IMG Academy alumni find scoring touch over the weekend
Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson and Demarcus Beasley have three things in common: they are American, they scored this weekend and they spent part of their early careers at IMG Academy.
Jozy Altidore has been scoring at a torrid pace for AZ Alkmaar this season. He has 21 league goals and 28 in all competitions; both of which are records for Americans playing in Europe. Three of those goals came on Sunday as Altidore notched a hat trick in just nine minutes against FC Utrecht, the fastest in club history. The first two were penalty kicks he earned and the final was powerful header in the bottom corner. This was Altidore’s third hat trick of the 2012-2013 season, and rumors are swirling about a possible eight figure summer transfer to a number of top clubs. Altidore spent time at IMG Academy as a member of the United States U17 Residency Team.
Altidore’s new teammate, Aron Johannsson, is a recent transfer from AGF Aarhus in Denmark. Johannsson started the 2012 season on fire for Aarhus, and was tied atop the scoring charts when AZ Alkmaar bought him mid-season. Interestingly enough, he holds the record for the fastest hat trick in Aarhus history at 3 minutes and 50 seconds. After sustaining an early season knock, Johannsson finally scored this Sunday, his first league goal for Alkmaar. The goal came after a cheeky meg on a defender and slotting the ball underneath the goalkeeper. At 17-years old, Johannsson came to IMG Academy from 2007 to 2008 before signing a professional contract with Icelandic club, Fjölnir. Johannsson has dual citizenship from Iceland and the U.S., but U.S. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has stated his interest in the young striker. Many fans hope to see Johannson cap tied in this summer’s Gold Cup.
DeMarcus Beasley has turned back the clock on his career. After battling with some nagging injuries in years passed, the 30 year old has found new life at C.F. Puebla in the Mexican Primera. His performances even saw him called in for the recent World Cup Qualifiers versus Costa Rica and Mexico. This latest goal is just another example of his resurgence. The goal came after teammate, Felix Boria, headed the ball down in the penalty area and Beasley blasted in a right footed shot from 12 yards. Beasley came up through the United States U17 Residency program at IMG Academy. He also spent time on the IMG Academy PDL team before signing with MLS club, Chicago Fire, in 1999.