If the U.S.’s options at forward seemed a little thin on Wednesday, that’s because they were, with three of Jurgen Klinsmann’s normal Europe-based options missing out on the team’s friendly in Prague. Between Juan Agudelo’s unemployment, Terrence Boyd’s partially torn ACL, and Aron Jóhannsson’s balky groin. Klinsmann options up top were depleted, leaving Jozy Altidore to go the whole 90 against the Czech Republic.
That situation could be rectified next month, though as Jóhannsson told AZ Alkmaar’s web site, his return from preseason groin surgery could come at the begging of October or the end. Regardless, the 23-year-old hopes to be back next month.
“The recovery is going in the right direction,” Jóhannsson told AZ TV on Friday. “If everything goes well, I hope [to return] some time in October. It’s difficult to say if it’s the first week in October or the last week, but I’m doing my best to get fit.”
At the short-end of Jóhannsson’s timeline, the Alabama-born striker could be back in time for the U.S.’s October friendlies against Ecuador (Oct. 10) and Honduras (Oct. 14), if Europe-based players are even called up for those matches. If that’s too soon, an October return could put Jóhannsson back in play for November’s international break, where the U.S. is scheduled to visit Ireland (Nov. 18).
Last year, in his first full season with AZ, Jóhannsson scored 17 goals in 34 league games (31 starts). Having undergone surgery last month, however, the U.S. international has been unable to make his debut under new head coach Marco van Basten.
Despite Jóhannsson’s absences, AZ has have gone 2-2-0 (W-L-D) through the Eredivisie’s first four rounds, leaving the team eighth in the Netherlands’ top division. The team finished in the same spot this spring before eventually losing in the league’s Europa League playoff.