New York-born Bjorn Johnsen accepts call-up from Norway
Hearts forward Bjorn Johnsen has accepted a call-up to Norway's national team, thus opting for the birth country of his father instead of his own.
Johnsen is eligible to play for the U.S. because he was born in New York City, but with his U.S. national team options looking next to nil, the 25-year-old will join Lars Lagerback's Norway side ahead of matches against Czech Republic and Sweden.
He will be cap-tied if he appears in the World Cup qualifier against the Czechs on June 10.
Just got the call up for Norway. Life long dream of playing for ! Thanks to all that had helped me along the way.- Bjørn Maars Johnsen (@BjornMaars) May 30, 2017
Johnsen, who played youth soccer in the Raleigh, N.C.-area, has bounced around club teams in Norway, Spain, Portugal, and Bulgaria before securing a move to Hearts in Scotland just before last season. He went on to score six goals in 37 league and cup appearances for the Jambos.
There is also news surrounding one of Johnsen's club teammates. The Pioneer Press is reporting that Hearts winger Sam Nicholson is traveling to Minnesota with an eye towards hashing out a contract with MLS expansion side Minnesota United.
The 22-year-old has spent his entire professional career with Hearts, scoring 15 goals in 127 league and cup appearances, but his contract has expired, meaning he would be free to join up with the Loons when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.