Johannsson keeps scoring streak alive, nets winner for AZ Alkmaar in Europa League

Aron Johannsson AZ 2 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Another game, another goal for Aron Johannsson.

Johannsson extended his scoring streak for AZ Alkmaar on Thursday, netting the winner in the club’s 3-1 victory over Atromitos in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League play-offs series. Johannsson has now scored in five straight matches across all competitions for AZ, a stretch that dates back to July 27 and includes Eredivisie and Super Cup games.

Johannsson netted in the 74th minute of AZ’s road fixture, punctuating a quick counter-attack with a finish to the near post after neatly cutting to the inside of a defender.

Up by two goals on aggregate, AZ host the second leg of the play-offs series next Thursday.

Here’s Johannsson’s goal: (After the jump)

What do you think of Johannsson’s latest goal? How long do you see this scoring streak being? Is he all but assured a spot on next month’s U.S. Men’s National Team roster now?

Share your thoughts below.

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231 Responses to Johannsson keeps scoring streak alive, nets winner for AZ Alkmaar in Europa League

  1. Mike says:

    Premium

  2. Rory says:

    He might as well pack his things for Brazil next summer now. No way we’re leaving him off the roster.

    • Lost in Space says:

      While I’m excited to have him with the national team, and think he has a great future, I don’t think he’s got a ticket to Brazil just yet. He’s definately in the conversation, but IMO only 1 outright striker has a lock, and that’s Jozy. The rest of them (AJ, EJ, Gomez, Boyd, Wood) will be fighting it out right into may for the 2, possibly 3 spots.

      • CCJC says:

        Wood? As in Bobby Wood? Please explain to me how Bobby Wood figures in the 23 man roster for Brazil.

      • Todd Marsch says:

        Yeah, it’s still early on in Johannson’s US career, but his competition for the forward spots behind Altidore isn’t all that strong. We’ve got no one else scoring at his rate in as good a league (other than Altidore). If he gets, say, 15+ goals in the Dutch league and 20+ goals overall (which seem like very reachable totals given his start), I don’t think any of the other challengers are going to match that, and he’s going to be in Brazil.

        • louis z says:

          The season started 10 days ago and he is already 1/4 of the way there to make your 20 goal mark.
          If the USA is going to Brazil (and I think we will) AJ will be seating next to JA. Those two already have a good bond going,

      • Myett says:

        With all due respect Johannsson/Altidore >>>>>>>>>> EJ >Gomez/Boyd>>>Wood (even though I like him a lot…still very young)

        • joshw says:

          Yep. Altidore, Johannsson, EJ (counting Dempsey and Donovan as midfielders) as the forward core for Brazil. Somebody like EJ or Boyd is necessary to have on the squad in case Jozy goes down injured, unless you think Jozy is made out of steel (which I’m not disputing after Bosnia).

        • Patrick says:

          Gomez is out of everybody’s mind when he is hurt or injured. But if when he comes back he gets starter minutes at TJ and goes on one of his Zen Monster scoring runs he will close the gap. This is the guy who shared the Liga MX scoring title with Javier Hernandez while coming of the Bench!

          He is also a really really great locker room guy which is a quality Klinsman adores. Herculez did a lot to defuse tensions when the Sporting News article came out. The way he made fun of it and spun it as something positive ( US media caring about Soccer) was the kind of thing Klinsman won’t forget.

          • joshw says:

            Herc can also play on the wing – so it’s possible that we bring him as a 4th striker. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy, but I believe that Klinns likes to have two players at every position – so someone like EJ or Boyd will make the trip. I don’t think Herc really fits into the mold of the target forward.

      • patrick says:

        I’m usually not one to go crazy after a substitute performance for the USMNT, but this kid is now proving that his scoring for Aarhus was no fluke. He’s a well groomed finisher, and I can assure you that Klinsmann has him penciled in on the flight right next to jozy.

        If you think Johannson and Bobby Wood have the same chance of going to the WC, you’re dillusional

      • UMF89 says:

        This is why JK gets pay the big bucks…what formation we play will be dictated by whom we play in Brazil I think, so, if JK feels we can go 4-4-2 and players hold current form (Clint, Jozy, LD and AJ who does he pair with Jozy…..this is a WC, so, unless AJ just plays light out between now and then I cannot see him getting in front of two players who have WC experience and have scored goals in the WC. If, JK did decide to play AJ up top with Jozy that would take some balls !!!

        • joshw says:

          Need a big coach when you have big players. Trust Klinns to handle this better than BB would have.

          • GW says:

            BB is a big coach. JK has more and better players.

            • joshw says:

              And Bob could conduct the team meeting in Arabic! At this point Bob is on track to become the US version of Bora Milutinovic (only without the credentials as a player), and Bora never had a job as big as managing Germany and never played for a team as big as Inter or Bayern or Tottenham.

              • GW says:

                None of which has anything to do with BB being a big coach.

              • Josh says:

                If bob was a big coach, he’d still be our coach. Whatever – the point of my initial comment was that we’ve got a surplus of big player egos to manage, and Klinns w his healthy ego is suited to the job.

              • GW says:

                Josh,

                Really?

                Do I have to name all the big time coaches in all sports who have been fired?

                The USSF felt it needed a change. JK was just what the US needed. That does not mean BB is any less of a coach. He deserves everyone’s respect because he built the foundation of what JK is trying to do. JK’s job would have been a lot harder without Bob Bradley’s work.

                And he would have done a great job with this much improved player pool. And that pool was going to improve no matter who the coach was.

                It just means the US soccer scene has been changing and the USSF felt they wanted someone else to lead the transition. JK has been exactly the right guy for a job that was not considered a plum job all that long ago.

  3. Dinho says:

    Nice cut (buh-bye defender). Great goal. Cool finish. Kid is legit.

  4. Pepe says:

    Christmas came early this year.

