Johannsson scores twice as AZ Almaar advance in Dutch Cup

AronJohannssonAZAlkmaar5 (Getty)

By CAITLIN MURRAY

Aron Johannsson came through big for AZ Alkmaar Wednesday, scoring twice to push AZ to the KNVB Cup in a dramatic overtime win on penalty kicks, where the U.S. National Team forward also did his part.

Although Heerenveen took an early lead, Johannsson opened the scoring for AZ with a tap off a deflection in the 19th minute. Entering extra time deadlocked at 1-1, Johannsson shook defenders in the box for a late goal in 105th minute – but a Heerenveen response sent the match the to PKs. Johannsson easily converted his spot kick and AZ finished 7-6 in penalties for the win and a place in the quarterfinals to defend the team’s title.

With his 16th and 17th goals in the books, Johannsson is now more than halfway to beating fellow national-teamer Jozy Altidore’s single-season record for goals by an American playing abroad, which Altidore set last year at 31 goals.

Check out videos of both goals after the jump:

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What do you think of the goals? What do you think of how Johannsson is playing AZ Alkmaar? Is he going to give Altidore a run for his money? Have any predictions for how AZ does in the quarterfinals?

Share your thoughts below.

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77 Responses to Johannsson scores twice as AZ Almaar advance in Dutch Cup

  1. Rick says:

    A goal Jozy would be proud to take… tap ins are about all he can get these days

    • nato says:

      Jozy owned Holland last season. Can AJ say the same? Could he score in England?

      show some respect for Altidore

      • Stantson says:

        Jozy can’t even get a tap in these days.

      • Madden's Chin says:

        Johannsen has 13 goals in 21 appearances. He’s one of the leading scorers in Europe.

        • Anthony says:

          not really impressive when you are a striker in the Eredivisie

          • CGold says:

            What a dumb comment ^^^^^

            • Karisimo says:

              Wasn’t Jozy the leading scorer, or close to it, in Holland last year? How many goals does ha have in the EPL this year?
              It’s a lot easier to score in the Eridivisie that in the EPL.
              Want proof? Altidore scored 31 goals there last year. He has only one in the EPL this year. He’ll be lucky to get to 5.

              • Gary Page says:

                Bony was the leading scorer in Holland last year. 3 years ago the leading scorer in Holland was Suarez from Uruguay. I think he’s playing for Liverpool right now. You would have more credibility if you had some knowledge.

              • CroCajun1003 says:

                Gary,

                Bony has 4 goals this year, and while that’s more than 1, he ain’t exactly on Suarez’s level.

                Seems like your comment was a bit harsh. Karisimo’s point was fair.

              • Dirk McQuigley says:

                Yeah that Cruyff guy was completely mediocre.

                Snip.

              • slowleftarm says:

                Yeah because the Dutch league now is comparable to the Dutch league 40 years ago.

              • patrick says:

                he was also on one of the better teams in Holland, while he is currently employed by a dumpster fire masquerading as a low level EPL team

          • DR7_Liverpool_ says:

            ignorance

          • Good Jeremy says:

            Then every striker in the eredivisie should be among the top scorers in Europe, no?

        • MLSsnob says:

          He’s one of the leading leaders in alternative education.

      • 2tone says:

        AJ is currently owning Holland right now. So, yes AJ can say the same.

      • Rick says:

        Respect has to be earned and Jozy has done nothing, absolutely nothing to earn anybody’s respect. The only question I still have is why is JK still starting him? I believe JK should start investing time in Aron, heavily. He has the most potential for scoring of any forward in the pool.

        If credit were given for “holding the ball up” then Jozy would be the king but the fact is, hes a forward that rarely scores. Not a good thing to be

        • or says:

          KMA

          Jozy has scored 21 goals in 66 matches with the Nats. Played vital roles in qualifying for 2 WORLD CUPS.

          now how in your eyes has he not earned “respect”

          Aron is a nice sub but he is not a starter. That is Jozy’s job.

        • GW says:

          Rick,

          “If credit were given for “holding the ball up” then Jozy would be the king but the fact is, hes a forward that rarely scores. Not a good thing to be”

          You must not have been watching the USMNT lately.

