Johannsson scores vs. FC Utrecht

AronJohannssonAZAlkmaar5 (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

Aron Johannsson recovered from the injury that kept him of AZ Alkmaar’s most recent match, and he came back in time to shine against a fellow American striker.

Johannsson delivered a 21st-minute header goal for AZ against Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht on Saturday. AZ settled for a 1-1 draw against visiting Utrecht after an equalizing free kick in the second half from Utrecht’s Jens Toornstra.

Both Johannsson and Agudelo started as target forwards for their club on Saturday, in what might be a preview of a potential U.S. Men’s National team pairing for the March 5 friendly at Ukraine. Agudelo struggled to get involved in the attack for a Utrecht side that spent much of the match chasing the game.

The goal is Johannsson’s 14th Eredivisie goal of the season, and 22nd goal in all competitions for AZ.

Here is the goal:


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79 Responses to Johannsson scores vs. FC Utrecht

  1. A.S.A. says:

    Start him in Ukraine

    • Brad C says:

      Along with Jozy. Even if Jozy isn’t scoring, he can be an Emile Hesky type and set up AJ, Dempsey, and Donovan…

  2. Hopper says:

    Johannsson scores!

    Of course he does!

    I predict he’ll be a breakout player at the World Cup. It’s the logical progression to an outstanding club season for him.

  3. John says:

    He’s actually knocked in a couple headers recently, I wonder if thats something he has been working on because I can’t recal many i any until the last couple.

  4. Chris says:

    I’m pumped about this kids future, but he has frankly scored some ugly goals this season.

  5. El Paso tx says:

    If he doesn’t start in Brazil, I’ll be running naked in my block :)
    Him and diskerud are different players USA need, hopefully Dempsey n altidore get there bologna together

  6. formerlyanonymous says:

    Did that defender stick his arm out and deflect that right into goal? Ouch.

  7. Andrew says:

    Is it possible to start Aron, Jozy, Clint, and Landon together against a team like Germany or Portugal. I think that’s really the question Klinsi has to be asking right now.

    • quozzel says:

      Dunno how. You could MAYBE go to a 4-3-3 with Clint on the left, Jozy at center forward, and Aron on the right, but I dunno if that’s ideal. You’d probably almost have to play LD at left mid at that point…which bumps Baby Bradley to defensive center mid and probably puts Jermaine Jones on the right…not liking it, especially since what do you do then with Fabian Johnson?

      Pretty sure we’re going to see more of a 4-5-1…with Fabian Johnson at left wing, probably Zusi starting on the right, and LD in the hole behind Altidore, and Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones at CM behind Landon. Dempsey and Aron probably start on the bench…unless Dempsey wakes back up. He has just not been in any kind of form…for better than a year. I suppose we could see a variation of that where Zusi bumps out, LD slides over to the right side, and either AJ or Dempsey start at CAM/false 9 behind Altidore, but I don’t see both of them getting into the starting lineup.

      One thing I suppose that could alter this is if Jurgen decides to bump Fabian Johnson back to left back over DeMarcus Beasley, which could put Clint in on the left. Especially because you know Fabian Johnson won’t be shy about making those rampaging runs up the left flank, it might give Clint the freedom he’s looking for to cut in from the left to central as he likes to do…I’d really, really have to think about this, if I was Klinsmann.

      Be an intriguing formation….

      ———————————-Altidore————————————-
      ——-Dempsey————Johanssen————-Donovan——–
      ——————–Bradley—————Jones—————————
      —-F. Johnson——Gonzalez——Besler——Cameron——–
      ———————————Howard————————————–

      Probably our strongest starting 11, at least if everyone shows up healthy and in some kind of form……

      • Adams says:

        No Altidore, unless he scores. I’d rather have Johnson up front right now than Jozy. He enormously lacks confidence at the moment.

        • John says:

          All leagues aren’t equal and Jozy is the only one getting starts in a top 4 league.

          • Joe says:

            Not today… he and 9 other starters were all benched… and his team won

            It really doesnt matter if Jozy starts on a UK team, the fact is he does nothing for that team while Aron is scoring. Aron deserves the start in the next friendly and Jozy deserves the bench. Also… Why people are still starting Dempsey in their lineups is beyond me. He has also done nothing since he came back to MSL… actually even before that. He did not make a mark on his loan to Fulham and more and more, its looking like its over for him

            • Nate Dollars says:

              “It really doesnt matter if Jozy starts on a UK team, the fact is he does nothing for that team”

              LOL DOESN’T WATCH

              • Jesse D says:

                Yeah, at least say “doesn’t score goals for them” that would be factual. Jozy does do a lot though.