  5. Tensnake says:

    He almost had another… The keeper came out and Aron beat him but the shot was just wide.. The angle was too tight.

  6. J says:

    Wow, only other U.S. striker I could see pulling that juke… Altidore. Johannsson is going to Brazil!

  7. 233 says:

    He’s no Jozy Altidore

  8. AC says:

    Man, I can remember when the USA didn’t have a reliable, true forward but kept trying out guys after McBride retired. We were a true set-piece, counterattack team….Now so many goals are coming from the run of play with these guys.

  9. Todd says:

    Hopefully he moves to a bigger club next year and follows in Jozy’s footsteps.

    • AcidBurn says:

      So will he be bought at the European young striker price or the discount American striker price now that he has declared for the usmnt?

      • Mueller says:

        The discount American price is a fallacy conjured up by Americans with an inferiority complex. It’s all about age. Most Americans don’t go to Europe until 24-25 when if coming from “the Americas” they need to move by 20-21 to secure a high transfer fee.

        Amazingly enough everyone in the world knows this except for Americans. Funny because all it takes to learn is a couple seasons of Fifa and a six pack, yet American soccer fans would rather blame the rest of the world for devaluing us instead embracing reality.

  10. Andy N says:

    Johannsson is money. No doubt about it. Can’t wait to see an Altidore-Johannsson pairing up top.

  11. alocksley says:

    It will be interesting to see if he gets called up for the September qualifiers. Two very tough games. You would think JK would bring more experienced hands, but it’s hard to pass up a hot striker.

    • away goals says:

      When has JK ever been reluctant to bring inexperienced players to qualifiers? Or even start them?

  12. AlexH says:

    I hope we can wrap up qualification in September. If so, that gives us the October dates to try out some new people and formations in games that our opponents will be trying to win.

  13. SanFran415 says:

    One of the top young strikers in all of Europe. He’s that good.

  14. Myett says:

    I’m gonna get heat for this, but I’d like to see Johannsson start at secondary striker with Altidore instead of Dempsey.

    • Dinho says:

      And, Dempsey on the bench!?!?!?!?!?!?

      • John says:

        You could move Dempsey to the left and Fabian to left back.

        • joshw says:

          And then we’d have 4 players who are natural goal-scorers starting the game, and two of them would be expected to make significant defensive contributions on the wings. I trust LD with that job. Dempsey – not so much.

          • away goals says:

            Dempsey literally did exactly that for like 4 years with the national team and fulham.

            Unless you think he’s too comfortable in his new role to start playing defense again?

      • Nicholas says:

        Dempsey will play left back. Anyone can play left back.

      • GW says:

        Deuce is used to competing with Icelanders for playing time. only this Icelander is an American.

        You may recall after Deuce’s Seattle move JK saying that they expected Clint to keep up his standard. Now you know just how JK plans to do that.

        It’s called competition.

    • joshw says:

      Feels like blasphemy, and I don’t know if it’s because he’s the new option or what, but I’d like to see that too. Clint is great, but he takes a lot of touches. With the players we have now, we can increase the speed of play and really ping the ball around.

    • louis z says:

      You are speaking heresy! well, to some of the guys in here. I like the idea, I also would like to have Clint on the field, but I just can’t find a place where some of his deficiencies are not exposed.

  15. DR7_Liverpool_ says:

    Quality finish and work rate, glad to hear his form has been consistent! This will be a big season for Aron and Jurgen must be smiling knowing his options for quality strikers is increasing. The final four qualifiers will be his chance to keep pushing his stock upward!

  16. rellimjs says:

    Johannsson looks cool and composed in front of the goal, a little like Keane. The US needs a forward like that.

  17. Judging Amy says:

    So excited for this kid alongside Jozy. US’ attacking talent is looking fierce (and young).

  18. Judging Amy says:

    You know if these young kids turn out to play as good as they seem to be at the World Cup, alongside our excellent veteran talent and Coach Klinsmann’s great work, we could make a very special run. Maybe even better than ’02.

  19. blokhin says:

    the next “fans like to see” line-up

    Jozy-AJ
    Donovan-Dempsey-Zusi
    Bradley
    FJ-Belser-Brooks-Cameron

    I realize the gaping hole in the middle that poor Bradley would have to cover, but this would be fun to watch for a half a game at least…

    • John says:

      How about Dempsey on the left, Donovan on the right, Zusi at right back, Cameron along side Bradley?

      • bryan says:

        seriously? Zusi at RB?

        • GW says:

          Zusi would have more space to do his creative thing at right back.

          He is fast and enough and fit enough.

          He reads the game well.

          He is no worse a defender than anyone else who has played right back for JK except maybe Cameron, Fiscal and Parkhurst.

          He is about the same size as Dolo if not bigger and stronger.

          Since when has JK hesitated to convert a midfielder into an outside back? Go look up Andreas Brehme JK’s 1990 World Cup winning team mate.

    • A.S. says:

      Replace Cameron with Chandler and you’ve got one hell of an attacking lineup. Personally I’d prefer Jones to Zusi, but still.

      • biff says:

        Yeah, Chandler is one hell of an attacker. Simply awesome. Puts Cameron, who starts at right back in the Premier League while Chandler rides the bench, to shame. Would be foolish to start Cameron at RB on the USMNT.

    • louis z says:

      I see what you are trying to do but you are making Dempsey do something he is not very good at…help defend, the counter is going to come right down the middle against a single DM (Bradley) not a good plan. Offensively, it looks good.

  20. 233 says:

    Is he ARON really as good as they say? I mean he scored goals in Denmark. Well WONDO has scored in MLS. Reasonable level. Jozy is our main striker. Can’t have AJ try to overturn that.

    • SBI TroII says:

      Denmark? No, Holland. Also Wondo isn’t even in the same class.

      • Jake says:

        Aron played in Denmark the last few seasons before he joined AZ. In Denmark he had 70 appearances with 24 goals. He has proven he can score in Denmark and Holland.

