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Aaronson’s stock continues to grow with golazo in Red Bulls romp


The Philadelphia Union rebounded in the best way possible on Sunday night with a lopsided win over rivals New York Red Bulls, but the focus was on one of the club’s rising stars in the romp.

Brenden Aaronson scored for Jim Curtin’s side in a 3-0 road win, the Union’s first at Red Bull Arena since 2015. Aaronson’s strong second season for the Eastern Conference club continued with his best goal in the blue and white of the Union’s colors.

“It’s not often that you come into this building and take points,” Curtin said. “Obviously a 3-0 win has to rank above our best performance ever here. We knew the beginning of the game would have a lot of emotion to it. The first 15 minutes would be chaotic and we would have to navigate that. But overall, I thought our players sustained the chaos that Red Bull is great at creating.”

Aaronson’s first-half goal set the tone for what ended up being one-way traffic after halftime. The 19-year-old midfielder picked up possession and ripped a right-footed shot into the left corner of the Red Bulls goal. It was a confident strike from Aaronson, who continues to be one of the top players for the club.

“Brenden Aaronson obviously finds a good pocket in what we call the green zone and obviously the shot he hits is a special one,” Curtin said. “I was mad at him because he was in that green zone a couple times earlier and his first touch let him down. But overall now to finish that one from distance is something we’re proud of and all the hard work he’s put in in front of goal is paying off for him and our team. He deserves the credit there.”

Aaronson logged 77 minutes in the match before being replaced by fellow Homegrown midfielder Anthony Fontana. His only shot on goal ended up being the winner for the Union, but the creative midfielder also tried several other times to set up his teammates.

The U.S. Men’s National Team player has been linked with a move away from the Union this year with several European clubs interested in his services. Aaronson now has six goals and four assists over his season-and-a-half with the Union and could very well reach no career highs before this campaign is over. After his latest goal for the club, he aims to continue working on his finishing and most importantly becoming an all-around top No. 10.

“There’s been a lot of work in my final third and I think that I give myself a lot of credit because after training I’m always getting that ball from Ale, we’ve worked on that a lot recently and I was in the green zone and made up my idea, decided to shoot,” Aaronson said. “I need to shoot more, I think people see that. I shot it and I scored and I was really proud of myself for that.”

“In my head when I saw [that ball crossed] there was only one thing in my head, and that was to shoot it. That’s what I want to keep doing, I want to keep working on it because I think a great No. 10 has that goal-scoring capability. I want to keep adding that to my game and keep shooting whenever I can.”

With Aaronson getting on the scoresheet, it helped the Union bounce back from a missed opportunity four days prior in Columbus. A 1-0 loss to the Crew saw Caleb Porter’s side jump into the top spot in the East while the Union stayed in third.

Since then, the Union moved up to second place and have a strong possibility of fighting for the No. 1 seed come playoff time. Up next is a home date with the New England Revolution, a team the Union beat once in the MLS is Back Round of 16 and tied 0-0 back in Foxborough in its first regular season match back from Orlando.

“Overall, I am really proud of this team,” Curtin said. “Everyone is contributing, guys came off the bench and made a big impact on the game, and that’s what happens on good team. Proud of everyone for the three points.”


  1. I’ve been impressed with this kid this season, especially the improvement on the defensive side of the ball since last year.
    That said, his place with the USMNT will be heavily defined/impacted by where Reyna, Pulisic, & Adams are deployed. If CP & Reyna are the wide attacker & Adams the CDM than Aaronson will be in line for one of the Midfield spots.
    If Yueill/Bradley are the CDM or Pulisic/Reyna are played as CMs than Aaronson is a Bench player.
    Aaronson, Green, & Pomykal were/are inline for that Creative CM role.
    Ledezma is another, but he is more of a all-out CAM who is likely to be a bit of a liability against some of the better National Teams. At least for the time being.

    • Yes if everyone is healthy he’ll find tough going at earning a starting spot considering McKennie, Pulisic, Reyna, Adams are all regulars for CL knockout stage clubs. I still feel 3G wants to play Adams as an 8, since his 6 sits much deeper than we’re Adams plays for RBL. If Weah begins playing well for Lille that makes it even tougher. Hopefully by January we’ll see what he can do against better competition.

  2. Let me start by saying, I like Aaronson. I just don’t think he is better than Reyna. Reyna is bigger, stronger, faster, and has more moves to break defenses.
    Aaronson game is hard work, tenacious on defense. I think he is more suited to be an alternate for one of the 8’s position.

    • I don’t think anyone is saying he’s better than Reyna. He might be the best young US prospect in MLS but that’s a long way from Reyna. I read a rumor he got a new agent but a January move seems most likely with a little less than a month to go before the transfer window closes.

    • While Aaronson has yet to prove himself in Reyna’s class I don’t think you can say Reyna is “faster”. Aaronson is probably faster / quicker and would cover much more ground.

      Until Aaronson plays in top league there will no way to compare…..Reyna would probably have no more MLS impact in NY but had proven (as a solid reserve) himself in Germany.

      • Check back in on this statement in three months. I think you’ll find that Reyna is a mainstay of the second biggest club in Germany — whether Sancho leaves or not.

    • I think you’re selling Aaronson a little short. He’s very comfortable with the ball at this feet, has great vision, can make a killer pass and obviously can put the ball in the net.

      I actually think his game is similar to Gio’s, but obviously Gio is doing it against better competition. I’d like to see BA move to Europe and then we’ll see where he’s at in a year or two.

      • It’s hard to judge Aaronson is afforded a lot more time and space in MLS. I’ve heard RB Salzburg as an interested party which would be cool to see him play for Marsch, and to play a different style and formation. He’d also have UEFA competitions as opposed to going to a mid table Bundesliga club.

  3. It was obviously a right footed shot. Anyway, he not only had the golazo, but he had a great pass in the build up to the third goal. Gio Reyna is getting all the love lately (not that he doesn’t deserve it), but this kid could be a future # 10 for the national team.

    • Given continued improvement, he could be. I’m curious to see how the team lines up to accommodate our best players’ strengths. Obviously, there are a number of permutations, but with Pulisic apparently best suited to the forward position on the left, whether to play Reyna centrally or on the right has knock-on repercussions for Aaronson. I can see Reyna on the right with Aaronson playing the central attacking role in front of McKennie and Adams, or alternatively, Reyna taking on that central role (he’s demonstrated in recent friendlies the capability and the inclination to play more centrally) with Weah or Morris or whomever is fit and in form on the right. The good news is that we seem to have more options than ever before in that department. Hopefully, we’ll get to see how they play out sooner than later.


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