story for me too, Dinho – except I was born in West Africa. Unless one experiences it it is hard to fully grasp the pull of being a dual national. Ives touched on this brilliantly in his podcast. The problem is when we start questioning the Americanness of our fellow Americans – that’s just a nasty bit of business and behavior that has no place in our great country (forget a simple sport).

      • Dinho says:

        Totally agree.

        Although it would never happen to me, I can only imagine how difficult my decision would be if I had to choose. I would take pride representing either country and people (read: Icelanders) should take this as an insult or shun.

        Rather, it’s his way of Aron progressing as a footballer while maintaining his ability to represent a country that he loves.

        • TheFrenchOne says:

          And one can absolutely develop “American-ness” as an adult. I was born in France of American parents, lived in Bordeaux til I was 18 (we would visit family in the US every 3-4 years). I felt 100% French until i left for college. It wasn’t until i was in my mid-20s that i felt American. Everyone’s experience is different, it’s not a tidy black/white thing. Aron had a choice to make, and the Iceland FA needs to respect it

  28. Bean says:

    He still has to earn his spot on the USMNT WC roster.

    • Myett says:

      Have you seen him play? He’s already ahead of Gomez, EJ and well ahead of Wondo…if he continues what he’s doing he’s WC bound no doubt

      • Bean says:

        I only caught a few AZ matches last season. I know that he’s a good player, and American forwards are poor. Still have to earn a spot.

  29. Fan says:

    Iceland is only a point short of possibly (one team, the worst among the 2nd placed in record against teams 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th in their group, doesn’t qualify) getting a European playoff spot in World Cup qualifying right now. They will seldom ever be this close to making a World Cup in the current format, so that’s probably sparking some of the frustration. Not justifying it, just giving context for it.

    • Ted in MN says:

      What’s more, ya gotta be hoping they make it. They’re like Tahiti but legit. We’re not killing David right now (cause they’re certainly very good with a decent amount of depth) but we may be stealing his sling.

    • Mason says:

      ISL has @SUI, ALB, CYP, @NOR.
      ALB has @SLV, @ISL, SUI, @CYP.
      NOR has CYP, SUI, @SLV, ISL

      Possible, but not promising. Iceland probably needs to beat SUI on the road and have NOR or ALB lose to SUI at home.

  30. Ben says:

    Actually, as they kindly point out, there is a lot of logic for Aron to play for the US, like money and fame.

  31. Carlos Navarro says:

    Raise your hand if you think Iceland is going to make the World Cup? Conversely, it could be very difficult for Johannson to make the squad that goes to Brazil, given the strong competition (I know–provided the U.S. qualifies). His move is probably with subsequent years in mind, not excluding the 2018 World Cup.

  32. Al17 says:

    It’s been happening for years in other countries and at least he was born in the USA—not that it matters to me. Deco & Pepe for Portugal (Brazilians); Camoranesi for Italy (Argentinian); Roberto Di Matteo – Italy (Swiss); Thiago Motta – Italy (Brazil); Wilfried Zaha for England (Ivory Coast); John Barnes England (Jamaica); Mariano Pernía-Spain (Argentina); Marcos Senna-Spain (Brasil); Gerald Asamoah-Germany (Ghana); Klose – Germany (Poland) and more. Personally, I could care less as long as they want to play for the USA It’s all good with me. We’re all imports in this country. He’s not pulling a Chandler whom I would have never called up again.

    • Myett says:

      Exactly…just look at France as well

    • Karol says:

      “Klose – Germany (Poland)”

      Klose is German by birth and came to Germany at the age of 8. He has a far bigger connection to Germany than Johannson to the US.

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        Mirosław Kloze was not “German by birth.” His family is from the Silesian part of Poland, meaning his ancestors were once part of the Prussian Empire. Silesians can very easily claim German citizenship because of that fact.