    • John says:

      At best Aron can have a similar season to Altidore. He could perhaps play along side Altidore but there is no way he over takes him.

    • but Jozy has so far only scored in Denmark as well. Yea Jozy is a very young and talented player, but why can’t we have AJ trying to beat him out?

      • Jake says:

        Jozy never played in Denmark, he played in the USA, Spain, England, Netherlands and Turkey; and has scored goals in each of those countries as well as 2 hat tricks for the USMNT.

      • GW says:

        They play complementary roles. Think Davies and Altidore.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Love Wondo, no comparison.

    • todd says:

      233,

      Wondo is slow. He scores goals with his positioning. That means when you play Wondo you’re committing yourself to him potentially disappearing for long stretches of time: He can’t pressure the backs, he can’t run away from anyone, he’s short and not that great in the air. What he does do is put himself in the proper positioning (relative to his teammates) to get his body on a ball when it is played into the box. You can’t teach that very well. It’s mostly “instinct” based on how he processes the visual information he sees on the pitch.

      Aron is FAST. He scores in a very technically gifted league by attacking defenders rather than through positioning. He puts himself in a position to receive the ball and run at the goal. This is much more useful for the US: the US needs players who will take on defenders more than it needs players who will hang around the backline and try to redirect crosses into the goal.

      • louis z says:

        From your description I take it you haven’t seen AJ poach. He is deadly.
        That is why so many people (including me) are high on the kid. I have been following his play for over a year and he has played the same way you have seen him play for every team he has played. True, early one he was winger but he wasn’t as dangerous as he is inside the box.

  21. Ulysses says:

    If Johannsson has a decent season, he already has a great start, Klinsmann might be forced to place him on the starting eleven. One or maybe two World Cup veterans might be on the bench come Brazil 2014. Not necessarily a bad thing.

  22. g-dub says:

    Can we all please agree that his nickname is simply: “ice” .

    Works on so many levels:

    - Iceland
    - Cool finisher
    - Top Gun / Val Kilmer

    • Nicholas says:

      Can he do that teeth click thing or something when he talks to the press? I think that would solidify it.

    • Sarasota says:

      “Ice, Ice, Baby!”

    • Rabbit says:

      I can’t agree to this. I’m in for Bacon.

    • johnny says:

      What about Iceman?

      Either way, I like the way this kid plays. And it’s more than the goals. I like how he runs, how quickly he changes directions, and how he juked that defender out of his shorts. Regarding him being compared to Altidore….still too soon. AJ’s younger and has not had the exposure at the National level like Jose. But AJ’s first start with the Nats was impressive.

    • g-dub says:

      Locker room after Jozy and Deuce go beast and scores goals:

      Ice: You two really are cowboys aren’t you?

      Jozy: What’s your problem Johanson?

      Ice: You’re everyone’s problem, because every time you go out on the pitch you’re unsafe – you’re dangerous Maverick

      Jozy: That’s right ice…. man, I am dangerous.

      (Then they go on to unite forces and destroy the opposition in the heat of battle…. cue the music…. Da na na, na-na-na-na-na-na-na)

  23. jonnypauly says:

    4-4-2 with AJ & Jozy up top is looking very good right about now. Frankly, I don’t care where Deuce plays, but he is not a 2nd striker & should not be considered as such. Anyway, that’s for JK to figure out & for us to aimlessly debate. Either way, I am excited about this USMNT although I’m realistic about our chances in Brazil (assuming we make it), even while my optimism is at an all-time high. I just really enjoy watching this team play an exciting brand of futból & hope for the best. All i know is I am screaming at the TV less, pacing less, actually sitting down from time to time, holding my head in my hands less frequently, & my GF thinks my temperament has improved. These are good things

    • John says:

      Neither Dempsey or AJ are really going to create much for anyone else tho. If you want someone who is going to bring other guys into the play Donovan should be there.

    • joshw says:

      My support group shares your GF’s sentiment.

  24. krazymunky says:

    he is the Baconator (kevin bacon look a like)

  25. El Torito says:

    Just call him Aaron “Foot Loose” Johannsson.

  26. jonnypauly says:

    4-4-2 with AJ & Jozy up top is looking very good right about now. Frankly, I don’t care where Deuce plays, but he is not a 2nd striker & should not be considered as such. Anyway, that’s for JK to figure out & for us to aimlessly debate. Either way, I am excited about this USMNT although I’m realistic about our chances in Brazil (assuming we make it), even while my optimism is at an all-time high. I just really enjoy watching this team play an exciting brand of futból & hope for the best. All i know is when I’m watching them play i’m screaming at the TV less, pacing less, actually sitting down from time to time, holding my head in my hands less frequently, & my GF thinks my temperament has improved. These are good things

    • away goals says:

      I’m with you jonny p. Even if the usmnt bow out of brazil in the round of 16, I’d still call the JK project a success so long as I’m treated to the same entertaining soccer we’ve seen this calendar year.

    • UMF89 says:

      I have a wife of 17 years and 12 & 14 year old daughters…. they made the same observation about my USMNT TV viewing recently……

  27. shuttlehead says:

    Cruyffed that defender out of his shorts

  28. biff says:

    If Johannsson is not already better than Jozy, he’s pretty darn close and will probably surpass Jozy soon. I haven’t read all the comments below because I cannot stand this new fu*%#*@^ stupid system with new posts on top, but I read far enough down to see most people are speculating that Johannsson will be starting up top with Jozy and even some thinking team captain Dempsey will be benched in favor Johannsson. But if Johannsson keeps improving this year it could be Jozy sitting on the bench as a sub with Johannsson starting on top. A lot depends, of course, how Jozy also develops this year.

