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Brenden Aaronson ruled out of USMNT’s World Cup Qualifiers due to knee injury


Brenden Aaronson’s ironman streak through the octagonal round of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying will officially come to an end.

Aaronson has been ruled out of this month’s trio of qualifiers due to a knee injury suffered with Red Bull Salzburg, U.S. Soccer announced Monday. The New Jersey native missed Salzburg’s 4-1 league win on Sunday due to a knee injury suffered in pre-match warmups.

After reviewing the updated medical information and in consultation with Red Bull Salzburg, we have determined that Brenden Aaronson would not be available to play in the upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches,” a U.S. Soccer statement read. “We were hopeful he would be able to recover in time; unfortunately, that will not be the case. We hope he makes a speedy recovery.

Aaronson, 21, has appeared in all 11 of the USMNT’s World Cup Qualifiers to date this cycle, scoring two goals and contributing one assist. He has also continued to play a leading role for Red Bull Salzburg across all competitions, scoring five goals and adding 10 assists.

In total, Aaronson has appeared in 46 matches this season for club and country, most recently logging 120 minutes in Red Bull Salzburg’s penalty shootout win in the Austrian Cup semifinals.

The USMNT sits second in the octagonal round standings in Concacaf World Cup qualifying with 21 points heading into its final three matches of qualifying. Gregg Berhalter’s team is four points ahead of fourth-place Panama in the race for automatic qualification into the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 

The Americans face Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica in their final matches this month, which begins with a trip to Estadio Azteca on Thursday.


  1. Aaronson has been extremely durable for both the Union and Salzburg. I think this might be the first injury he’s had that will force him to miss a run of games. Since we don’t really know any details it is impossible to tell if this is weeks or months.

    The team will miss him. If you’ve seen him playing for Salzburg, you can appreciate not only his high work rate, but his ability to make incisive passes forward. Reyna can, of course make those great passes as well, but he does not seem to be all over the field as much as Aaronson and probably is not yet fit enough to do that, though he did play the full 90 in Dortmund’s last game.
    I don’t think there is a 1 for 1 replacement for him. The forward pool will do fine without him with Reyna, Weah and Pulisic. The forward will likely be Pefok or Ferriera. Arriola is not my favorite, but he does have a high work rate and would be useful in closing out a game. There are a variety of other players who could be called in, but whoever it may be will likely not see the pitch unless the US suffers more injuries or suspensions.

  2. If you go by form, Mihailovic is the guy. If you want someone that can walk into Azteca on short notice and give no effs, it’s Hoppe. If you want to go like for like, the obvious choice is Paxten.

  3. Sorry everyone my guess is Lletget. He’s in the US already and “knows the system”. My dream is Pomykal can play central or wide, high motor. Played for Luchi, now plays for Nico who used to be Gregg’s assistant. Knows Pepi and Ferreira well. Played with Tim for U20s. He’s just a quick jaunt over from Dallas just makes too much sense. That said no chance it happens.

    • JohnnyR – I hope he brings on Hoppe and Djorgie as a replacement. Aaronson provided depth at winger and midfield so neither one by themself is really a replacement and Sargent wouldn’t be either – I don’t know enough about the player pool to know who would be. I don’t think I can sit through another game of, as you say, “sideways and backward” passes … You’d think somebody could just tell him to pass the ball forward to the good players and give them an oppprtunity to make something happen …

  4. Damn, this is so unfortunate. This kid has a lot of fight in him….something that is sometimes seriously lacking sometimes on the USMNT.
    This is soooooo unfortunate and a huge blow to the USMNT…..Weston McKennie (foot), Gio Reyna (hamstring that can be managed though), Sergino Dest (hamstring) and now Brenden Aaronson (knee). WTH…

    I wonder if GB will fill his spot with one of the following (or just be fine with 26 players):
    Josh sargent
    Konrad De La Fuente
    Djordje Mihailovic
    Paxton Pomykal

    Damn, I guess we’ll see. Wish you a speedy recovery kid….

  5. This is why many of us have been urging a call up of a lot of players, even if we didn’t think we needed them. Like others, I hope he calls Sargent in. Even if Sargent can’t get ready in time for Mexico, we could need him for Panama and CR.

  6. Yeesh. Not. Good.

    My guess is that this bumps Reyna to that side for this window…and ups his minutes, maybe more than we’d like or would be optimal. We’re going to miss his motor, his relentlessness, his timeliness, his quality. Just between myself and a fence post, I’d honestly prefer to start Aaronson over Pulisic and bring Pulisic in off the bench; CP10 doesn’t seem to do as well with the Nats when he’s asked to carry the team and he pretty much tends to get kicked right out of it because CONCACAF refs won’t protect him. I’d have definitely wanted to start Aaronson down in the Azteca in Game 1.

    Hey, we always have Paul Arriola.

    • “Hey, we always have Paul Arriola.”

      That’s right. Ariolla starts now.

      This manager considers him and Brenden to be equivalent “relentless” players.

      He’s said as much before.

      • We still have Pulisic, Morris, Weah and Reyna at wing before we even start talking about Arriola.
        The only way Arriola sees the field is as a late game sub, either as a desperation move if we need a goal or as fresh legs if we’re trying to kill the game.

      • johnny99

        “Pulisic, Morris, Weah and Reyna at wing before we even start talking about Arriola”

        Pulisic, Weah and Reyna, were going to be in this game anyway before Brenden got hurt.

        So, given your list the choice is Morris or Paul. And they don’t really do the same thing.

        Morris ( the best version) is a scoring threat.
        Ariolla,( the best version) makes those Mexicans go weak in the knees because everyone knows he runs harder and longer than any man alive.
        Brenden did that too except he also could do a little bit with the ball, something Paul can’t do. The idea that Paul can protect a lead is horse manure because he can’t hold onto the ball. He’s an endlessly running turnover. Give him the ball and he’ll put it out of bounds. or take three touches when one will do and lose the moment. He’ll be Mexico’s 12th man, killing USMNT attacks.

        But hey, he’s “relentless”.

        Start him and get it over with.

  7. McKennie, Richards, Turner, Dest, Aaronson…4 years ago we would be sunk with this many injuries all coming at the worst possible moment. Our depth will be tested. Guessing Sargent is packing his bags.

    • “Guessing Sargent is packing his bags.”
      That would be what many would choose to do (in fact, would have had him pack his bags as soon as Aaronson couldn’t start his match), but we’ll see.


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