        • Karol says:

          Klose is German by birth according to German law – just like millions of other Silesians who moved to Germany. He was not naturalized – just like Obraniak was not naturalized when he decided to play for Poland. According to Polish law Obraniak is Polish by birth – just like Klose is German by birth according to German law.

  33. Leo says:

    Although I support Aron in whatever decision he makes, I can’t help but feel badly for Iceland in this situation and I can see why they’d release a statement like this.

    I spent a few weeks in Iceland, many moons ago, working on a dairy farm in Hella. It was far from the urban sprawl of Reykjavik, and I had the opportunity to learn a lot about Icelandic culture. They’re a hardy, competitive and proud bunch. I understand they have a 100% literacy rate and they have a staggering love of sport for such a small place. They’re fiercely protective of their culture and this probably reeks of external influences prying an Icelander away from home. Again, I don’t blame Aron for his decision and I’d welcome him if he wanted to put on the US jersey. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that he’d be starting, and I think his presence would spur on competition in the pool for all of our players to strive to be better and work harder. Perhaps he’d gain a bit more exposure playing for the USA, but competing in UEFA events isn’t something to shrug one’s shoulders at, either.

    Bottom line, he’s a great player, and both countries would have to be stupid to turn their backs on him. Even at the expense of sounding like a jealous girlfriend.

    • Ted in MN says:

      Yeah, there’s definitely an initial burst of “I wanna win but not like this” mentality. Not in the sense that he’s not American. More because its Iceland, and on some level they kinda need him. I’ll happily pick up an under appreciated German or Mexican all day long because then there’s a certain amount of chip on the shoulder. Yet this, despite the fact that we obviously should take him cause he’s good, gives me a bit of a guilt trip.

    • beachbum says:

      you guys both make sense to me

    • JCC says:

      Thanks Leo for bringing a sane and measured response.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Nice, sober, well informed post.

  34. Ted in MN says:

    Well then, Iceland, tell us how ya really feel.

  35. Eric says:

    Trust us, Iceland, we know exactly how you feel. But the USSF didn’t publicly throw a hissy fit when Neven Subotic left the US system. Please, show some class and respect Johannsson’s decision.

  36. ross says:

    Cant believe how many people are so desperate for talent they are willing to accept anyone into a team…Plenty of other guys should be given a shot before this guy. I dont support all of these german-american’s, who identify very little with their american lineage, being called up either. It’s tough to when Fabian Johnson makes remarks before the germany friendly, “We(the german americans on the USMNT) are excited at the chance to play against our home country”

    • Jurgen Klinnsmann says:

      Hey Ross do you have a bald eagle tattoo? How about a tattoo of Old Glory on you forearm? Just wondering…

      • kev2 says:

        You do realize that rooting for your national team is inherently a nationalistic enterprise?

    • David M says:

      It’s been some 20 minutes since your comment and none of the internationalists here has called you a bigot, racist, xenophobe, etc yet. I guess they must be too busy scouring the planet for more “Americans”.

    • Chris says:

      Fabian Johnson was answering a direct question posed to him by a journalist. You don’t want Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Terrance Boyd, Danny Williams, John Anthony Brooks, Julian Green, etc., to play for the USA? You’re insane. Having more quality players available to us can ONLY help the US. Johnson, Jones, et al also made comments before the Germany friendly about how they’re proud to be representing the US and they’re committed to the US. Timmy Chandler’s flakiness aside, the German-American players have been a great addition and have made the US proud to have them. Terrance Boyd is THRILLED to be a USMNT player.

      If you want the USMNT to be the best team it can be, you take these kinds of players, get them in our player pool, and then make them all compete for the spots, and put together the team that creates the best results (and that’s based on team dynamics, not just individuals’ skill or ability). It’s not like Klinsmann has anointed Johannsson as a guaranteed starter here. He’ll have to earn a spot on the squad (Donovan’s recent return has demonstrated that). But based on talent, skill, form, upside, and long-term potential (factoring in age, health, level of club play, etc.), this is an incredible striker to have in the USMNT pool.