    • That's What She says:

      I also think it depends how Deuce in the MLS. I really can’t see him being overtaken by AJ, but Deuce has always been a “slow” player, meaning lots of touches on the ball, and slowing the play down at times. Now being in the MLS, a league that is undoubtedly slower than the EPL, he could get even worse. It may not out of the imagination to see AJ and Jozy starting up top with Deuce having to find another spot. I don’t want this to happen as I firmly believe Dempsey is the most gifted attacker we have, but it is a possibility.

      • GW says:

        Deuce can do what he needs to do. He can play the up tempo style JK wants but AJ is just a much more direct player. He has the same quality that Brek Shea at his best has, that direct to goal thing. And you see how much JK wants Shea to succeed. Well, AJ is just a bit more skilled than Shea.

        So we will see. AJ is a threat to cut down Clint’s PT but the one thing Clint has,and this is a big deal, is experience under fire. AJ has no such experience, not even close.

        At any rate this all fits into JK’s script for putting pressure on everyone.. .

    • John says:

      Didn’t Jozy score 31 goals from 41 appearances last year in the same league? Hasn’t Jozy scored 7 goals in the last 5 matches he started for the US? Lets just calm down for a second.

    • markwriter says:

      eventually I’ll read enough aggravating comments like: Johannsson is better than Altidore

      (WHEN THEY PLAYED ON THE SAME TEAM AND ALTIDORE WAS CHOSEN)

      that I’ll just stop reading comments.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Nah.
      Jozy’s ability as a holding the ball has improved immensely as has the rest of his game. From what I’ve seen, this isn’t a part of AJ’s game at all. Barring something drastic, think JA has a pretty good lock on his position. If he keeps this up, I can see AJ pairing with JA in a 4-4-2 or getting time on the wing. I have to think that those in most danger of being pushed aside are EJ and Gomez. Honestly, I can’t recall the US ever having so many options and depth. Would be good to clinch WCQ so some different options/combos can be tried out. Getting interesting and very fun to watch this all come together.

      • Increase says:

        JA and AJ are just asking for confusing typo fun.

      • todd says:

        as far as I can tell AJ has never played winger. Given the depth of wingers we have (EJ,DmB,FJ,Zusi,Torres,Corona,etc.) I don’t see Klinsmann trying to make AJ into a winger.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          I could be wrong, but my understanding is he’s played a fair amount of winger, but prefers and came into his own at striker. Both Gomez and EJ are strikers first who can fill in on the wing. (I don’t much care for EJ on the wing.) So… I think there is a possibility that AJ could fill that role, but potentially be better at it.

          Torres for the first time had some decent play on the wing in GC, but… personally I don’t see him as a WC quality wide player or likely to be in Brazil. Ultimately I think FJ will be starting at LB with DmB as a backup LB/LW and Donovan starting at LW. I love Corona’s game… think he is in the conversation, but on the fence for Brazil. I dunno though….. lots of nice options make it harder to ink a lineup. Nice problem to have.

          • todd says:

            I see your points.

            I just think Torres has been played out of position on the USMNT and I think he fits better on the edges of play…and we’re just starting to see that because of the depth at CM now.

            I worry about Corona as a defensive liability (perhaps unjustly so) and think DmB can cover for FJ’s overlapping runs (if FJ is playing left back) better than any of the other options.

            Anyway, I’m glad that I don’t have to figure this out.

    • GW says:

      AJ and Jozy play different roles. The guy more likely to lose time to AJ is Clint.

      • ThaDeuce says:

        I am surprised by your opinion, GW!

        • GW says:

          ThaDeuce,

          Jozy, Deuce, Gomez, EJ, AJ, Wondo, Jack Mac, Boyd, Donovan, Wood, have all been in consideration for time at forward lately.

          You can’t take them all to Brazil.

          There is a large portion of you who want to punish Dempsey for having the temerity to let them down by moving back to the soccer backwater of the US but life is full of such small minded people. For them the bad news is Deuce, Donovan, EJ, Gomez can move back to midfield. So Clint’s total time will not necessarily drop.

          If AJ does not pair with Jozy he will be the instant offense Ole Gunnar Soljskaer sub. And if the US is going for a late goal they won’t be taking Deuce off. If you need a goal you do not remove your best proven finisher.

          Right now the offense seems to be heading in the right direction even without AJ. It is nice to have someone of his lethality as an ace in the hole and there is no one else who can fill that role. But time will tell about AJ.

          And don’t think Clint hasn’t noticed. JK was serious about competition..

      • louis z says:

        I concur,
        What I see in AJ is two players in one, you have a deadly striker and also a support player that can play like a “10″. Remember in the Bosnia game it was AJ who started the sequence that ultimately ended up in MB feet to make the final pass to Jozy. AJ can makes passes out of nothing, this type of player is not going to end up in the wing. JK is to smart to do something like that.
        Is AJ going to replace Dempsey? one day he will. I see AJ being the sub but he will start to get Dempsey’s minutes. The only way for AJ to start right away is if he continues his “1 goal per game” and Dempsey faltering in MLS. Anyone thinks Dempsey still the captain? last I checked it was Howard.

    • ThaDeuce says:

      This has to be the same guy over and over again using different names, though I do recognize biff, so maybe it’s biff?

      • biff says:

        Hey, ThaDeuce. Yeah, I have noticed several dorkheads who use a fresh user name each time they post. Wimps. Anyway, that was indeed yours truly above making the outrageous comment that Jozy needs to keep his form at a high level in order to keep his starting position. :-)

  29. J_Val says:

    aron—-jozy—lando
    ——duece—–
    bradley—jones
    fj—besler—brooks—cameron

    this will be the lineup WC14…..i have money on it

    • J_Val says:

      In this 4-3-3, lando and aron obvi have to back track to help out as well…but i had a vision, and i fell in love with it

    • mike says:

      Steve cherundolo

    • danny says:

      aron—jozy
      Donovan–JJ–Bradley–Zusi
      FJ–Besler–Brooks–Evans

      I wouldn’t put money on this line-up, but it looks pretty good to me. But, I’d love to see FJ at left wing, but I don’t see us having a better option at LB. Also, want to see Cameron tried out more alongside Bradley.

