Brenden Aaronson became the 12th American player to secure a place in this season’s UEFA Champions League group stage, and Red Bull Salzburg can thank the young American midfielder for doing his part to secure the berth.
Aaronson scored for the second straight match against Danish side Brondby to help Salzburg secure a 2-1 win, and 4-2 aggregate win to secure their place in the Champions League group stage.
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) August 25, 2021
Salzburg’s victory came a day after Jordan Siebatcheu and Young Boys eliminated Henry Wingo and Ferencvaros to book their own place in the group stage.
Aaronson makes it 12 American players at the moment who are set to be on group stage rosters:
Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Sergiño Dest, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, John Brooks, Zack Steffen, Tim Weah, Owen Otasowie, Jordan Siebatcheu, Brenden Aaronson, Chris Richards
That number could theoretically rise to 13 of Romain Gall made the group stage roster for Swedish side Malmo, but at the moment it seems unlikely he will be included.
The number could also shrink, if Weston McKennie leaves Juventus for a non-Champions League club, which is a distinct possibility, and if Chris Richards winds up leaving Bayern Munich, either on loan or via transfer.
If it stays 12, it would break the record for most Americans on Champions League group stage rosters in one season, which is 10, set last year.
The Champions League group stage will feature two American managers for the first time, with Jesse Marsch leading RB Leipzig and David Wagner guiding Young Boys.
The Champions League group stage draw takes place on Thursday.