World Cup: USMNT's Aron Johannsson sets next career target – top scorer in Dutch Eredivisie

NEW YORK – After his 24-goal season at AZ Alkmaar in the 2012-13 season, USMNT forward Jozy Altidore was snapped up by the English Premier League.

His US teammate, Aron Johannsson, won't be following his footsteps.

It was announced on Friday that the 23-year-old, who scored 26 goals in all competitions for AZ Alkmaar, signed a one-year extension to his contract with the Dutch club, a deal he says got done just before arriving in New York City with the US national team.

It extends his stay with the Eredivisie side until the summer of 2018 and the World Cup in Russia.

"I'm happy at AZ and I like being there and I would love to take a few more years there," Johannsson told a media roundtable on Friday. "And if I do well, obviously then I can go away if someone [another club] wants to come to buy me [from AZ]. But I'm happy there and I want to be there at least one more year.

"Hopefully I can go on next season or two and make the similar thing and hopefully become the top scorer of the Dutch League."

The USA No. 9, who has legendary German striker Jurgen Klinsmann coaching him on the international level, will be coached by another world soccer icon, former Dutch national team forward Marco van Basten, beginning next season.

"I haven't talked to him, but I'm really excited," Johannsson said. "He was a world-class striker and one of the best of his generation. So hopefully he can help me to become even better as a goal scorer and I can continue scoring goals and doing well."

Johannsson's scoring hot streak continued in US colors against Azerbaijan on Tuesday as he scored the second goal in a 2-0 victory.

Although he says he never envisioned himself on the US World Cup squad back when he decided to play for the USA in July 2013 – "The dream was pretty distant at the time," he says – now that he's going to Brazil may have turned public opinion in Iceland in his favor.

"At first it wasn't the best feedback, but now I think they're happy to have a guy going to the World Cup who's raised in Iceland," he said. "I can't speak for all of the people in the country, but I think most of them are very supportive."

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