    • todd says:

      the problem with this line-up is it’s difficult to move into a 4-4-2 with just 1 substitute: you can’t move deuce out wide and Johannsson is a pure striker.

      I see it more likely that Eddie Johnson would get the nod over Johannsson purely because JK wouldn’t have to use a substitute (very precious!) to switch to a 4-4-2.

      • ThaDeuce says:

        The problem with this line up is you have Bcon and Zusi starting over Dempsey, who yes, plays fairly well out wide.

  30. 2tone says:

    Costa Rica is going to get schooled in a few weeks. Mexico best be scared as well.

    • AcidBurn says:

      This this this this this. Can’t wait to see him come in as a sub and give fits to the CR and Mexican defense after Altidore has worn them out.

      JK put him on the bench and bring him in.

      By the way that move was nasty. He faked him right out of his shorts.

    • Patrick says:

      I don’t think Mexico will be scared as much as worried. However, Chepo is going to be able to call in Javier Aquino and Giovani Dos Santos who are FINALLY getting quality minutes together at a good Villareal team…if he can bury the hatchet with Carlos Vela at Real Sociedad he is going to come in desperate and loaded for bear. Which is FINE. CONCACF qualifying should be hard. It’s no good getting out of the region if you aren’t battle hardened enough to get out of the Group stage, and while the great friendlies that the US has lined up help, its not the same as playing against teams when it counts.

      • Socom 2 says:

        41 goals since the belgium friendly

        Im not worried about mexico or costa rica…

        • Patrick says:

          Well, I think it is the curse of the soccer fan to get way to high and way too low. When Mexico was looking real nasty after the prior Gold Cup a lot of US fans were running around with their hair on fire and a lot of Mexican fans were wondering if the FMF was cleaning out space for their World Cup trophy… It hasn’t been THAT long, and while I think there are some Awesome signs regarding the USMNT, I really really doubt Mexico fell off the wagon that bad and can’t get their course corrected.

          • Todd Marsch says:

            This. I think the US and Mexico are destined to be neck and neck with each other for the foreseeable future. One country might have a period of dominance, but the other will bounce back quickly. It’s fun to be the kings of CONCACAF at the moment, but you know Mexico is going to get their act together sooner rather than later.

      • GW says:

        “if he can bury the hatchet with Carlos Vela at Real Sociedad”

        Patrick,

        There is a typo in your post. It should read “bury the hatchet IN Carlos Vela”

    • Gary Page says:

      The US has NEVER beaten Costa Rica in Costa Rica in a WC qualifier. A draw will be a good result and if we get that plus a win against Jamaica at home, it should be enough to qualify with anything else being icing on the cake. Jeesh, people do get carried away here.

  31. Jim says:

    Wondowlowski is still better.

  32. Patrick says:

    Hmm..Looks like AZ Alkmaar is going to develop the reputation with a quickness of the unofficial finishing school for talented US players looking to pick up their game.

  33. Joe+G says:

    You know you’ve made it big on here when all the comments have your name spelled correctly.

  34. J says:

    Had to come back too watch the goal again. AJ an JA are gonna be sick!!

    • Socom 2 says:

      Wait until we add Shawn Parker!

    • Josh D says:

      And to think many critics, writers, and posters didn’t think Aron was good enough to get into our team, good enough to make a difference, or good enough to make it to Brazil. Goes to show that just because you get paid to give an opinion, does make yours any better than someone else’s!

      Hope he continues. The season still has a long way to go.

      • louis z says:

        Aron has been playing the same way for over a year. He is not going to change for the worst but probably refine his game. So, far every upgrade in teams, AZ and USMNT hasn’t forced him to downgrade his game.

  35. 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

    For all FIFA enthusiasts:

    On the default fifa13 release last year with Aarhus, AJ was rated a 61 with a 69 potential. After the AZ move and the roster update, EA bumped him up to a 69 overall with 79 potential (pretty big upgrade).

    Wouldn’t be suprised if in Fifa14 hes rated about a 72 with 81 potential..not bad

  36. Bryan says:

    USMNT fans get waaaaayyyyy too excited way to fast. AJ looks good but benching Dempsey is a totally clueless reaction.

    • GW says:

      If there had been a similar video of Jozy at the same point in his AZ career that AJ is now at, everyone on SBI would be saying:

      + The defender fell down. Such garbage defenders in the Eredvisie.

      + It’s so easy to score goals in Holland; where was the defense? Who was marking AJ?.

      Maybe everyone could wait a second or two before anointing him the new Sergio Aguero or Luis Suarez.

    • danny says:

      It’s not just about whether we bench Dempsey or not for Aron. There are tactics and formations to consider. We could play a 4-4-2 with two really deadly, attacking strikers, and also have two real wingers (like Donovan/FJ/Zusi) that can provide service and attack with speed. Combine that with two great box-to-box ball winners in the middle with passing vision (Bradley and JJ) and now we’re talking about a potentially lethal counter attacking offense. But, these guys that can still possess the ball better when they have to (so more like Bob Bradley 2.0). In this setup, Dempsey might not be the best fit as he is not a winger nor a true striker. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a great super sub, or in certain situations where tactics change he returns as a starter.

      • ThaDeuce says:

        What a joke!

        ” In this setup, Dempsey might not be the best fit as he is not a winger nor a true striker. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a great super sub, or in certain situations where tactics change he returns as a starter.”

        Deuce is a better striker than all others but debatable with Donovan and JA and better winger than all others but debatable with Donovan. Again, these critics keep saying their are better players at these positions, but they keep forgetting their names!

        • ThaDeuce says:

          And I listed three players where there are usually four positions, two strikers and two wingers. So who are these, at minimum two and possibly four, magicians that oust Dempsey out of the starting lineup?