  37. Area Man says:

    If Gioseppi Rossi can grow up in New Jersey and decide to join the Italian team, I see no problem with this lad joining the US team. You win some and you lose some.

    • Ken Salazar says:

      Not a problem. I just hate the hypocrisy of the fans that hate on Rossi and call him a traitor, then without a problem say that it is a-okay for Aron to be part of our team.

  38. Duh... says:

    Total World Cups Iceland has qualified for – 0

    Total World Cups USA has qualified for – 9


  39. Chris says:

    so in other words…. Iceland is PISSED that Aron is leaving them…

  40. Brain Guy says:

    This has got to be devastating for Iceland, which is in the hunt for a WC playoff spot and now loses a promising young player. It’s the Rossi phenomenon for them, so we shouldn’t be surprised by the reaction. Except for a brief stint at Bradenton, Johannsson learned the game in Iceland. The rules are the rules, but I don’t begrudge them the right to exert a measure of moral/social pressure on the guy.

    • Steve says:

      I think it is fair to say that it would be unprofessional for any FA to come out with such a statement. It not only reflects poorly on them now, but moving forward in the future.

  41. Ky says:

    He went to brandenton

  42. Bruce Arena says:

    I see no problem since he was born in America. It’s those born in other countries, like that Stuart Holden guy, who are a threat to US soccer.

  43. John says:

    Sounds like Iceland’s FA has a problem with The American Dream.

  44. slowleftarm says:

    Winning whatever we win with a bunch of foreigners dressed up in USMNT shirts doesn’t mean anything, even if it makes you feel good. Which it shouldn’t.

    • Brain Guy says:

      I know I’m wading into a quagmire here, but I’ll give it a try. What criteria would you use to distinguish “real” Americans from “foreigners”? Length of residence? Where they learned the game? Where they turned pro? Where they currently reside? Who is American enough? What’s the test?

      • kev2 says:

        Who says you need an objective test? I think its a combination of all those things. I’d start with, having spent a significant amount of their formative, soccer playing years in this country.

        • Freegle says:

          All that is great but then how do you determine the ultimate criteria? is there a committee that you have to go before that determines whether or not one is “American enough” to represent our national team?

        • Mason says:

          So Andy Najar should be in the US pool?

          Oh.. That’s right… He’s not a citizen.

      • Clyde Frog says:

        Some people insist that “American” means, exclusively, “people who are like me and my buddies.” You’ll never have a populatoon of 3 million, much less 300 million, with that kind of restriction.

      • Waterlewd says:

        Ok, I have this problem solved and I think slowleftarm will like it. First, we need a German coach that has the decision on which players to call-up. Ok, check. Then we give this German coach power over establishing a authoritative system for eliminating players based on a nationalistic ideals. The nationalist ideals should be loosely based on what it means to be a “true American.” We call it a test of Americanism. Sarah Palin will need to be involved in creating the test, as she is by far our most American person. If a player pass this test, then they can continue on their normal soccer career. If a player fail, they will be removed from the USA. As all the players are citizens of this country and they have a legal right to be here, we will create camps for those players not-american-enough where they can play soccer. We will attempt to get them a Canadian citizenship or send them to Guantanamo. But our team will be pure, real Americans! Except the coach, he’s German. But we need a German to institute such a sensible system.

    • Chris says:

      Perhaps you should do a little research on the original American Soccer Hero, Joe Gaetjens….

  45. 2tone says:

    This is the global game now.

    But it’s truly classless for a Country’s FA to throw a temper tantrum like this.

    Icelandic Fans can throw all of the temper tantrums they want.

    Because as a USMNT fan I have seen the temper tantrums thrown by the fan base about Rossi and Subotic. But USSF has always stayed classy about players choosing other countries i.e. Subotic, Rossi, Kennedy( who recently chose to rep Brasil’s U-20 squad), Hoyos who chose Argentina’s U-20’s etc….

