Cologne - The Bundesliga has opened its doors to a total of 42 Americans down the years, but not one of them - past or present - has managed to post double figures for goals in a single domestic season.
Could SV Werder Bremen new boy Aron Johansson be the first to buck the goal-scoring trend? bundesliga.com puts the USA international striker’s credentials under the microscope…
Although born in Mobile, Alabama, Johannsson grew up in Iceland - his parents’ birthplace - and it was in the country’s capital, Reykjavik, where his career in professional football really took off.
Impressing at local youth outfits Fjölnir and Breioablik, Johannsson earned a place at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy in Florida. He returned to Fjölnir following a season-long stay in the Sunshine State, making his senior debut in 2008/09 and going on to score 13 goals in 37 league appearances.
After finishing his final season in his adopted homeland as top scorer and Player of the Year, Johannsson joined Danish outfit AGF Aarhus. Promotion to the Danish Superliga soon followed, with Johannsson later setting a new record for the division’s fastest-ever hat-trick and four-goal salvo in a 4-1 win over AC Horsens on 27 August 2012, clocking in at 3 minutes 50 seconds and 16 minutes respectively.
The 24-year-old averaged just under a league goal every two games at his next European station, Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar, finding the net 29 times in 58 Dutch top-flight appearances all told, capturing the imagination of USA head coach Jürgen Klinsmann in the process. He is now a regular for the Stars and Stripes, most recently donning the No.9 jersey at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup in which the USA finished fourth on home soil.
Johannsson has inherited that same number at new club Bremen following Franco Di Santo’s move to Bundesliga rivals FC Schalke 04, which could see him thrown straight in at the deep end with a starting berth at home to Di Santo's Royal Blues when the league campaign kicks off next weekend.
While his short passing game and link-up play are particularity suited to the Green-Whites’ counter-attacking bent, Johannsson has, above all, been signed as a like-for-like replacement for his Argentinian predecessor, Bremen’s top scorer last season on 13 league goals. If the former Alkmaar man can follow suit and hit those fabled double digits, Germany's top flight will be feting its latest successful American import.