          There are a fair number of people who would find fault with your analysis of Jozy’s value:

          link to independent.co.uk

          As for turning over Jozy’s job to AJ , what AJ is doing this year, Jozy already did that over the last two years. Jozy’s a proven international scorer with the US. AJ is promising but that is a long way from the versatile, valuable player that Jozy already is. As you say respect must be earned and AJ still hasn’t done that with the US.at least not like Jozy.

          Playing in the World Cup is very different from playing in Holland. The US will need a stud like Jozy to take all the pounding our forwards will get. Jozy will know exactly what to expect from Ghana and he is better prepared now.

          • Louis Z says:

            Jozy “can” be a proven scorer. His problem is consistency. I’m not taking club results (or lack of) in to consideration, he has been playing sub-par for the last 3 USA games. A couple of those he really looked way off, any other coach would have him subbed off but JK is trying to make him play his way out his slump. AJ is also a work in progress but he seems to be more consistent at this stage of his game.

            • go euro or go home says:

              no forward is going to score every game or as consistently as everyone wants (unless their team is created a crazy number of chances). did you catch jozy’s run of scoring in something like 7 straight games for the nats recently? that is basically unheard of and as if he needed to show the quality that he has displayed for the last handful of YEARS (for those who just started paying attention last week, I guess), there you go. did you see jozy lead his team to victory against Chelsea a couple of days ago? no, he didn’t score any goals, but he was absolutely key to the victory. someone who does not understand the game would not be able to see that though…

              • Louis Z says:

                Just because you don’t agree with me don’t think for a second that my knowledge of the game is suspect. Trying to make a point of a player not scoring every game degrades your argument. Jozy is getting the same number of chances at the national level as he did when he was hot this past summer. The fact that he is performing below to what he was before shows that he is more susceptible to peaks and valleys than other players of his caliber. It’s not just the fact that he is not scoring but the way he has been playing for country these past few months. His passes and timing have been off. My comments are of a current Jozy not a history lesson of past achievements like you are trying to make it be.

        • Gary Page says:

          I’m sure somewhere on the internet is a video of the US game vs. Bosnia. Go watch it and see how Jozy scored a hat trick and outplayed Dzeko. And none was a cheap goal. I swear some of the people who make comments like this apparently pay no attention to actual play. Do you ever watch anything?

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      He played well yesterday in a cup win over Chelsea. I think Sunderland is on the upswing. Might be too little too late, but I think Jozy will have more chances to score here on out.

      • go euro or go home says:

        too little too late? there is still PLENTY of time to turn the season around. any sort of decent run over a handful of games will get them out of the drop zone.

    • Brett says:

      Why not just give some credit to Aron instead of making everything about Jozy.

      He’s finding it’s harder to score in England than it is in Holland, that’s no shock to anyone.

      Aron is having a fantastic year and he shows promise as a player that few Americans ever have. He will eventually move to a bigger and better league.

      Truth be told, I like his game a lot more than Jozy. He’s got better touch and a better work rate. He’s also better on his weak foot than Jozy. Jozy has a size advantage, but Aron’s small stature is by no means a quality never seen in top flight players. If anything Jozy’s size works against him sometimes because he doesn’t get the same calls for contact and when he does take contact, ref’s often expect him to absorb it because of his big body.

      • Anthony says:

        well he is obviously showing promise as a player that Americans rarely have, he isn’t American, he’s from Iceland.

        • Jesse D says:

          Anthony, this is a land of immigrants. Unless you believe the US should only play native americans then cut it with this crud. Arron was born in the US. He spent many of his summers in the US soccer camps as a youngster. He has chosen to represent the land of his birth. He has the right! I for one accept all American citizens who wants to represent the USA, with open arms.

        • Madden's Chin says:

          Yeah, he’s actually from Alabama.

      • Louis Z says:

        I remember when Aron’s name first started to show up in these threads people began to down played his game with comments like “he hasn’t done enough”, “no way he is going to score like Jozy”, he is “too weak”, “not fast enough”. Now I’m hearing…”well the league is too weak on defense” etc. The fact of the matter the kid, has been playing consistent for the past 2 years and yet some folks like to find something to bitch about his game specially when being compared to Jozy, AJ and JA are completely different forwards. One uses strength and will and the other uses quickness and trickery.

    • Bobeto says:

      JK needs to get this guy on the pitch every match from now to the 1st WC match. Put him on the left side and let him make those attacking runs into the box. A lot of matches will help his confidence. I think when playing for the NATS he puts himself under too much pressure and is afraid to make a mistake. I think a more flowing offence will help Josy, too.
      I worry about Josy’s comfort being upfront alone. If Josy is in JK plans (and it looks like he is), then give him help…he is not talented enough to create space up front, alone.

