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Brenden Aaronson scores winner for Red Bull Salzburg in UEFA Champions League playoff


If Brenden Aaronson winds up being one of the Americans to take part in the UEFA Champions League group stage, it will be in part because of the young midfielder’s own heroics.

The U.S. men’s national team midfielder scored in the 90th minute to help give Red Bull Salzburg a 2-1 win against Danish side Brondby in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League playoff.

The goal was a vital one for the Austrian champions, who were in danger of having to go to Denmark without an advantage.

Brondby held up fairly well considering they lost seven players to a Covid-19 outbreak, a group that included American midfielder Christian Cappis.

Aaronson is enjoying a good start to his first full season with Salzburg, having joined from MLS side Philadelphia Union in January. Any concerns about whether he would be negatively affected by Jesse Marsch’s departure from Salzburg to take over German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig have faded away as Aaronson has established himself as a regular starter under new Salzburg manager Matthias Jaissle.

Aaronson entered Tuesday’s match as a halftime sub, but he has started all five of Salzburg’s league matches to date. His steady playing time and good run of form, which included scoring the game-winner against FC Barcelona in a friendly on August 4, should keep him on the list of players expected to take part in World Cup qualifying in September with the U.S. men’s national team.

Aaronson and Red Bull Salzburg will travel to Brondby for the second leg, which will be played on August 25.

Red Bull Salzburg returns to action on Saturday at home against Austria Klagenfurt.


  1. His success in the Austrian Bundeslia should be of no surprise to anyone.

    He was already an above average player in MLS, but with his young age taken into context, he earned a look with the MNT.

    What I’m saying is look at other above average players in MLS, and they will have a similar impact in the Austrian league. e.g., Cory Burke from the Philadelphia Union, Cyle Larin in Turkey etc…

    Conclusion, MLS > Austrian Bundesliga

  2. I just watched the replay. Aaronson had a big positive impact on the came when he entered at half-time. It was the kind of effort that looked like he just said “OK boys let’s do this” and proceeded to lead by example. The USMNT could use some of that.

  3. Exhibit A as to if Weah and Aaronson are both starting, BA should be on the right.This isn’t hating on Timo. I think Weah is the Allen Iverson of soccer, but BA just sees the whole pitch!

  4. Historically the USMNT won games through our Defensive efforts and stellar goal keeping. This new generation of players is exploding with attacking talent (Pulisic, Reyna, Aaronson, Weah, KDLF). I have to imagine that many of the CONCACAF nations are starting to realize that they’re going to have to defend against more than one or two players (Dempsey & Donovan) and will actually have to defend the entire field. If these 5 young players continue to progress and keep this high level of performance, I expect some very high scoring games.
    Now all we need is for our defense to become a little more stable/stingy and we’ll be able to make some noise outside of our region.

  5. Kind of a dull match until he entered. Shot on goal that was saved at the near post within one minute. First Red Bull goal was from a rebound off of his shot that was saved. He won’t be there long.

    • 100% accurate also.

      He has clearly been keyed on in Bundesliga played. Double teamed, treated physically, and its been a rough go….but that’s all part of being a key player. If he com,es out of all of this stronger we will have another top level player on out hands.


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