            • Nate says:

              Better hope that eredivisie goals translate into international goals against Portugal and Germany…I know Jozy has scored against Germany (and Spain’s A squad). How many has Aj scored in a nats jersey?

            • Lil' Zeke says:

              Don’t you mean MISL?

      • GinHumboldt says:

        I like that line up. Would love to see that line up start the world cup if everyone is in form.

        If Clint Dempsey can’t find his form, which attack minded player would you replace him with?

        • John says:

          I’d say Donovan and put Zusi on the right

          • GinHumboldt says:

            Zusi on the right mid if no Clint.

            Experience all over (except not as much in the middle of defence). May be vulnerable to a fast team but I hope we see something close to this in one of the friendlies.

            Is this a 4-5-1 or a 4-2-3-1? Is there a difference?

            • Sharkbait says:

              4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 are pretty much the same thing. It kind of depends which players you use and how they’ll play. 4-2-3-1 is pretty much the most common system used today (with 4-4-2 being right there with it.) By saying 4-2-3-1 you’re mainly just better defining the roles that each person will play than if you just said 4-5-1.

              Typically with the 4-2-3-1 you have your basic back 4, then 2 defensive minded or box-to-box mids sitting in front of them, then 3 more attack minded mids and finally a lone striker. It’s just more defined than saying 4 in the back, 5 in the middle, with a striker up top. Of course it’s all a moot point in the end since players will (hopefully) play the way their coach instructs them and to what (again hopefully) best suits their talents and style of play.

      • Bryan says:

        To me it would make more sense to start Johansen on the left and keep Dempsey in the hole… but only if he looks competent at some point before June

      • Brett says:

        Dempsey will leaves huge voids to his side and would provide no width. For me, Clint only plays when we deploy the 4-4-2, and he must be paired with someone who works hard defensively and makes unselfish runs (pretty much all our strikers except Jozy and Clint.

        We need Fabian in that advanced left position (or an in form Brek Shea, if that ever happens).

      • Gary Page says:

        I think that line-up needs another distributor in the midfield. Still, it would have promise and should score goals.

        • Jesse D says:

          exactly. Johannson isn’t a distributor or a long shot aficionado. Starting him in the number 10 with that formation doesn’t make sense to me. Johannson isn’t a good enough passer from what I’ve seen. I’d love to find him a spot in the lineup, but he probably only fits as a striker, whether alone or in a 2 man combo.

          • ronniet says:

            @Gary/JesseD, you guys haven’t watched Aron play alot then because he is a damn fine passer of the ball! If the dutch league has taught him anything it’s clinical finishing, technical savvy and good distribution. Just wait, you’ll see!!!

      • Louis Z says:

        Dempsey on the wing? you must be joking, he can hardly keep up playing inside. and defending the flanks is not his strongest attribute.

  8. just saying says:

    i can see why Jozy scored all of those goals in the Dutch league, the defending is awful. honestly first time watching a league game from there and i may have to say this with honesty. MLS seems better. refereeing is awful and midfield play is not even a big part. awful. Juan should have 6-8 goals before seasons end.

    • Adams says:

      lame excuse… try another one for Jozy.

    • usaalltheway says:

      just saying…you make a good point.

      At least on this one goal alone, the guy “marking” The Iceman is doing a terrible job, if in fact he was trying to defend at all. Seem more like he was watching the ball being brought into the box.

      It was an ugly goal but that isn’t the problem. It’s the defending. It is truly terrible.

  9. George says:

    Let’s curb our enthusiasm. Remember Altidore was scoring like crazy there a year ago.
    For all we know AJ would be even worse once he plays agains real teams.

  10. Matt says:

    Suarez got his chops in eredivisie….so did van Persie don’t diss

    • George says:

      For every Luis Suarez there are 20 Altidores

    • John says:

      Last season’s league leader Bony with 8 league goals and 17 across all competitions for Swansea this year. I’d take that.

