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Aron Johannsson
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USMNT’s Johannsson finds new home in Sweden

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Aron Johanssson looks to reclaim his career momentum not in Major League Soccer as rumored, but instead in Sweden.

The Icelandic-Alabamian striker was unveiled by Hammarby on Thursday, where he’ll soon have match fitness according to his new club.

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Johannsson, 28, stays in green, having played just 30 times for Werder Bremen since transferring from AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie.

Here’s Jesper Jansson, Hammarby’s director of football.

Aron belongs to the same category of players as Jiloan Hamad, Muamer Tankovic and Alexander Kacaniklic did when they came here, players who for various reasons are in need of some of a new start in their careers, and for that category of players, Hammarby is attractive as a club,” Jansson said. “Aron is a moving, offensive player who makes a lot of goals, and we are very happy to be able to tie him to us.”

The 19-times capped USMNT striker has four goals on his international resume, and was last seen as an unused sub in 2016 World Cup qualifying losses to Costa Rica and Mexico.

Hammarby finished fourth in the 2018 Allsvenskan but missed out on Europa League due to BK Hacken winning the Swedish Cup. The club is currently six points back of third place with a match-in-hand on AIK.

Also pictured is former Greuther Furth player Richard Magyar, who played with USMNT midfielder Julian Green last season in 2.Bundesliga.

USMNT’s Sargent in ‘fantastic shape,’ says Werder Bremen boss

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There is some good news at United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter’s perplexing decision to deny Josh Sargent a spot on the U-20 World Cup roster and then cut him from the final roster at the Gold Cup.

Sargent, 19, is fresh as a daisy for Werder Bremen’s preseason, and coach Florian Kohfeldt is seeing good things from the striker.

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“I’d have welcomed it if he’d have played at the finals because that kind of thing is always a good experience, but we also see the positives of him not being involved,” Kohfeldt said to the Bundesliga site.

Sargent scored twice in 10 appearances for Bremen’s first team last season, making one start. He was a menace for Bremen’s second team, scoring seven times with two assists in 12 appearances.

And Sargent hasn’t been sitting around stewing at his omission from the Gold Cup, even returning to his Bundesliga home earlier than required by Kohfeldt.

“I gave him the chance to spend some time with his family because he’s a long way from home here in Bremen, and can’t fly back to the US very often, but he didn’t want to. He told me that his full focus is on Werder Bremen. Now he’s come back in fantastic shape, which is really important for him.”

Bremen’s forward corps is a funny one this year, and Sargent has a chance to seize playing time alongside or ahead of 40-year-old Claudio Pizarro, returning striker Niklas Fullkrug.

USMNT’s Johannsson aiming for move to Pacific Northwest?

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Is everyone’s favorite Icelandic-Alabamian coming to the Pacific Northwest?

A Werder Bremen-centered site says American striker Aron Johannsson is looking to Seattle as his next stop following an injury-riddled time with the Bundesliga side.

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Johannsson, 28, would trade Bremen’s green for the rave green of Seattle this summer, having played just 30 times since transferring from AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie.

The 19-times capped USMNT striker has four goals on his international resume, and was last seen as an unused sub in 2016 World Cup qualifying losses to Costa Rica and Mexico.

He played just three minutes in the top flight this season with ankle problems.

Seattle’s injury problems make taking a flier on Johannsson interesting, especially if it’s a short-term or prove-it deal. A similar import, Terrence Boyd, has done very little of consequence for Toronto FC but carried intrigue as well.

Johannsson might provide more bang for the buck.

Aron Johannsson close to return for Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen official Twitter
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United States international Aron Johannsson has been struck with injury after injury over the past four years, but the 28-year-old could be nearing a return to the Werder Bremen squad soon.

Johannsson, who has missed the entire season due to ankle problems that finally required surgery in November, “could be in squad contention again soon” according to Werder Bremen manager Florian Kohfeldt. The Bremen boss said in his pre-match press conference ahead of this weekend’s match against FC Mainz that Johannsson has made “so much progress” and is nearing his return.

Since joining the Bundesliga club in 2015 from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, Johannsson has made just 29 total appearances across all competitions thanks to hip, knee, and ankle injuries. The owner of 19 international caps and a spot on the 2014 World Cup roster, Johannsson has not played for the United States since September of 2015 largely due to his plethora of injuries.

A month ago, Johannsson told the official Bundesliga website, “My foot still stiffens up sometimes, but I wouldn’t call it painful. I’ve trained a lot recently, doing two sessions per day six days a week. I’m well prepared. The plan is for me to take part in full training regularly in a couple of weeks.”

However, it wasn’t always like that for Johannsson, who has dealt with serious pain over the past few years, even considering retirement. “I still had a lot of pain after seven months,” Johannsson said to the Bundesliga website regarding his latest ankle problem. “Then I had one of those rare bad days. I was at home and said to my wife, ‘maybe it’s the end of the line. I’ll have to see what else I can do’. I briefly thought about ending my career, but thankfully she was able to calm me down and told me I needed to be patient. The next day I was in a good mood again.”

Unfortunately for Johannsson, the competition is fierce at Werder Bremen up front. Even with 40-year-old Claudio Pizarro picking up a hamstring injury, fellow US international Josh Sargent was relegated to the bench in last weekend’s 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen, with Milot Rashica and Johannes Eggestein starting up front. Rashica picked up a goal in the win to support a brace from captain Max Kruse. Still, with three league matches over the next week, Johannsson could potentially find a way in.

USMNT’s Sargent signs ‘long-term’ extension with Werder

Carmen Jaspersen/dpa via AP
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Josh Sargent’s stock is rising as quickly as any American player’s stock has ever risen, but Werder Bremen intend to keep the 19-year-old forward among their ranks for quite some time in the wake of signing him to a “long-term contract extension.”

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Werder, who sit ninth in the Bundesliga table, announced the deal on Tuesday, four days after the U.S. men’s national team starlet made his first league start in a 1-1 draw with Stuttgart on Friday.

Head coach Florian Kohfeldt was full of praise for the St. Louis, Mo., native: “If you see Josh in the dressing room, in training or on a matchday, you see someone who wants to watch and learn, not just a very talented young footballer. I’m sure that Josh will become a very important part of the squad.”

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Sargent is arguably the best center forward prospect the USMNT has ever had, mixing loads of technical talent and a creative mind with great spatial awareness and timing on his movement. With any luck, he’ll continue to develop in a prominent role at Werder for at least two more seasons, scoring a boatload of goals in the process, before following in the footsteps of Christian Pulisic’s $73-million transfer to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.