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Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Aron Johannsson AZ (Getty Images)


If you are a U.S. Men’s National Team fan hoping to catch a glimpse of the latest dual national willing to represent the United States internationally, this weekend might provide you with just that.

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar are set to kick off their new Eredivisie campaign on Saturday, as they pay a visit to SC Heerenveen. Johannsson – who filed his one-time switch to FIFA earlier this week to play for the U.S. instead of Iceland – is being counted on to help make up for the loss of Jozy Altidore’s 31 goals from last season and a strong performance vs. Heerenveen would instill some confidence that the 22-year-old Johansson can do just that.

Another American looking to get off to a good start is midfielder Danny Williams, who could make his Reading debut on Saturday when the club hosts Ipswich Town in their season opener. Williams will surely be aiming for a start and a solid shift for the Royals in order to try and earn a call-up for the U.S.’s upcoming friendly against Bosnia on Aug. 14.

With Schalke 04 scheduled to partake in DFB Pokal on Monday, Jermaine Jones is also likely to be in action. Jones and Schalke travel to take on fifth division side FC Nottingen in their first test of the season, and they will need to put in a concentrated effort in order to avoid the type of David-vs.-Goliath upsets that are common at the start of the European season.

Here is who the Americans Abroad take on this weekend:


Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Heidenheimer SB in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Michael Parkhurst and FC Augsburg play RB Leipzig in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlect play Cercle Brugge.


Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Burnley. (Holden is out injured.)

Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Watford. (Spector and Packwood are out injured.)

Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Middlesbrough.

Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Huddersfield Town.

Danny Williams and Reading play Ipswich Town.

Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern play Neckarsulmer Sport-Union in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Fabian Johnson, Joe Gyau and TSG Hoffenheim play SG Aumund-Vegesack in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play Sportfreunde Baumberg in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play Heerenveen.

Eugene Starikov and FK Tom’ Tomsk play Ural.

Conor O’Brien and FC Nordsjaelland play AGF Aarhus.

Josh Gatt and Molde FK play Brann. (Gatt is out injured.)

Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Toluca.

Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana play Morelia. (Gomez is out injured.)

DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Jaguares de Chiapas.


Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Victoria Hamburg in the first round of DFB Pokal. (Cherundolo is out injured)

John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin play VfR Neumunster in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play SV Sandhausen in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Charlie Davies and Randers FC play FC Copenhagen.

Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play Sturm Graz.

Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Sogndal.

Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Aalesund.

Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play Pumas UNAM.


Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play FC Nottingen in the first round of DFB Pokal.

Brian Span and Djurgarden IF play Helsingborg IF.


Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Do you think Johannsson finds the back of the net vs. Heerenveen? Counting on Williams to make his Reading debut?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I don’t see the problem with the dual citizenship issue and Aron. You win some and you loose some. We lost out on that Rossi kid a few years back but we win with AJ. It all evens out.

  2. I’m not thrilled about the current dual nationality system and I wish Fifa would make it more stringent for everyone. However, even in a more stringent system Johannsen would be able to play for USA because he was born here. The German players and Diskerud probably wouldn’t be able to play for USA.

    • The reason they changed the rules the last time was predatory capping. Let players have the option to choose and not get locked up for life at age 15 for playing a U17 game.

    • Actually, I believe all of them would have qualified for US citizenship at birth. If there is an American parent and that parent lived inside the US for 5 years prior to thechild’s birth, the child would qualify for US citizenship automatically at birth.

  3. Bobby Wood started for 1860 Munich today, had a nice assist on a counter-attack after an opposition corner kick. However bad news is he clashed heads with another player in the 63rd minute and hit the ground pretty hard. He looked very woozy and a good amount of blood was coming out of his mouth…..I am assuming a broken nose, hopefully he can recover soon he was playing well before the injury. I was watching the match he had solid passing, good movement, and won a lot of 50/50 challenges.

    • Nope, he’s an opportunistic fraud. Dude lived 18 of 21 years in Iceland, both parents from there and he isn’t an Icelander? Come on. Just admit you want to win so bad you don’t care what it takes. That’s more respectable.

      • I’m a fan of the team. I don’t care what their birth certificate says (in this case it would say American). Is he good? can he play on the team? does that make us win? when we win does that bring glory to America or Iceland? so I’ll root for whoever is wearing my colors.

      • So I’m curious, why aren’t you advocating for the US to fire Klinsmann? You can’t be internally consistent advocating for the Johannsson’s of the world to be kept away from a USMNT kit while we have a German National leading our team.

      • I can’t speak for IvanRG, but I am do not “want to win so bad [I] don’t care what it takes.” What I want is for ALL American citizens to have the same rights and privileges, including representing the national team. Full stop. End of story. Dude is a citizen and not by any trickery or shenanigans either, so he has the same right to play on the national team as any other citizen. Same goes for the “Germericans” or Earnie Stewart, Thomas Dooley, Fernando Clovijo and many others. Or do you believe that some men are more equal than others?

      • You are forgetting that unless he dies at 28, he may (probably) will move to America and live as an American. My mother-in-law moved here later on but still ended up living more here in America then in her native country. And there is not a holiday (or world cup) that the American flag doesn’t fly out of her apartment window in NYC.

      • I think in cases like Boyd, Williams, and Jones, this experience with the national team is strengthening and developing this part of their heritage/life (the American connection with their life). Williams I believe has an American father that is a big part of his life and they visit the USA. Diskeruud has an American mother the same.

