U.S. Soccer announced this afternoon that Aron Johannsson’s application to FIFA for a one-time change of association had been approved, which means he is clear to play in Wednesday’s friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
In fact, the approval comes less than 24 hours before kickoff.
It’s not up to U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann, who had previously expressed doubt that Johannsson, who had formerly represented Iceland at the under-21 level, would be able to suit up Wednesday, still awaiting FIFA paperwork.
“I’m super happy,” Johannsson told U.S. Soccer. “When I came here, I didn’t expect that I was going to be eligible to play. The coach told me right after training that the approval came through. I’m very excited.”
Johannsson, who was born in Mobile, Ala., but grew up in Iceland, had plenty more to say in a Q&A with U.S. Soccer.
Klinsmann talked about Johannsson and how the application for a change of association came about in this Q&A with U.S. Soccer.
As for our chances of seeing the young man Wednesday: not awful, perhaps, but not exactly great, either.
When Michael Orozco Fiscal was deleted late Monday from the 23-man roster, the chances improved dramatically that Klinsmann would turn to another new U.S. face, John Brooks. But that has everything to do with a lack of center back options otherwise.
At striker, we’re sure to see Jozy Altidore start. Terrence Boyd and Eddie Johnson, having put in their time with the program, will start alongside or replace Altidore at some point or both – all depending on what kind of tactical arrangement Klinsmann chooses.
Johannsson would be no better than fourth – perhaps even fifth, considering the roster also includes 1860 Munich’s Bobby Wood – in the pecking order of strikers.