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 By Marc Stein

Aron Johannsson wants to play in MLS 'at the peak of my career'

U.S. national team forward Aron Johannsson, left, helped AZ Alkmaar qualify for the Europa League.

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. "I've said it a lot of times. I hope just the opportunity comes.

"I want to, when I'm at the peak of my career, then I want to be playing in the MLS, because I don't want to go there when I'm getting too old and the expectations are too much and I can't handle it.

"So when I'm playing at my best level, I want to be able to play in the U.S. and show people how good I am over there."

Despite an injury-plagued start to the season, Johannsson finished his club campaign with a flourish, scoring four goals in his final five games to help AZ secure a spot in next season's Europa League.

He scored his first goal in a U.S. shirt in a World Cup qualifier against Panama in October 2013 and ultimately earned a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann's final 23-man roster for last summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Johannsson gave the interview Sunday as he was preparing to report to the Americans' training camp in Nashville, Tenn. for the Gold Cup, which begins July 7.

Klinsmann's side won the CONCACAF showpiece in 2013, and will be hoping to repeat the feat and clinch a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.


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