After 5 years away, Aron Johannsson eyes USMNT return ahead of 2022 FIFA World Cup | ESPN FC

  • Published on Nov 25, 2020
  • Aron Johannson has not played for the United States men's national team since September 2015. Five years later, healthy and in top goal-scoring form for Swedish side Hammarby, the man known as "Iceman" by American soccer fans is determined to return to the USMNT fold. In an exclusive interview with ESPN FC's Sebastian Salazar, Johannsson opens up about his determination to get back in the U.S. squad ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 30-year-old striker discusses his conversations with head coach Gregg Berhalter, playing in the 2014 World Cup and what he made of the team's matches against Wales and Panama, led by rising American stars like Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, Sergino Dest and Yunus Musah. Johannsson also reveals what it was like to train earlier this year with one of Hammarby's owners, AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whom he calls a "freak of nature." Plus, the Alabama native explains why he has no regrets about choosing the United States over Iceland and why his next career move could bring him stateside to play in MLS.
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Comments • 48

  • Christopher Johnson
    Christopher Johnson 24 days ago

    Greg call him up for the January camp

  • Yaboy Chipssahoi
    Yaboy Chipssahoi 29 days ago

    Anyone else remember Julian Green

  • denny onsurez
    denny onsurez Month ago

    Honestly I really like this dude I hope he does get a chance to play I think he brings different attacking option then the other guys I think he maybe a good option that the squad has especially if altidore is done

  • cedano80
    cedano80 Month ago

    Love everything he's saying, hope he's involved in wcq.

  • Dr. Fred
    Dr. Fred Month ago

    I like this guy more than Jozy! Hope he kills it wherever he goes

  • Ferris Chosa
    Ferris Chosa Month ago

    This interviewer always looks nervous to me. Almost like a shy kid trying to be outgoing

  • Jstoney127
    Jstoney127 Month ago +1

    Injuries really screwed up his progression for a long time. But he looks and sound health now and is knocking in alot of goals in Europe. I'd love to see the iceman come back and play with this very young exciting USMNT.

  • Brian Melendez
    Brian Melendez Month ago +1

    Get Bobby Wood on an interview like this.

  • Derek Smith
    Derek Smith Month ago

    Anchor babies and foreigners wont save the USMNT, when AMERICANS begin to play football for our nation, then there will be change and progress.

    • Derek Smith
      Derek Smith Month ago

      @Paul Surinamo but we seen how many of them dont have the desire and passion to really fight and battle for our nation, like a True American.

    • Paul Surinamo
      Paul Surinamo Month ago

      Sergino Dest is foreign born and is starting for Barcelona so as long as someone wants to play for the US and has the talent, that’s what counts.

  • Rafái Ramírez
    Rafái Ramírez Month ago

    is it a bit hypocritical for a country to be xenophobic, and yet allow foreign players to represent it?

  • cocomonster666
    cocomonster666 Month ago

    Please oh please Johannson stay healthy cause we need him. It would great if he goes back to Germany and score like 5 goals during the 2nd half

  • Dirk S
    Dirk S Month ago +1

    Would love to see him back and to work with the young guys.

  • Levi Berg
    Levi Berg Month ago

    I don't know...I would prefer easing the youngsters in. Weah, Soto, Gioacchini...

  • Newt Rockstar
    Newt Rockstar Month ago

    Wow I forgot about this dude

  • Drake Ula
    Drake Ula Month ago

    Its funny all of those young guys Aron came up with on the US pool are all out of the mix. Oh no wait Tim Ream still around but what a horrible pool and that's why US missed the WC in 2018. Aron and Boyd injuries at CF really hurt. I'm glad Aron off to a great start and I really hope he stays healthy cause we need some CF depth to go with Sergent

    • Kevin Covino
      Kevin Covino Month ago

      Samuel Wells season

    • Samuel Wells
      Samuel Wells Month ago

      @Kevin Covino szn?

    • Kevin Covino
      Kevin Covino Month ago +1

      Samuel Wells JG comeback SZN he’s killing it rn

    • Samuel Wells
      Samuel Wells Month ago

      Good point i think brooks is still there . but good point . fabian, mix, yedlin, juilian green, bobby wood are all out or close to being fully out the picture

  • louididdy
    louididdy Month ago

    Great interview Seba.