      • yea mon says:

        But the likes of Kezman,Alves and Bryan Ruiz really lit up the EPL didn’t they?

        • Nate says:

          but then you have Bergkamp, Van basten, rijkaard, gullit, koeman, kluivert, seedorf, sneijder, davids, van hooijdonk, van der vaart, van nilstelrooy, romario, ronaldo, robben…Those guys were alright…

  11. usaalltheway says:

    Again, what is with the defending in this league?

    It’s really something to considered.

  12. TomG says:

    Great crop of young forwards we have. Happy AJ scored and Juan and Jozy are playing well. Just an absolute explosion of hateful ignorant muck about Jozy every time any other American forward scores. What is wrong with you people? How miserable are your lives that every positive must be turned into a negative? It’s kind of sad, actually.

    • John says:

      The way some US fans love to cast off a player that faces any difficulty and move on the next “hot” prospect is pretty annoying.

    • Just saying says:

      I think you’re taking it more personal than everyone here actually. Take chicharito for example, by the way I hate Mexico but he when comes on te pitch he scores 87% of the time and he came from liga MX and I’m sure he is frustrated to sit on the bench and he still scores. In my opinion that’s a striker. Jozy lacks concentration and self believe, those things alone make him a mediocre striker. There’s no next hot thing bandwagon here just saying maybe the Dutch league is just a mirage to use as a meter to measure future success. Aaron shows hunger when he plays jozy just looks like a downer when the going gets tough. Not to mention he was at hull city and he $#!+ on his hand on that one as well. Anyhow this is a blog where we discuss opinions about players, if you feel miserable that others talk critical of other people maybe is just a projection of your life and you should talk to a professional about it or man up and tell those bullies to LEAVE YOU ALONE!

      • Nate says:

        if the dutch league is just a mirage, then why credit johannson’s achievements over altidore’s especially when attempting to evaluate how either would fare in a US jersey? Altidore has scored 21 goals in a US Jersey (8 in 2013) compared to AJ’s 1. Thats right, ONE. Don’t get me wrong, I like AJ, and I think he should start in Brazil, but I think it should be alongside Jozy as opposed to instead of. You cant say that Eredivisie goals are meaningless for one player, but not another.

        As for chicharito, how has he fared for Man U this season? sure, his strike rate is impressive, but if he is so impervious to the situatuion around him, why did Mexico have to qualify through the play in? Chicharito isn’t the reason mexico is going to brazil, graham zusi is.

        • Just saying says:

          Not praising anyone’s achievement between AJ and JA I’m just saying dispite tactics or instructions there seems to be more desire, grit, focus and self confidence radiating from AJ and not altidore. That’s why I said that the Dutch league is just a mirage for the goals scores by both and even Agudelo. Eridivise seems like it is a confidence boosting league. Chicharito, I never said he is the reason why they are going to Brasil, it was San Suzi I’m just pointing out the difference between a person who is always hungry and ready to poach ugly goals no matter the situation. Altidore doesn’t he needs a sport psychologist. It has nothing to do with tactics as a striker you have one mission, score goals. Dude you need a lesson in critical thinking.

          • Nate says:

            OK, so your point is that AJ “seems to have” more desire to score goals than JA. Your evidence for this statement is, what exactly? It cant be AJ’s goals for the Nats. It has to be AJ’s performance in Holland, right? But you are the one that posted that the Dutch league is a “mirage to measure future success”. So why are you making assessments about AJ being more hungry for goals than Altidore, based solely on AJ’s performance in Holland?

            • Just saying says:

              Attitude and body language, that’s my evidence. Watch the JA when he plays in the EPL and then watch AJ or JAGU and tell me I’m wrong. I want Jozy to be up there with USA greats but there’s something not right with him. I’m not talking about the Nats here because he obviously knows that the USA team is more than just him and we are capable of scoring regardless of his presence on the pitch, ergo why he plays more relaxed. I’m saying with the blackcats he doesn’t and one reason is he is the biggest signing for them and he is not delivering and his attitude is just pure feces. I wake up at 4 am to watch him play and I regret it everytime because nothing changes.

              • GW says:

                Mr. saying,

                Your methods,for evaluating Jozy, number of goals scored , body language(?) are flawed.

                Here’s how you evaluate him.

