Johannsson receives FIFA clearance

Aron Johannsson of AZ
The 22-year-old forward announced his decision to play for the United States in July.
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Building up talent is simply asking for trouble. Just ask these guys.

Aron Johannsson is eligible to play for the United States in Wednesday's friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina after FIFA approved his request to switch national teams.

The 22-year-old AZ Alkmaar forward was born in Mobile, Ala., but moved back to his parents' native Iceland when he was 3. Johannsson is available for selection for Jurgen Klinsmann's USA squad as the team prepares for its international friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"We are obviously very thrilled for Aron," Klinsmann said in a statement. "It's an exciting time for him. He's done a great job in these couple days getting to know the guys. Hopefully if the game goes well tomorrow night, there will be a chance for him to make his debut with the U.S. National Team."

"I'm super happy," said Johannsson. "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."

US Soccer officially welcomed Johannsson to the national team via Twitter with the forward holding a number 7 jersey:

The Americans, who have a record 11-game winning streak, play Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday in Sarajevo. It is their only game before World Cup qualifying resumes Sept. 6 in Costa Rica.

Highly regarded within AZ Alkmaar circles, Jóhannsson will take bulk of the scoring responsibility left by Altidore's departure to Premier League club Sunderland next season. Former US international and current AZ team director, Earnie Stewart, praised Jóhannsson's skill set and backed the forward to follow in Altidore's footsteps.

"He's good, very good, that's why we have him. He's a typical center forward with good agility," Stewart said of Johannsson to "He's very cool - I guess all Icelandic players are - and at the same time he has a nose in front of goal. He's a player to be reckoned with and if Jozy would leave, we already have a striker that can fill his shoes in the future."'s newswire services and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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