  46. kryptonite says:

    This addition only helps American soccer by forcing U.S. based players to rise to a new level in order to represent their country. However, he should not expect that he can walk into a 1st team starting position. He will be getting even more competition as the year goes by. My prediction is more athletic options like Bobby Wood will be in the mix by the end of WC qualifying as a striker/winger as will Wooten. I hope he thought good and hard about it, and it works out for him.

    • Brain Guy says:

      True. You have to watch what you wish for. He may get squeezed out of international competition altogether if the USMNT improves like we all hope it does. He (as well as Diskerud) may eventually discover that they might have been better off as bigger fish in smaller ponds. Rossi comes to mind too.

  47. Left Wing says:

    Could you imagine the back lash had the Sunil pushed something like this out when Rossi chose Italy?

  48. markwriter says:

    The USMNT is probably my favorite team in sport because it makes the prospect of “rooting for laundry”, as Seinfeld put it, have at least some genuine meaning.

    I’m finding that the influx of players on the team that have little American background is not entirely easy for me to accept, I have to work at it a bit.

    That said, there’s a different thought as well, which is the German coach is doing an excellent job of representing and insisting his team practice American values of maximum effort and teamwork… and immigration!

    When I watch the current team there is something recognizably American about it and something global about it. It definitely seems to be a meritocracy, MLS players are getting chances, sometimes many chances, yet also there is this full embrace of eligible players with only secondary knowledge of American culture and language.

    Ultimately all I can do is decide (correctly, IMO) is that both the little taste of discomfort I feel about the melting pot and the active decision it takes for me to accept the reality of it is also deeply American.

    “We are going to Braziillll…”

    • Waterlewd says:

      The little taste of discomfort you feel about a melting pot in NOT deeply American In fact, it is the opposite of feeling deeply American. This country is called the metling pot, you tool. The decision you make to accept your bigoty is so truly couregous. I’ll start a slow clap for you.

      • David M says:

        Ah yes, insulting someone with a different point of view while hiding behind the safety of the internet is always very courageous.

      • chris says:

        This country was founded by immigrants not people who were born here and then left

      • whoop-whoop says:

        Waterlewd… I’m not sure I understand the hostility of your response. markwriter’s post strikes me as a sincere, honest expression of conflicted emotions while acknowledging how inherently American Aron’s choice and his own emotions are.

      • markwriter says:

        Waterlewd, accepting the team means accepting the team. Flaming me with insulting language for it because I don’t have perfectly aligned feelings about it and dared to try to write about it is just reflects poorly on you.

        As an experiment, ask yourself: what if 10 of the 11 starting positions were filled by players like Johannsson and Jermaine Jones and F Johnson and Boyd and the like. What if 18 out of the 23 spots were filled by similar players? What if there were 10 out of 11 starting but they played in a way that feels authentically American to you?

        Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Are we supposed to just know it when we see it? Because it certainly hasn’t been defined. Most domestic leagues in Europe have requirements about about the ratio of native players vs. players from other countries. Are these requirements always wrong?

        There’d be some point when I’d disengage a little. Not now.

    • Mason says:

      You want a nationalistic way of looking at it?

      A great portion of the influx is due to the USA’s position as a peacekeeping superpower or as the provider of quality university-level educations to the world.

  49. JCC says:

    You have to wonder if yesterday’s announcement was orchestrated by Aron’s agent to raise his international profile.

  50. Oog says:

    Holy crap, he looks like a young Kevin Bacon in that photo.

  51. Stateside Supporter says:

    SHOW ME A BIRTH CERTIFICATE! Until then, he’s a Bjorn and Þorramatur lovin’ ice-jockey! 😉

    In all seriousness, the non-American claims are completely ridiculous. Some people would argue that you can’t get much more ‘murican than Mobile, Alabama. I might argue the opposite, but I digress. I might not be a smart man, but I know the Constitution says about citizenship…

    Can anyone else not wait for the first “RUN ARON RUN!!” chant from the American Outlaws?!?!