          Very curious here. The three I listed, If healthy, are set in stone along with little Bradley in the starting squad. We can go to that website where you can bet on anything and I’ll put down on that!

          • danny says:

            ThaDeuce.
            Right now, if I were playing a fast counter attacking 4-4-2 (Bob Bradley 2.0), I’d rather have Donovan, Fabian Johnson or Zusi as my wingers ahead of Dempsey. For my two stikers in this setup, I’d rather have Jozy and Donovan than Dempsey up top. If you had Donovan and FJ as wingers, than its Jozy and Dempsey up top… thats Dempsey’s best bet as a starter if playing this way. BUT, the way Aron is playing and improving… it isn’t a stretch to think by the end of this season, he could be a better option in this system. I am a huge fan of Dempsey since 2006 world cup. But, I want the US to play in a a way that gives us the best chance possible to beat a top 10 country, i.e. make a run in the World Cup.

    • EspinDOHla says:

      Amen Bryan!!

      I love AJ’s skills and his even higher potential. That being said, JK is NOT going to bench the guy that he just named captain in March for a guy that has played 27 minutes for the USMNT. Can’t wait to see Aron play some more, but yall are mad if you think Dempsey is getting benched to make room for this dude!!!

      • joshw says:

        Dempsey won’t be benched, but if we don’t score in the first half against CR, folks will be calling for it. That’s the problem of having 100 caps. We’ve all seen those times where he takes too many touches, those flops, etc. Between those silky moves in garbage time against Bosnia’s B team defense and youtube clips of him doing nothing but score goals, the perception is that AJ is a perfect player (albeit one who tends to shoot right at the keeper in international competition).

        • GW says:

          AJ shoots on target. The keeper gets in the way.

        • EspinDOHla says:

          You are right about that joshw.

          The problem is that folks will be calling for Clint’s benching after 45 minutes in Costa Rica, if we are not lighting it up in San Jose. It seems that so many people are always, always, always, clamoring for the NEXT best thing. (I admit, I do this too sometimes…I’m not immune either) It gets a little ridiculous sometimes though.

          I just don’t comprehend the thinking: “AJ has looked great in the 4 (??) games with AZ this season. He looked great in the 27 minutes in Bosnia. Therefore, he should be starting over Dempsey.” People could make this argument for some other players but not Clint.

          Not to mention that if Dempsey does have a bad game people will chide him and say, “Oh, he made the biggest mistake in his life coming back to the MLS…” Never mind the fact that LD, Besler, etc are all MLS players.

          Deuce is the man now. Don’t get me wrong, I could see AJ going to Brazil, even starting…but not over Clint like a lot of folks below have stated.

      • Gary Page says:

        The problem is some fans have little knowledge of soccer and apparently zero knowledge of US soccer history. Before Jozy went on his tear Dempsey was carrying the team. He scored something like 7 goals in 8 games

        • EspinDOHla says:

          Yes! Prior to June, it was Clint banging in all the goals!

          No need to be a historian, just have to remember the beginning of this year!!!

  37. Swanny says:

    Really want FJ in the midfield, but this could be nice:

    ————-Altidore—————–Johannsson—————-
    Dempsey———Bradley—–Cameron———–Donovan
    FJ—————Besler—————-Brooks———–Chandler

    • Mueller says:

      —————–Altidore—————
      —–Dempsey—–Johannsson
      —Bradley—Donovan—–Jones—-
      FJ—-Besler——-Gonzalez—Evans

      • Jovins says:

        Why wouldn’t you just play a 4-2-3-1?

        • joshw says:

          talking about any formation that doesn’t have Bradley and Jones as the CM pairing is a waste of time, unless one of them is injured or suspended.

        • Mueller says:

          I didn’t put it that way because I figured it would play kinda narrow and the width would come from FJ and Evans.

          The main thing is Bradley and Jones being dual 8′s with Donovan as the creative 10 above.

    • Fan Futbol says:

      What Swanny said. That’s what I’d like to see. But Jones will start in place of Cameron, and Chandler’s a bit of a head case (and not playing well from what I read), so swap Cameron for Jones and Cameron for Chandler and we’re good. In that lineup, BTW, to say we need an offensive minded RB to score goals would be, in my view, not acknowledging the potency of the rest of the team.

    • todd says:

      1. Sadly Dempsey doesn’t have the pace to play winger. The left side looks to be locked down by FJ and DmB until the coaching staff can find a full-time left-back. Playing FJ at left back is problematic if they don’t have someone with the same pace and similar defensive abilities to slow down the counter attacks.

      2. Face it, USMNT fans. Donovan and Dempsey like to play the same position. It’ll be interesting to see how Klinsmann works with this observation: will he try to push Dempsey up top to be the poacher that he is and keep Donovan less high. Or will he shift one wide? We have better pure wingers on the roster than either of these. I think we will only see both players start together under very special circumstances.

      3. Jones isn’t going anywhere…as long as he understands that Bradley is the one that goes forward by default, not himself. If Jones can’t remember this we’ll see Cameron/Beckerman in his starting spot. (Edu just can’t pass at all!) If Bradley can’t play ever, we’ll see Diskerud get the nod.

      4. If Johannsson continues to score for AZ, I guarantee he’ll be the new pairing with Jozy up top. This kid is smart, fast, and clinical in front of goal.

      • John says:

        The only times you see Bradley going forward is when Jones isn’t on the field. This has been true for as long as they’d been a pair now.

        • ThaDeuce says:

          Scoring 26 goals in the EPL in one year from the wing begs to differ with your opener.

          • ThaDeuce says:

            Oh, and you forgot the names of the better pure wingers in our pool than demps and Donovan, lol

            • todd says:

              Zusi and Corona are better wingers. FJ is a better winger. Let’s see Dempsey play LW against a decent national team; he’ll be incredibly ineffective.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                Lol, I don’t know what is funnier, your comment or that you are serious.

