USMNT striker Aron Jóhannsson might be on the move from Europe to the MLS this summer, but which club would be the best fit for him?
After looking like another exciting young forward prospect for the USA a few years ago, Aaron Jóhannsson’s career seems to have stalled a bit. A few years ago, he took over the starting role at AZ Alkmaar after Jozy Altidore left, piling up 29 goals in 58 appearances from 2013-2015. In that time, he also enjoyed a number of national team call-ups and tallied 4 goals in 19 appearances.
All this got him a transfer to Werder Bremen in the summer of 2015, and that is where things appear to have gone wrong. After suffering a bad hip injury and some coaching changes, he now sits with only 15 appearances and 3 goals a year and a half later. Because of this, he also hasn’t seen the field for the national team in over a year. Interestingly enough, this tweet surfaced just a few days ago from MLS Transfers:
Since this came out, the Vancouver Whitecaps have been named as the other MLS club interested. Let’s look at what team might be the best choice for Jóhannsson.
Vancouver signing Jóhannsson would not be a good idea on either end. This is because local Vancouver newspaper The Province has announced that the team is on the verge of signing Fredy Montero. This would take up one of Vancouver’s 2 DP slots, and it would put an incredibly talented forward on their roster.
It would be a waste for Vancouver to use another DP slot on another striker when they have other needs, and it would be bad for Jóhannsson to go from not playing much at Werder Bremen to having to fight for playing time with Montero. Only if the club fails to secure Montero, should they consider moving for Aron.
New York Red Bulls
Though it is a better option than Vancouver, this still doesn’t seem like the best fit. New York already has a lethal striker with Bradley Wright-Phillips who lead the league in goals last year, and he looks ready to do it again this year. If the Red Bulls stick with their 4-2-3-1, Jóhannsson would be a poor choice for a DP slot, who would fighting for playing time.
The only way this ends up happening is if NYRB switch to a 4-2-2-2, which they toyed around with last year. Then Jóhannsson could play along side Wright-Phillips, and that would be a deadly combo. The only question is if New York sees the need for this, and if they want to use their last DP spot on it. Scoring goals wasn’t a major issue for the club last year.
This seems like the best fit. Last year, the Rapids were only kept out of title contention due to a shaky offense. Their current striker is Kevin Doyle, who has struggled for the Rapids. He only has 12 goals in 49 appearances for burgundy boys. That’s not quite what they expected when they signed him as a DP a few years ago.
This year, they have used TAM to pay his salary down from being a DP to just a regular player, opening up the DP slot. Also, Doyle is in the last year of his contract, and the Rapids are likely to part ways with him after this season due to his age (33) and lack of production.
Which means the Rapids could sign Jóhannsson as a DP, and keep him as their main striker for years to come while allowing their current one to leave at the end of the season. This seems like the best fit to me.
Should Aron move to the MLS? And if so, which club do you think he would fit best at?