  • Andrew Wilson
    Andrew Wilson Month ago +15

    Normally I’d say no. But this guy was good, probably better then Altidore

  • Jazz 24
    Jazz 24 Month ago +4

    hi Seb, could we have more of these interview segments of past and neglected players? good show.

  • Christian Martinez
    Christian Martinez Month ago

    He should be the captain of the team

  • Suki
    Suki Month ago +1

    Why not he's usmnt wc experienced in form he says he's still got gas in the tank, still rather have him than lletget zardes and at this point altidore. Wouldn't mind seeing him as a striker option along with Sargent Soto and Gioacchini 🤷🏻‍♂️

  • Wrissy Corleone
    Wrissy Corleone Month ago

    One of my favs.

  • Giofanni Rahman Dhuha
    Giofanni Rahman Dhuha Month ago +1

    Please do not go to MLS i am begging you

  • christopher young
    christopher young Month ago

    Dude good. I use to watch him all the time when he was in Germany.

  • NYCFC Away Days
    NYCFC Away Days Month ago +9

    He had so much potential and looked so promising back in 2013, would be great to see him stay fit and getting called back up to the USMNT!

  • Diego Lopez
    Diego Lopez Month ago +6

    I'd like to see him get called up so the team can ease on solely relying on Altidore as the starting striker. No offense to Zardes but I don't think he has what it takes. We need to have experienced forwards so the younger strikers can learn from.

    • Joshua Simmons
      Joshua Simmons Month ago

      @Drake Ula True but he knows that NT people love MLS

    • Drake Ula
      Drake Ula Month ago

      Sad thing is I think Zardes might be the best CF in the pool right now with Jozy always banged up. Its between Sergent and Zardes right now

    • Drake Ula
      Drake Ula Month ago

      @Joshua Simmons MLS is also a bad league

    • DeegoL9
      DeegoL9 Month ago +1

      @Joshua Simmons idk about a bad league, but that league doesn’t give someone great exposure that’s why he’s seeking a move.

    • Joshua Simmons
      Joshua Simmons Month ago

      No he plays in a bad league and he knows it that's why he's trying to come MLS or Bundesliga

  • Jonathan Paulos
    Jonathan Paulos Month ago +2

    LA Galaxy? Chicharito needs to go. Need someone who isn’t a DP but has some fire and passion.

    • Newt Rockstar
      Newt Rockstar Month ago

      They should sign Connor McGregor lol 😂 I seen those soccer skills he could be like Roy Keane and just shatter everyone's legs

    • rvaldez1081
      rvaldez1081 Month ago

      He sucks!!!

  • Julius C.
    Julius C. Month ago +29

    If it wasn't for injuries and Klinsmann refusing to let Jozy ride the bench Johannsson could have been the next Dempsey

    • Drake Ula
      Drake Ula Month ago +5

      without question. Johannsson was going to be the next big thing for the US but then it wasn't just one injury but a bunch of them. Mexico still sends him flowers for helping them get into the World Cup. Now not as good as Aron but Terrance Boyd was another one that would have been a big help at CF. Without Boyd and Aron that's what destroyed the US depth at CF

  • rob cowgill
    rob cowgill Month ago +1

    He has the right mindset..He could be a depth player..I cannot see a starter role for him..Soto looks like a difference maker and I am a buyer on the kid at Bremen as well..
    Many of the younger players are too promising to ignore..

  • Javier Torres
    Javier Torres Month ago +39

    Wow he’s 30 and looks younger than all of the guys right now.

  • Hector Valderrama
    Hector Valderrama Month ago +1

    I honestly don’t want to see this dude on the USMNT roster. He’s old news and we know what he is. I Wasn’t impressed by him in Brazil. I’d rather continue to see the young talent get chances.

    • Abiel Alvarenga
      Abiel Alvarenga Month ago +1

      He’s clinical you have no idea what you’re saying

    • donald dunlop
      donald dunlop Month ago +3

      Thats only because you have zero ability to judge talent.

