Soccer

Aron Johannsson Set To Face Tough Challenge In UEFA Europa League Quarterfinals

Aron Johannsson AZ Alkmaar

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American striker Aron Johannsson is quickly getting used to face tough challenges ever since he started his tenure with Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar. However, the team’s rival awaiting them at the upcoming UEFA Europa League round might be their toughest yet.

After today’s quarterfinals draw, the Dutch side has been selected to play against Portuguese powerhouse Benfica as both sides will look to clinch a berth in the tournament’s semifinals. It’s clear that Alkmaar are clear underdogs for this contest, but they could pull the upset if the stars align at the right time.

It’s not going to be easy though. Benfica features players like Nico Gaitan, Oscar Cardozo and Lazar Markovic as their forwards, and these three players can all be difference-makers at the highest level – something they already proved in the UEFA Champions League group stage this year. They should have a field day with Alkmaar’s defensive line. The Dutch side is tough at the back, but they lack experience to take on bigger and better teams.

In order for Alkmaar to have a chance, the USMNT star will have to be at his best on the forward lines. Johannsson is already proven at the international level, and he will have a great chance to showcase his skills against top defenders, something that could bode well for his chances of making the USMNT roster for the upcoming World Cup if he’s able to hold his own. It’s not going to be easy, but stranger things have happened at the international stage.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google