                All of those players are top notch, but deuce is consistently t a higher level.

                You might not know this, but deuce scored against a decent national team in the World Cup in 2006. He looked good the entire tournament and didn’t look too shabby in 2010 or for the confederations cup either. But you might not remember those things, hence your opinion that deuce is not a good winger.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                *against decent competition

            • todd says:

              2006 you say? are you the same man you were 8 years ago too? At least Donovan comes out and admits he’s lost a step.

          • todd says:

            as i said below, “Deuce”, at Fulham he cut inside to try to make something happen. He was their offense and most everything ended up running through him as if he was a #10.

            That isn’t how the USMNT plays. He’s a cog and if he doesn’t fit, his spot isn’t guaranteed.

            • ThaDeuce says:

              I was a Fulham fan during those years, and especially before the last year, he was an out and out winger when he played the wing. He did not get in the middle in the way of Bullard, Murphy, or etuhu. He stayed out wide and the attack didn’t run throu him. Him, Davies, and Gera all played about the same position and were interchangeable most of the season, out wide on both wings. The last yer he became more of a ten kind of like dembele. But he till played the wing a bunch and stayed there.

              But a lot of times late in games through all those years they would move him up late in games, and he excelled there too. And when he first started breaking through they, and he, wanted him to be a striker but they couldn’t get him the ball. They played long ball you see, so they moved him out wide where he could get on the ball and make a difference. He had to do that for the nats during the same time period, Because he is that good, and you want him to get on the ball.

          • louis z says:

            Demps never played the traditional winger position, he always pinched in. When was the last time you saw him take anyone down the touch line for a cross?
            Dempsey best position is the SS anything else and the benefit of having him on the field diminishes.

            • ThaDeuce says:

              Yes, he didn’t cross much, but I fail to see how that makes him not a better winger than corona, Zusi, or whoever else you trot out from the depth squad. Dempsey, like Bradley and Donovan, needs to be on the pitch.

              Ronaldo and messi often have started n the wings I. Their careers, haven’t often whipped in crosses, often cut in, and often score goals. Zusi often crosses the ball as a trad winger, is Zusi now defacto better at the position than they are?

              Finally, coach klins likes a winger to cut in so the outside backs can get out wide and cross the ball, so he fits in just fine in the system. I personally think deuce is best as the first striker when the team can get him service, but he is versatile and quality and can produce from many positions, as he has shown throughout his career.

              • louis z says:

                Let’s put our coaching hat on, if you have Dempsey in the wing spot and he is going to pinch in always, who is going to cover for his defensive deficiencies? and if he plays in the SS role who is going to make passes to Jozy? Dempsey is a finisher, he is not known for setting up others. The way I see it is, you have an excellent poacher but it comes with baggage. You have youngster (AJ) that from the looks of it, is a complete package. The only thing Dempsey have over AJ is experience but so far lack of experience hasn’t affected the kid.
                Like I said before, I think CD will start, but most likely AJ will come in for him.

              • ThaDeuce says:

                Dempsey always covered the most ground covering his own defensive duties, he passes the ball pretty good too. I am not sure where this poacher label for him is coming from, but this is the first thread I’ve ever seen it and never heard a journalist use it for him. I don’t think it is accurate, I think he has a lot more to his game than just scoring goals. I think his record in the confed cup and two world cups shows what all he can bring on the top stage. But maybe we saw two different games.

            • ThaDeuce says:

              Also, if he can only play ss in your lineup, then he is behind jozy or Donovan in that position, not johanson.

      • Gary Page says:

        Dempsey and Donovan play the same position? Yeah, how did they manage to play together during the last WC. It must have been a disaster. And that poor slow Dempsey managed 50+ goals at Fulham while spending the majority of his time at left wing. Some people have short memories. Are you aware that those two are the only US players along with McBride to score in two different WC’s? Johannson has scored a total of 0 goals for the US and yet some people are putting him in front of two of the best in US history. Incredible.

        • todd says:

          Gary, it’s about the team, not the player.

          Dempsey’s goals were not the type of goals that fit in the US system. Dempsey thrives on slop. He’s a great player but the US system needs wingers with speed who will spread wide and spread out the defense. At Fulham, he was told to cut inside and make something happen because they didn’t have a #10. Dempsey was Fulham’s #10.

        • louis z says:

          You history buffs are too good for me. Let me know when you guys get to current topics.

      • louis z says:

        I think LD is probably our best winger. not sure about dempsey. he lacks speed and defense.

    • J_Val says:

      right now our defense is not good enough to play with one shield in front of the back four. JK knows this which is why he always plays JJ with MB against good comp and in qualifying. Against the minnows Cameron can def look great, or put MB by himself and let the dogs loose. But it wont work against a team that can attack intelligently, MB will be spun around so many times he’ll b screwed into the ground by halftime.

  38. barachus says:

    This dude can ball. There should be some serious consideration of having Jozy and Bacon up top

  39. Dubstepan says:

    Remember when we had to rely on Buddle and Findley? Us soccer has come a far way lol..

    • Kevin says:

      OMG LOL

    • Tensnake says:

      You’re forgetting Ricardo Clark hahaha.

    • Gary Page says:

      Actually Buddle had a great year and scored a couple against Australia right before the WC and was in great form. Bradley made a big mistake, IMO, by playing Findley ahead of him. Buddle did okay in Bundesliga 2 also.

      • louis z says:

        I though he didn’t. that is why he ended up coming back to MLS

      • Jack says:

        yeah but the point was that we had no one else so had to go with a guy who, while was scoring goals in MLS, clearly didn’t have international quality.

      • GW says:

        Buddle and Jozy played the same position.

        Buddle was completely different from Findley. Buddle paired with Findley in the Australia game, which was basically a scrimmage.