  • Pedro Jr
    Pedro Jr Month ago +4

    Great interview Seba. Really enjoyed it. Hopefully he can make it back to the US National team🇺🇸👍

  • BASED East African Warrior

    Germany league is farmers league

  • Lance Stone
    Lance Stone Month ago +2

    He needs to come and play for Red bulls!!!

  • Pedro Portillo
    Pedro Portillo Month ago +20

    He was a good player, probably still is. Let’s give him a chance. Let’s put him in a friendly and see how he does.

    • Joshua Simmons
      Joshua Simmons Month ago +1

      No he plays in a bad league and he knows it that's why he's trying to come MLS or Bundesliga

  • Chamberlain Achilihu
    Chamberlain Achilihu Month ago +1

    Yo need to reinvite this dude to the camp

  • Real Talk
    Real Talk Month ago +8

    It's true that usmnt have great young attacking players coming up now but y'all putting too much pressure on the youngsters, over burdening them with expectations...
    Let them mature into the national team n they'll improve.

    • Drake Ula
      Drake Ula Month ago

      I agree and disgree. I only disagree cause a lot of those guys are already best at their positions for the US pool. Some guys I do agree like Richards, Konrad, Soto, Ledezma etc... the fans need to be patient and are putting way too much pressure on that group, as many of them aren't even starters or playing or in a 2nd tier league.

    • Jonathan Baeza
      Jonathan Baeza Month ago +1

      Main goal at the moment is to qualify for the World Cup then it’s to make it out of the group stage and after that it’s making it further than Mexico. Hopefully all that can happen this upcoming World Cup that way the bigger goal for the next World Cup or the ones after after is to win it or end up in 3rd or 2nd but obviously winning it all is what people are going to dream about.

  • DiazLeon
    DiazLeon Month ago +10

    No Way this guy is 30 years old ? 😱😱

    • Newt Rockstar
      Newt Rockstar Month ago

      @Jazz 24 having more than wife and lors of money too

    • Jazz 24
      Jazz 24 Month ago +1

      i can believe it. it is all about lifestyle and diet. even here in US, do you notice many Mormons look younger than their age? due no less than Mormons' no drinking, no smoking lifestyle. think Mitt Romney (73).

    • Thomas Cosumar
      Thomas Cosumar Month ago +1

      Icelandic genes

  • Chamberlain Achilihu
    Chamberlain Achilihu Month ago +1

    Ray Giovanni soccer mind is loaded with soccer wisdom but is too young for the game cause it be kind of hard for him to handle league preasure which might make him bad player sometimes

  • Chamberlain Achilihu

    Jeorge Sergent is a sports period.

  • Ian Wheeler
    Ian Wheeler Month ago +30

    He definitely deserves a call up to prove himself at the very least. He is our most inform striker which is the position group that has the most question marks for us. More competition for places in the squad can only help

    • Joshua Simmons
      Joshua Simmons 12 days ago

      @jimmy byrd no he won't

    • jimmy byrd
      jimmy byrd 13 days ago

      For 2022..absolutely! Depth qnd quality like we have never seen and I think he would add both!

    • Drake Ula
      Drake Ula Month ago

      @Joshua Simmons That's actually true but I stil would take Aron in form over any of the US strikers from the MLS. I would say outside of Jozy but his banged up again

    • Joshua Simmons
      Joshua Simmons Month ago

      No he plays in a bad league and he knows it that's why he's trying to come MLS or Bundesliga

  • Andy Garcia
    Andy Garcia Month ago +47

    Aaron Johannson is probably a better option than Zardes and Altidore he has really found his form and scoring a lot of goals in Sweeden if he does move to the Bundesliga and score at least 8 goals for the second half of the season that he still got it/

    • David Montgomery
      David Montgomery Month ago

      @Drake Ula I said as a third option. Of course Johansson is better right now, but Soto is young and will improve. It makes no sense to throw a 30 year old on the bench unless he provides a win now impact, which I'm not convinced of considering he is only playing in the Swedish League.

