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Striker Johannsson cleared by FIFA for U.S. switch

U.S. head coach Juergen Klinsmann kicks the ball during a practice session in San Pedro Sula February 5, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer
U.S. head coach Juergen Klinsmann kicks the ball during a practice session in San Pedro Sula February 5, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Stringer

(Reuters) - United States coach Juergen Klinsmann can call on former Iceland Under-21 striker Aron Johannsson for Wednesday's friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina after the player's nationality switch was approved by FIFA.

Johannsson was called up for the game in Sarajevo by Klinsmann pending a decision by FIFA on the player's request and the paperwork arrived in time for him to be in contention for a place in the starting line-up.

Johannsson was born in Mobile, Alabama, and his family moved to Iceland when he was three years old.

The 22-year-old forward plays for AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands after making his name with Aarhus in Denmark.

"We are obviously very thrilled for Aron," former Germany striker and coach Klinsmann said. "It's an exciting time for him. He's done a great job in these couple days getting to know the guys.

"Hopefully if the game goes well tomorrow night, there will be a chance for him to make his debut with the U.S. National Team."

Klinsmann, who has been keen to attract dual-nationality players to his team, could also hand a first start to Germany-born John Anthony Brooks who plays central defender for Hertha Berlin.

FIFA rules allow players eligible for more than one country to make a single change of allegiance, so long as they have not played in a competitive game for a full national team.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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