                Jozy plays in the EPL. I don’t know how long you have been watching the EPL but Sunderland are in a relegation battle. That means if you suck, they won’t play you.

                He is currently a regular for his team. He plays in all their important games.

                That is how you evaluate him.

                And his teammates and manager appreciate him.

                link to express.co.uk

              • Nate says:

                Well, if as you say, Jozy has no problem scoring for the Nats, then there is nothing more to discuss. JK will corectly start him in Brazil.

      • John says:

        So why did Jozy have 4 goals during the Hex while Chicharito only had 2 against the exact same teams? Chicharito is a great example of a striker that is only as good as the service you give him.

        • Just saying says:

          Thank you for making my point chicharito has succes in the EPL and uber amount of pressure in concacaf because the Mexico scoring duties it falls on him mostly , Jozy is the completely the opposite. So jozy needs a fire lit right under him in the EPL by his manager or even JK. Come on altidore had great service last World Cup, missed a open goal against England, people in the football journalism world and even fans got on him and he responded. Jozy needs to know he is dispensable in the Black Cats set up.

    • Gary Page says:

      The comments you see tell us more about the poster than the people they are judging. Fact is, most know little about what actually goes on. For example, what are Poyet’s instructions to Jozy? What are the Sunderland tactics that Poyet wants his team to follow? Regarding US players, how many posters have seen them practice day in and day out? Have they seen how much effort they put on the practice pitch every day? Have they ever talked to Jozy or Clint? The answer to all the questions is a big fat NO. They are in no position to judge, so their opinions are just a reflection of their biases and beliefs. For example recently several have stated without equivocation that Dempsey has lost his passion for the game. This is a ridiculous statement to make when you have no idea about what is going on. The other day on another site I saw someone publicly say that Messi has lost his passion for the game. Such nonsense. I think a good case can be made that for a period of about 3 years Dempsey was the best US player and Messi the world’s best player. Perhaps some people, for whatever reason, just want to bring down those who are at the top.

      • Gary Page says:

        Also, I would like to add that these posters I am referring to seem to be lacking real world experience. I am 68 and have played a lot of sports and worked in a lot of different environments and types of jobs. Anyone with real world experience would have to say that many times management makes decisions that don’t make sense to others and/or seem unfair to certain employees. I have been in both management and worker bee category and sometimes that’s just the way it happens and someone not doing well at any particular time may not be a reflection on them at all, but more on those they are working for. Or, it could be a result of outside forces that forces management to do things they might not otherwise do. This is life, how the world works, but some people seem to live in la la land.

  13. Dennis says:

    I am not sure any US strikers have demonstrated the kind of scoring punch needed in a team that wants to go past the quarterfinals (or even get there). AJ is scoring at about the pace Jozy did last year, yet people are jumping all over Jozy for lacking it with Sunderland, Aguedelo is much less of a proven talent than either of the other two. Gomez, Wondo, EJ are similarly behind AJ and Jozy and Green is just a premature dream.

    I think Jozy and AJ are very good strikers and will likely be the two who get the most minutes in Brazil, that said, they will need to do much better and against better defenders than they face now in order to really be difference makers for the USMNT.

    • John says:

      Really we are all way too caught up on goals and who is or isn’t scoring them. Most strikers really are only as good as the service they get. Look at the move Beerens makes to get free and put in that cross to a perfect spot. Who on the US is going to create those kind of chances should be what we’re all focused on. Honestly there’s probably not a massive difference between Jozy,,Aron or even EJ and Boyd. If we put players around them creating chances I believe they’ll score..Also if we are playing Dempsey under the striker as we have been, then I’m more worried about seeing him set up some goals then scoring them himself in Seattle.

      • Gary Page says:

        One of the most sensible comments on this thread.

      • GW says:

        John,

        For those who are interested in Jozy at Sunderland this is the best article I have read on the topic.

        link to express.co.uk

        I’ve been following the USMNT since 1990.

        This JK edition, when they are on, is the most adept at attacking since the Sampson years and the 2002 World Cup team.

        Otherwise the USMNT attack consisted largely of goals off of set pieces and counter attacks involving Landon in some way. The only JK era games that I have taken seriously in terms of results are the WC qualifiers and the Gold Cup. Those went quite well. The other games have all had various shades of meaning not necessarily related to the score.

