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Brenden Aaronson scores winner to help Salzburg beat FC Barcelona in friendly


American soccer fans worried about how Brenden Aaronson would fare at Red Bull Salzburg without Jesse Marsch there as manager can relax a bit after Aaronson’s heroics on Wednesday.

The U.S. men’s national team midfielder scored the winning goal in Red Bull Salzburg’s 2-1 friendly win against FC Barcelona in a preseason friendly played in Salzburg.

Aaronson pounced on a Salzburg shot that ricocheted off the left post and right to Aaronson, who quickly redirected it into the net in the 90th minute for the winning goal.

“It was a special match. To play FC Barcelona at home, it’s always a special occasion,” Aaronson said after the match. “You could see from the fans, and all the players, it was big for us. It was great to win, but they’re a fantastic team.”

Aaronson has enjoyed a positive start to Salzburg’s new season, starting in all three of the team’s first official matches.

The 20-year-old is back in full swing after taking part in the USMNT’s run to the Concacaf Nations League title. Aaronson appeared in the semifinal win against Honduras, but did not play in the final victory against Mexico.

Aaronson is vying for a place on the USMNT World Cup qualifying squad for September’s qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras and establishing himself as a regular starter for Red Bull Salzburg, especially with UEFA Champions League qualifiers coming up.

Aaronson and Salzburg return to action on Sunday with a home match against Austria Vienna. They begin their UEFA Champions League campaign on August 17 with the home leg of a playoff against Brondby.


  1. Aaronson showed when he was with the Union that he had very quick feet, a great shot,tactical awareness beyond his years and some defensive chops by winning balls from opponents in midfield. I never thought there was any question he would produce for Leipzig and that belief seems to have held up. I have not had the opportunity to see him play since the Union except in the Honduras game where he excelled. He is still a young player who would probably benefit by getting physically stronger. It also seems he has been able to remain relatively injury-free which matters for a player’s continued improvement. He probably isn’t quite ready to jump into the starting lineup at Bayern, Chelsea, etc. but I would be unsurprised if he isn’t with one of the big clubs in a few years.

  2. RBS play Christian Cappis and Brondby Aug. 17/18 and 24/25 for a spot in CL Group Stage. I expect Aaronson’s squad to get through rather easily but one never knows. 6 CL games will be great for either of the young Americans.

  3. What’s the over/under on how long he stays there until LeipIg or another team in need snatches him up? I give it one year. Who knows? Maybe the winter transfer window?

    • I’m a Villa fan and have been fantasizing about them picking up an American this window, especially now that they have £100 million in Grealish money. Do I think Aaronson would be a shrewd purchase? Absolutely. Do I think there’s any chance of it happening? Absolutely not. It’ll be Ward-Prowse or Cantwell.

  4. That will probably be the easiest goal-scoring opportunity for him all season. He’s been impressive in terms of development and adaptation to the European game, including some impressive goals last season, but I won’t extrapolate as to how his season will be based on a chance that a six year old can put away.

    • Not sure anyone is doing that based on one shot in isolation- he had a fantastic match- great runs with speed, control in tight spaces thoughout- as well- he had an assist and looked good last week.

    • Let the kid get a full season in for crying out loud. That’s how he will grow and raise his value in a way that is worthwhile for RB. Always such a rush for those who simply can’t help themselves for varying reasons. Not everyone is ready for top. league CL teams in a half year. Another year of being battle tested and producing, must qualify for CL group stages, will give him a lot of options. He looked very fast this match. Quick thinking and just plain fast leaving the Barca left back in the dust on multiple occasions. If he becomes more precise setting up teammates, while moning at that speed, he will be sought after by very high level teams. Exciting.


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