Werder Bremen and USMNT forward Aron Johannsson said he is hoping for a "fresh start" under new River-Islanders coach Florian Kohfeldt.
The Alabama–born striker - who has featured in just three minutes of Werder’s current Bundesliga campaign – made a big impression after coming from the bench during the Green-Whites’ 2-2 friendly draw against Heerenveen on Thursday, a day before he celebrated his 27th birthday.
It’s welcome news for the 19-time international, who has struggled to nail down a place with the former Bundesliga winners since signing for the club in 2015.
Watch: Werder Bremen fall in Frankfurt last time out in the Bundesliga
A serious hip injury in his first season at Werder preceded him falling down the pecking order under former coach Alexander Nouri. It led to Johannsson featuring in only 17 Bundesliga appearances, and registering three goals, since his switch from AZ Alkmaar.
Yet with Nouri having departed Bremen and Kohfeldt now in charge until at least the end of the calendar year, Johannsson senses a chance to earn a run in a team, who are in need of a lift.
"Aron showed me out there what he has been showing me since I arrived here: that he is very committed," coach Kohfeldt explained after the Heerenveen test. "He was involved in some very good moments during the match, and although he did make a few mistakes, it was clear to see he wants to take his chance."
The former Fjolnir and Arhus striker was brought on in the second half of Thursday’s friendly, and almost found the net with a clever lob that just missed the target. Speaking after the encounter, Johannsson – who appeared for the USMNT at the 2014 FIFA World Cup – said, "Everything starts from zero for me now; this is a fresh start."
Fans of Werder will be hoping their team experiences a fresh run of success with Kohfeldt and Johannsson on board. The four-time Bundesliga champions have failed to win any of their last 14 Bundesliga games – a sequence that stretches back to last season – and currently lie second from bottom of the standings with five points. Die Grün-Weißen host Hannover when the Bundesliga returns to action next weekend.