U.S. national team striker Aron Johannsson said he has down-the-road ambitions to play in Major League Soccer "at the peak of my career."
The 24-year-old AZ Alkmaar forward, who has three goals in 10 national team appearances heading into July's Gold Cup, expounded on his long-range plans in an interview Sunday with radio program "ESPN Soccer Today."
"Most definitely," Johannsson, who has spent his career in Europe, said when asked if he sees himself making an eventual move to Major League Soccer....
U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann may have valued experience over youth on his roster for next month's Gold Cup, but June 2015 will still go down as a banner month for some of America's brightest young prospects.
The U.S. team's stirring run at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand ended in the quarterfinals against eventual champion Serbia on penalty kicks. A shorthanded U23 side finished third at the prestigious Toulon Tournament in France. And of course, a host of blue-chippers helped Klinsmann's varsity squad notch historic friendly wins on the road against Germany and the Netherlands.
Some of the young standouts who impressed on foreign soil will surely go on to represent the U.S. at senior World Cups (a couple already have, last summer in Brazil).
But even the ones who make it to Russia 2018 still have a long road ahead of them to get there. Here are the next steps for 15 players, all of them 23 years old or younger, who were in action for one of the three aforementioned national teams this month....