        The Gold Cup was important because winning is something a team learns how to do and diluted as it may have been, winning the Gold Cup, besides qualifying the USMNT for 2015 Confederations Cup playoffs , gave the organization an idea of how to win a tournament.

        The point is JK is building up the team leading up to Brazil. Each game, outside of the qualifiers, has to be seen in the context of what it contributed to that buildup, not necessarily in the final score.

        In that same manner, Jozy’s time at Sunderland rates a B+.
        From what I have seen he is a far more accomplished all-around player. He is now used to the kind of heavy lifting a World Cup target forward is going to have to face. And he is the only US forward currently facing Death Group class defenders on a regular basis and doing well.(see the link).

        For that reason, assuming he maintains or even betters his performance and his health, he is as close to 100% certain to start in Brazil as is possible at this time.

        It is irrelevant if he scores a goal in Brazil as long as he influences those DG class defenders enough so that someone, most likely Clint, Landon or whoever gets to score.

  14. 87SS383 says:

    ———Johannsson———-Altidore———-
    —–Zusi————Donovan————-F. Johnson—-
    ————————Bradley———————————–
    Beasley——-Gonzalez—–Besler———–Cameron
    ————————Howard———————————-

  15. 87SS383 says:

    ———Johannsson———-Altidore———-
    –F. Johnson——Donovan————-Zusi—-
    ————————Bradley———————————–
    Beasley——-Gonzalez—–Besler———–Cameron
    ————————Howard———————————-

    • Gary Page says:

      Replace Beasley with F Johnson and put Dempsey at left mid and then you have it. Only problem is Klinsmann will probably insist on playing J Jones which probably means Joahannsson comes out and we play 1 striker and wait for the counter attack. Johannsson becomes a late sub when the opponents are tired. We may go with 2 strikers against Ghana, but if we get the 3 points there, I will bet that Klinsmann goes rather defensive and hopes for two draws. I am guessing that much of the choices will be determined by the situation. 5 points very likely would get us through, so a win and two draws would be a great result. Despite all the talk about attacking soccer, it’s only the result that counts and, let’s face it, we probably can’t get into a scoring match with either Germany or Portugal, but need to play carefully and hope for 0-0 or 1-1 results with those two teams.

      • John says:

        Ghana’s strength is with out a doubt there midfield that can break on you so quickly. I just don’t think you can really risk letting them get numbers coming at our back line. Hopefully Jones’ having played with KPB might help us out in some way as well. Ghana’s weakness is perhaps there back line that tend to make silly mistakes at times. Who ever is striker it’s going to be important to put pressure and terrorize them. Picking out some long balls and testing them might not even be a bad idea either.

        • Darwin says:

          Wondo would keep their back line honest. He finds little seams better than any other striker on the roster, but he perhaps lacks other important qualities that could make him a lock for Brazil.

          I think Donovan comes second to Wondo in this quality…remember USA v Mexico in Phoenix a while back…Donovan splits the two defenders on a deflection off the ref and slotted past Sanchez…who then kicked EJ during the celebration. Right place, right time, right idea.

  16. matt says:

    Bradley and Jones would be a massive upgrade in our midfield compared to 2006 and 2010 against ghana.

  17. Andy Los Angeles says:

    I wonder a little bit about the Dutch League’s reputation as being weak defensively. Because it’s not as if way more goals are scored per game there. The scores are usually what they are in any league. I guess it’s just that whichever players lead the league in scoring get pegged as potential breakout stars and naturally only some end up being successful in other leagues as well when they’re sold for decent transfer fees, like a Suarez or Van Persie.

    • GW says:

      Andy LA,

      As you pointed out they don’t necessarily score a lot more goals in Holland than they do other places.

      If you look at Dutch national team they have produced a lot of top class attacking players over the years; they also have produced lots of top class defenders and keepers. Since the late 60’s the Netherlands have always been a threat to win every tournament they enter.

      All these players got their start in the Eredevisie.

      My view is that when you have that many really good attacking players, playing in the fabled Dutch 4-3-3, those guys can make any defender look bad, especially if both teams play the same wide open attacking style.

      However, I also think people exaggerate things because of the stereotypes.

      I’ll bet if you watched three Stoke 2-1 wins and then watched three AZ 2-1 wins the amount of “ bad defending” would be about equal.