        Still, lets face it, when the World Cup team takes the field, the stars (Howard, Bradley, Donovan, Dempsey, Altidore) are going to be born and raised anyway, just how you like ’em.

  4. Ives, is Cherundolo back in action or is he still out injured with his knee? Thought he was still in recovery. Good to hear if he is back.

  5. Just when you thought you didn’t have to search for streams of Eredivisie games…Bacon pulls you back in. Here’s to him having a great year at AZ.

      • How can FIFA deny anyone from really exercising their rights of citizenship in a case like this one. So, he played for Iceland’s youth team. That should be a little concern because how can you set a dual citizen’s career in stone when they are still minors. You have no idea why he or any other kid would be kept from playing in one country’s youth system over another. Some dual citizens may not have the freedom due to politics, family, etc to make the best decisions for themselves as a teenager. If he had already committed fully and played with their senior side, there would be zero argument. People who oppose AJs (or any other dual national’s) decision need to leave these kids alone to decide for themselves what is best for them.

      • I’m sorry, FIFA regulations shouldn’t allow someone who is recognized as a legal citizen by a nation’s government to represent that nation on the international level?

        In the interest of not beating a dead horse, let’s take this argument in a different direction. You’ve obviously got a pretty strong opinion about FIFA’s existing dual nationality laws (even though they vary greatly by country and the US is actually on the stricter side), so if it were your world for a day, what would those laws look like?

        – Should eligibility be defined by a certain number of years living in a country?
        – Should it be defined by where your soccer development occurred?
        – Should choice even be an option at the international level or should all players be locked in to representing one country from day one?
        – Should youth team appearances ultimately be cap-tying? At what level does that apply?

        I’m legitimately interested to hear differing opinions on this subject.

      • To be honest, I’m not sure there’s a better answer. You need clear rules and citizenship is pretty clear. I’m more irritated by people thinking we need to recruit people who are, in reality, foreigners, when I’d prefer to see people who actually care about playing for the USMNT and learned their soccer here, at least some of it anyway.

        I also think it’s genuinely unfair on whoever gets left off the plane to Brazil so that we can take some Germican or Icelandic guy.

      • I’d also point out that the US is one of the few countries where you become a citizen just by being born here so maybe we are especially suspectible to that.

      • And those who live here for very long periods (e.g., Diego F.) aren’t eligible. We make it tough to earn it, unless it’s by accident of birth.

  6. Spector is out injured as well. Busted up cheekbone/surgery from a preseason match a couple of weeks ago and is expected out 4-6 weeks.

  7. We need a seperate “Fake Americans Abroad” column to keep track of all the opportunists using flimsy connections to the US in order to further their careers and earning potential.

    • It was Ives himself who insisted on referring to Marcos Senna as Brazilian when he signed with the NY Cosmos even though he holds dual Brazilian/Spanish citzenship and was capped 28 times by the Spanish national team. For consistency sake, he should probably have Johannsson on the Iclandians Abroad section.

      • Definitely a different case, I would argue it’s very different to be a naturalized citizen and being a born citizen. In Senna’s case he want to Spain as an adult to play and then became a citizen.

      • Disagree. Senna is actually more Spanish than Johnasson is American because at least Senna lived in Spain for a long time. More than ten years actually.

      • Disagree. Senna is actually more Spanish than the Icelandic fraud is American because at least Senna lived in Spain for a long time. More than ten years actually.

      • So being born in the US is not enough? Should he lose some of the rights and privileges accorded to his citizenship because he has more ties to Iceland? On a purely soccer playing level, I don’t care about his ties to the country as long as he plays well. On a patriotic level, I don’t care that he’s a dual citizen because he is an American.

      • Right, so you don’t care if we dress up 11 foreigners in USMNT team shirts as long as they win. Odd point of view but, I admit, not an uncommon one.

      • So long as they are US Citizens they have every right to play for the US National Team. You don’t like it I suggest that you contact your Congressman and ask that they rewrite The Constitution

    • Flimsy connections to left arm: someone born here, and someone who has an American Parent. Definitely flimsy….not. This dude is dense. You think John Anthony Brooks has no zero chance to make the full German team? You obviously have either; never watched him play, or haven’t been paying attention to his career trajectory. The only reason he wasn’t on their Euro team is because he made the decision to focus on his club this summer. If he was just being oppurtunistic, he would wait until he gets a call from German in two seasons if he plays well.

    • We need a separate “mexican trolls living abroad (USA)” Column to keep track of all the losers who are threatened by the growth of MLS and US soccer.

    • Gie it a rest man. You sound like Bruce Arena (who used players with foreign ties but seems to have forgotten it in his not so recent idiotic comments) You post the same thing every time an American from abroad decides to play for the USMNT. No one can use US ties to further their aspirations in the world as US soccer is generally not well respected. No one comes to the US to enhance their careers, in fact they generally leave it to do so. Do the names of current players Bradley, Guzan, Freidel, Holden, Dempsey. and Howard, mean anything. Where do they play? Do you realize how many of the former USMNT players from earlier days have the same ties you speak of? Harkes (Scottish father), Tab Ramos ( Uruguy), Wynalda (Dutch),Agoos (Swiss), Bocanegra (Mexican), Stewart (Dutch), Reyna (Argentina), Kerr, Jr. (Scottish father and born in Canada still USMNT), Werner Nilsen (post 1934 USMNT-Norway).All could have played elsewhere if they chose. Please come out of the cave and join the rest of us.

  8. “(Holden is out injured.)”

    such a bummmmmer. anyone have an idea to what Gyau’s chances are with playing time this year? is he looking for another loan?


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