  2. CroCajun1003 says:

    AJ always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Love this kid already.

    • Brett says:

      Part of this is reading the game, but I genuinely think Jozy could read the game the same way… he just doesn’t work as hard off the ball.

      • Dennis says:

        Apparently you haven’t watched his recent games with Sunderland. He is active off the ball, maybe even going too far by dropping into midfield in an attempt to receive some passes.

        But this is about AJ and he is doing very well. A forward can only score against the teams he is playing against, so those who say “it is only Holland” are pretty much missing the point. He is scoring a lot (as did Jozy and Bradley in their time in Holland) and for now that is all you can hope for. Good for him!

  3. Boyd says:

    Thank god for these sloppy seconds otherwise we would have nothing to celebrate.

  4. Beto says:

    Come on keep! Doesnt come out to the ball and then gets ‘meged

    Good stuff from AJo

  5. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Ive discovered if I really want a good laugh, instead of watching a comedy or a stand-up routine, all I have to do is watch some Dutch league defending.

    • Ian says:

      If MLS defenders were as bad (or, more accurately, if MLS forwards were as good), more Americans would watch soccer. Nothing wrong with lots of goals.

    • Gary Page says:

      I was watching the Stoke–man U game today and they mentioned a Stoke defender (Pieters) from Holland. There are a whole lot of defenders now playing in the EPL who were playing in Holland the last few years. I think most observers would put Holland right behind France in quality, so they aren’t all bad.

  6. Increase says:

    I rather like the Heerenveen shirts… hmmm I try to get one…

  7. 2tone says:

    I know technically PK shoot out goals don’t count, but in my mind he is on 18 goals in all comps.

  8. Freddie Footballer says:

    The best field player for the USMNT right now. Given that he did not develop here should give us some indication of how far our development system in this country has to go.

    • timothy says:

      Well, he spent a year training with the youth nats when he was 17…
      Anyway, I would argue that he could be and is probably about the level of a top world class striker. But I will argue that Michael Bradley is a better player right now

      • Joe+G says:

        Actually, not with the US residency players. He was a tuition-paying student at Bradenton but had different coaches and played on a different team. He did get to know a few of them because they shared classes and lived on the same campus.

    • John says:

      If Jozy hadn’t done just as well if not better on the same club last year you might have a point. However it is hard to honestly rate US players when they are so spread out around the world. I mean how does the quality of Liga MX really compare to the Eredivisie or how does the Jupiler Pro compare to the Championship? To be honest I have no idea.

    • GW says:

      “The best field player for the USMNT right now.”

      Really?

      Too bad the USMNT won’t be playing any real games until June next year. Let’s see how AJ stands up to the ferocious,tight, brutal, borderline criminal kind of defending the US will see in Brazil. AJ will never have faced anything like that.

    • Gary Page says:

      I just don’t see how you can say that. Better than Bradley, Cameron, F Johnson, or any number of US players playing regularly in tougher leagues? He has been in the Eredevisie a little less than a year, after having been in the Danish league, and he is having a good season. After he has had 2 or 3 good years in a top 4 league, then you can make a case. Put things in perspective.

    • go euro or go home says:

      you lose credibility (not that you should have any to start with posting on a site like this), with farcical statements like that.

  9. AcidBurn says:

    AJ – when Sunderland calls during the next transfer window, please don’t pick up the phone. Thanks.

  10. espada says:

    Hey, if Jozy’s confidence is shot coming in Brazil, we have the Iceman to help us out!

  11. TomG says:

    I just skip past the Jozy hate threads now without reading them. it’s ridiculous. I love the strength AJ showed n the second goal. He has a slight frame and it’s good to see him outmuscle defenders.

    • go euro or go home says:

      frustrating though and really shows our immaturity as a fan base / soccer country (what else should i expect?)

      • TomG says:

        I don’t think so. There are just as many idiots on supporters forums in England. It’s just something you have to deal with.

  12. Johnson says:

    LOL JOZY IS TERIIBLE

  13. Scott Blue says:

    Enough with the Altidore pimping. No matter how you try to sugar coat it the fact remains that good players find their way to good teams and Sheatty players play for Sunderland.
    Altidore is responsible for Sunderland’s impending relegation. 1 goal in 16 games is no way to help your team.
    End of story.