        No one on either team was going get hurt and miss the World Cup.

        Findley was not that bad. He had bad luck with cards and never got untracked.

  40. Dennis says:

    I still think of whatever starting 11 anyone picks right now, it is hard to argue that at least 9 of them do not have a player of comparable caliber right behind. I think only Jozy and MB have talents that cannot be replaced by others in the present pool. AJ is a good finisher, but he does not have Jozy’s strength and no other midfielder has the combination of defense, quality p@ssing and soccer smarts that MB has. Of course Donavon and Dempsey and Howard are likely starters, but other players have talents that could replace them fairly seamlessly. JK will have a lot of hard choices t make in the next year. He has something no other US coach before him has had, a pool of players wherein the talent does not drop off a lot at about 12 or 13 players. That affords him more flexibility in the style he wants the team to play, but it also means that his choices will be questioned much more harshly if they don’t work out.

    • SeaAnonymous says:

      Nobody can replace Donovan.

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        Zusi replaced him fairly admirably during a number of WC qualifiers which we won.

        Not saying Zusi is a better player, but it was not a catastrophic drop off. I think Dennis is right on the money here.

  41. USMNT Best Starting 11 Ever! says:

    ————-Altidore—————–Johannsson—————-
    Dempsey———Bradley—–Jones———–Donovan
    FJ—————Besler————-Gonzalez——–Chandler

  42. ThaDeuce says:

    I am lost in these comments, the chronology has me upside down.

  43. Rimjob city says:

    Dempsey won’t start

  44. Flimflam says:

    ————-Altidore/Wondowlowski—————–Johannsson/Wondowlowski—————-
    Dempsey/Wondowlowski—Bradley—–Cameron./Wondowlowski———–Donovan//Wondowlowski
    FJ//Wondowlowski—Besler//Wondowlowski—Brooks//Wondowlowski——Chandler//Wondowlowski
    ——————————————————Howard————————————————————

  45. Socom 2 says:

    The only way it works is with a 4-4-2 diamond formation

    ———— Altidore ———- Bacon ——————
    ——————– Dempsey ————————–
    —– F Johnson ——————- Donvan ————-
    ——————— Bradley —————————–

    Jones has to be a sub, Otherwise you switch formations and Johannsson will be a sub

    • MikeG says:

      Looks good. Agree Jones has to sit. Jones turns it over way too much recently for the USMNT and Schalke.

      • Annelid Gustator says:

        If he steps his form back up, the question gets a lot tougher, though. He’d be one hell of a backup for MB90.

    • J_Val says:

      right now our defense is not good enough to play with one shield in front of the back four. JK knows this which is why he always plays JJ with MB against good comp and in qualifying. Against the minnows Cameron can def look great, or put MB by himself and let the dogs loose. But it wont work against a team that can attack intelligently, MB will be spun around so many times he’ll b screwed into the ground by halftime.

  46. Annelid Gustator says:

    Bring back the empty bucket

    AJ JA
    LD CD
    MB90 JJ
    FJ Bes Gonzo Evans

  47. Matty says:

    This is just what I would like to see in Brazil. Not exactly what I think will happen.

    ———————–Jozy—————————
    ——————Dempsey————————-
    Donovan————————————–Zusi
    ———Bradley—————–Cameron——-
    Lichaj—–Bessler——Gonzo—–Cherundolo
    ——————-Howard————————–

    • Lost in Space says:

      The only issue I’d have with this is the absence of Fabian Johnson. FJ would be ahead of either Zusi or Lichaj. I hope Dolo will be able to return and contribute, but I’m not holding my breath in that regard.

  48. Pingback: Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview | Soccer By Ives

  49. Lost in Space says:

    Against weaker compitition I could see the US roll out a 4-1-3-2 formation using the following:
    —————–AJ————————JA—————-
    —-FJ——————–CD————————LD—-
    —————————-MB——————————-
    —–DMB—–Besler————OG———Evans—
    —————————-Howard————————–
    FJ or DMB could be played as LB or LM. Or FJ pushed to LB and Zusi/Corona/Bedoya @ LM
    Against stronger compitition would expect us to play a 4-2-3-1…..
    ——————————Jozy—————————–
    —-FJ——————-CD————————–LD—–
    ————–JJ——————–MB————————
    —DMB———Besler———-OG———–Evans—
    ————————–Howard—————————–
    If FJ is moved to LB, expect AJ or Zusi to potentially fill the LM role. Could also see Cameron played in place of JJ (if JJ doesn’t get on the same page as MB, Is suspended/injured).
    The nice thing about what is happening with the USNT is that for the first time in my 30 yrs of following them, there is REAL compitition within the team. IMO there are 2-5 sure starters (Howard, MB, Jozy, Dempsey/Donovan), then a pool of players (25) who are fighting for a starting spot. The formation and the players current form will dictate who makes the team, and who starts where.
    Strikers: Jozy, Johannsson, Gomez, Boyd, Agudelo, E. Johnson
    AM’s: Dempsey, Donovan, Zusi, Bedoya, Corona, Shea,
    Mids: Bradley, Jones, Cameron, Mixx, Kljestan, Torres, Williams, Edu
    Defense: F. Johnson, Beasley, Castillo, Besler, Gonzalez, Brooks, Goodson, Orozco, Evans, Chandler, Lichaj, Dolo,
    GK: Howard, Guzan, Rimando, S. Johnson, Hamid
    There are bound to be others who I’ve either forgotten or who get on a really good run of form. Regardless, this is the best/deepest pool of players I think we’ve ever had running up to the WC.

  50. Andrew says:

    How about a 4-1-3-2, we’d have no defense, but still…would be fun to watch

    ———Dempsey——–Altidore——-
    Johannsson—–Donovan——–Zusi
    ——————–Bradley——————
    Beasly–Besler–Goodson–Evans/Cameron
    ——————–Guzan——————-