  52. chris says:

    He’s not even their best forward. Sigborsson is the one with real potential

  53. IvanRG says:

    The Iceland FA has a right to be upset, but he has made a decision and they have to respect that. Aron will be a great addition to the USMNT.

  54. Pace says:

    A lot of people are forgetting… assuming makes an ass of u and me.

  55. Dan says:

    Yo Iceland, do me a favor and look up “butthurt” on Google

  56. Pingback: Johannsson files one-time switch to play for USMNT | Soccer By Ives

  57. Joamiq says:

    This is bizarre. If they want him to reconsider, they can contact his agent. I don’t think public hand wringing is going to do them any good.

  58. Hogatroge says:

    One additional point… the stipends for playing for the USMNT are nothing compared to a salary in a European league.

    The comment that he’ll get paid more by the US, while true, is extremely disingenuous.

  59. quitetheschemer says:

    there is quite a bit of logic behind this move, play for the US and play in a world cup or two or play for iceland that will never ever qualify from europe.

  60. Andrew says:

    What I think you’re all forgetting is Aron doesn’t owe anyone anything. It’s his life and he can do with it what he pleases.

    If this is ruining your day, maybe there are a few life decisions you need to make, too.

  61. Brett says:

    “There is no logic…” Absolutely there is. With the USA he has a chance to play in meaningful tournaments.

    I wouldn’t be mad if he chose Iceland, but the USA is a melting pot and I welcome him with open arms.

  62. NornIron says:

    As Coach K at Duke once said, “We recruit the best available talent.” I think this is the strategy the US MNT should follow. I could give a rat’s ass about being patriotic for the sake of passing on guys that are highly skilled, eligible to play for the US, and that happen not to have lived here all their life.

  63. Kev says:

    HE WAS BORN IN THE USA. Fact, end of story. He is American. It is his choice. Happy to have an American play for our national team. I don’t understand the issue.

    Looking forward to see this kid play. Our depth is really getting amazing.

    PS – Wishing the best for Stu Holden. Still sick to my stomach thinking about this latest setback. Hey, if anyone can come back, its him.

  64. I think the amount of hostility surrounding Aron’s “American-ness” is absurd. This is big boy, international soccer. If you look at many of the elite national teams of the world there are multiple examples of players who had the choice to play for different national teams.

    Remember the 1998 France WC winning team? (for those of old enough lol). Zidane, Viera, Thuram, Karembu, Desailly, all players who made the choice to play for France over another country. This stuff happens all the time.

    PS: Go Crew.

  65. Pingback: Jóhannsson (AZ Alkmaar), pronto per gli USA |

  66. Jayrod1111 says:

    Iceland should call him “Guisepevij Rosshaanson”

  67. RanchBoy says:

    Aron was born in the US, he is a US citizen. That makes him eligible for the USMNT if Jürgen calls him up. That he has dual nationality means he gets to choose. It’s his choice. He chose the USMNT. The only question is if/when he will be called up. Any questioning of whether he has the right, as a US citizen, to play for our team is absurd or worse. For those doubting whether he is just as much a citizen with all the rights and responsibilities of you or I or doubting whether he’s American “enough” may I suggest you read the Constitution? You won’t find multiple classes of citizen relevant to Aron and the USMNT.

    Frankly we all should rejoice that the USMNT is now a team that almost every American soccer player wants to play for. We’ve gained the stature now that there will be less like Rossi who, legitimately, choose to play for another country if they are eligible to play for the US. Thats a sign of success. Far from being a problem, it widens our talent base making our aspirations more and more realistic.

  68. Snosbig says:

    1st of all as an American, it’s now the norm to lose your job to someone from a foreign country. so why not on the USMNT as well?…. get over it.
    Lastly, this is happening because F.I.F.A rules allow it, so if you’re gonna get P.O’d….get PO’d @ them

  69. Mike says:

    Hey, Iceland offered Snowden a deal to be on their “team” without any connection whatsoever to their country; what goes around comes around.