    • Dennis says:

      Torres scored 81 goals for Livermore in 4 years, but has managed just 17 in 4 years for Chelsea and had just 1 goal in 18 games in his first season with Chelsea. I guess you can argue that Torres is no good, but that makes it hard to explain those 81 goals for Livermore. I do not think Altidore is getting the kind of service at Sunderland that Torres has at Chelsea and he is expected to do a lot of things that Torres is not, like hold the ball, muscle defenders, challenge keepers and serve as a lone striker.

    • MN Footie says:

      I guess the problem that I have with this comment is that is shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the game of football is played. The assumption that your comment makes is that Jozy has been playing terribly, and that his terrible play is singlehandedly responsible for Sunderland’s bad form. And though you do cite *a* statistic to support these claims, the statistic you cite is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things. How often is it that we see a single player who’s good enough to carry an entire team on his goal-scoring back? I can think of maybe four examples from the last few years: Bale for Spurs last season, Suarez for Liverpool currently, and then throw in Messi and Ronaldo (though the latter two have been on pretty good teams, too). The point is, goals come from good teams far, far more often than they do from good players on terrible teams.

      And yes, we all want goals. I understand that. But there are so many other things that a striker can do to be effective, in addition to scoring goals. I saw this a few weeks ago, and it’s a pretty good look at how Jozy’s making the most of his abilities, even on a terrible team.

      • Scott Blue says:

        We can dissect numbers every which way and we can argue all day about who understands the game better, that doesn’t change the fact that Altidore plays for a terrible team and has scored one goal in 16 games.
        Add to that the fact that he failed miserable in the EPL and La Liga before and it becomes pretty obvious that he’s just not good enough for anything better than a relegation bound EPL team.
        I guarantee you that Jozy’s agent is not getting calls from Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool.
        Are they all ignorant also?

        • MN Footie says:

          Let’s just clarify: Jozy Altidore is not world class. I don’t know that anyone (except the staunchest fanboys) would say that. And that’s the primary reason that the Big Boys of UEFA aren’t phoning his agent.

          But I think it’s clear that he does many very positive things for Sunderland, and there’s every indication that if he were to do those same things on a better-than-basement-dwelling team, (even a lower mid-table team, or one that hasn’t experienced the dysfunction that SAFC has this season) we’d be seeing more goals. He’s not going to transform into Suarez or Aguero or something along those lines – he’s not that good. But he’d have more results. That’s my thought, anyway.

  14. Vic says:

    Not sure who is a more gifted or talented scorer. However, I could see Johannsen doing better than Altidore in the Premeir. Johannsen seems to have a better work ethic and more stable mentally.

  15. jm says:

    I think our most lethal attack (against Ghana at least) would be Jozy up top with dempsey playing just behind him, donovan on the right wing and johannsson on the left. Against Portugal and Germany we might have to be a little more prudent, but if we’re going for the win against Ghana, I’d love to see all these guys on the field. Thoughts?

    • cps says:

      I like it. Iceman is far too dynamic to be left out of the starting 11 in Brazil. And hopefully JK will be wise enough to play Fab Johnson’s at LB and Cameron’s at RB.

      • Jesse D says:

        I pretty much agree except I do not look forward to watching Cameron against Ronaldo. For as good as Cameron is, he is not good as an open field defender. I’ve seen him get burned really badly several times. I would prefer a player with some pace (like Chandler) to play in the Portugal game. Cameron should certainly be the starter against Germany when we will play a more bunker style game.

    • John says:

      We’ve seen Johannsson play underneath Jozy and he wasn’t great in the midfield. I’d still rather put Landon on the left and then Bedoya or Zusi on the right. Johannsson I see as a good option off the bench in a match where we are bunker-ed in and have to look for a counter attack. I think of our strikers he’s the most likely to get in behind a defense or finish in front of goal on a break. I just think its a bad idea to take a striker and shove them into a midfield generally. The positions require different skills week in and out, that he isn’t working on at AZ.

      • Jesse D says:

        fair enough. Johannsson’s best skills are as a goal poacher, not a winger/midfielder. If the game situation calls for a 4-4-2, I think AJ paired with Altidore is worth considering. If only he had the pace of a 2009 Charlie Davies.