    • Drake Ula
      Drake Ula Month ago

      @David Montgomery Soto plays in a league worst then the Sweedish league and MLS. If we depend on Soto he needs to get a lot much better

    • Bryan V
      Bryan V Month ago

      @David Montgomery well the next time Abroad players can attend a camp is not until March 2021. If Aron somehow makes it to a Bundesliga club and has scored some goals I don't see how you would not call him up, but again that's if he's making the right moves and performing in a high level he's only 30

    • David Montgomery
      David Montgomery Month ago +1

      @Bryan V Yeah, but it's a massive leap to say he is scoring in Sweeden right now, so he will move to the Bundesliga, start, and play well. My point was that, as things currently stand, it doesn't make sense to include him in the squad.

    • Bryan V
      Bryan V Month ago

      @David Montgomery if Aron moves on to the Bundesliga in the January transfer and score some goals, that would put him ahead of Altidore and Zardes. Soto and Gioacchini are very young and the goal for those two guys is to start transitioning into a first division league next season.

  • Rafael Perez
    Rafael Perez Month ago +3

    I prefer Jesus Ferreira than Aron Johannsson

    • Jesús Pérez
      Jesús Pérez Month ago +3

      @Matthew Jesus Ferreira is only 19 years old. He has a lot of future!! He is going to be in Europe very soon

    • Zach E
      Zach E Month ago +3

      So you care about name over form... that’s mindset is why the US missed the 2018 World Cup

    • C J
      C J Month ago +4

      Jesus has been struggling recently

  • Chandler Tingle
    Chandler Tingle Month ago +4

    I’m sorry but there’s way better strikers for US than him

    • Abiel Alvarenga
      Abiel Alvarenga Month ago

      No there isn’t

    • Drake Ula
      Drake Ula Month ago +2

      There is???? Like who? We only have Sergent, after that its a big hole. Guys who can barely score double digits in the MLS and then guys who are in 2nd tier leagues. Aron got a great chance if he stays healthy

  • Andy S
    Andy S Month ago +23

    No reason not to. European experience and also a fairly good player.

  • Delcio
    Delcio Month ago +1


  • Javier Cota
    Javier Cota Month ago +4

    The squad needs to be young
    What’s the point of taking washed up players

    • Javier Cota
      Javier Cota Month ago

      @C J our old guys are on a Sunday league level
      We have about 1.5 years to develop

    • C J
      C J Month ago

      Thats easy to say but the young guys have to win those spots. Im optimistic for the young guys but they have to prove they’re better.

    • Javier Cota
      Javier Cota Month ago

      @Caleb Adams lol weah ahead of him
      Weah does nothing

    • Caleb Adams
      Caleb Adams Month ago

      @Javier Cota Exactly, how can he can develop if isn't even playing first team soccer at club? Llanez, Weah and Ledezma are all ahead of him right now

    • Javier Cota
      Javier Cota Month ago +1

      @Caleb Adams Konrad will never develop if he doesn’t play.
      The point is to build team chemistry
      Konrad is at Barca for a reason

  • Aaron Adams
    Aaron Adams Month ago +60

    I forgot about this dude lmfao

    • Newt Rockstar
      Newt Rockstar Month ago +1

      Same l he should have played for Iceland?

    • Almost Counts Sometimes
      Almost Counts Sometimes Month ago +4

      @logirex Ya you fail to mention he only played 28 games in 4 years at Werder Bremen who no one scores at and he was always injured, thus why he only had 28 appearances in 4 years 😉

    • logirex
      logirex Month ago

      @Almost Counts Sometimes He got 12 goals playing in one of the weakest leagues in Europe.. When he was in Bundesliga he spent four years and scored a total of 5 goals ;)

    • Almost Counts Sometimes
      Almost Counts Sometimes Month ago +2

      @logirex He had 12 goals in one season last season. You can’t put that “goal” stat without stating how many games he played due to injuries. This kid is good, but the issue is injuries. Injuries will make you fall off the face of the planet and people will forget you. I pray it doesn’t happen to Pulisic.

    • Jaime Rodriguez
      Jaime Rodriguez Month ago


    VINCENT BRUCKNER Month ago +9

    Werder legend