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Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams enjoy opening day win in Leeds United debuts


Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams jumped right into Jesse Marsch’s starting lineup on Saturday for Leeds United’s Premier League opener and both got to savor a first league victory in style at Elland Road.

Aaronson and Adams both logged 90 minutes in a 2-1 comeback win over Wolves, giving the Yorkshire club a win its first competitive match of the new season. It was a pair of strong EPL debuts for the U.S. men’s national team midfielders, who got to impress their new supporters.

“It’s always good to win and to experience this today at Elland Road, what a wonderful experience for me and a good result for the team,” Aaronson said post match. “It’s a great start to the season. You can tell the high level of intensity out there, Wolves were very tough, they moved the ball really well, but I thought we worked hard and were really good on the counter attacks.”

Aaronson helped play a key role in the equalizing goal prior to halftime, forcing a turnover from Wolves in their own defensive box. Rodrigo eventually picked up possession before unleashing a low drive past Jose Sa for his first goal of the season.

Leeds United continued to pile on the pressure after halftime and eventually swung momentum in its favor for good. Patrick Bamford’s cross from the left wing looked to have been slotted home by a streaking Aaronson, but was ruled an own goal from Wolves defender Rayan Ait-Nouri.

Aaronson was substituted off in the 84th minute, winning four duels, making three recoveries, and making one tackle. Adams went the distance in midfield, winning three duels and making two clearances.

“I’ve talked to them about their adaptation within the team environment and then also what the league is like but both of those guys are incredibly intelligent,” Marsch said. “We know each other really well. I think there’s an ease to the way we work.

“So I’m pleased for both of them because I just think so highly of them as people. So yeah, I think they both had a good match,” he added.

It was a strong start to the season for Leeds United, which avoided relegation last season on the final day. The Lilywhites travel to Southampton on Matchday 2 with Aaronson and Adams both pressing for starts at St. Mary’s Stadium.


  1. RRRRREEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAMMMMMM…….was the chant from the Fulham faithful crowd.
    Regardless of what anyone here might think TIM REAM HAS ALWAYS BEEN ONE OF THE BEST US DEFENDERS IN THE POOL even at 34 years old…..Period. From NYRB to Fulham he has always shined ON TEAMS THAT KNOW HOW TO UTILIZE HIM. Where he lacks in speed he more than makes up for in tactical intellect, positioning, aerial passing ability, ball distribution etc……as his team still believes in him to start, whether its Championship league or the Premier League. He has won player of the year (AS A CENTERBACK) on almost every team he has been on, which is a testament of him STARTING AT A NEW PROMOTED EPL TEAM AT 34 (Where is Matt Besler or Omar Gonzalez playing now??? Players that were rated higher than him in the USMNT???)

    I think Emmert Wolf said it best ………”A tool is only as good as the man using it”, and so is true for a team

    Tim Ream, regardless if US coaches chose to use him or not, has always been one of best defenders the US has ever produced

    • I’m a Ream fan, but he was dropped to the bench the last time Fulham was in the EPL because he was too slow and struggled mightily. He’s more than proven his worth the in Championship but starting a full season in the EPL he has not completed yet.

      • “Sluggish”…..”to slow”……”dropped to the bench”. hmmmm…..Well name another defender that has the love and confidence of fans of any EPL / championship club like Ream? Name another defender that has been in the argument or in the a position to be STARTING in the EPL at center-back, Bench or starter…… I’ll wait.

      • Bizzy,

        My point is not that Ream is not a good centerback. As I said, he’s more than proven his with in the Championship. I’m simply stating him starting the 1st EPL march of the season doesn’t mean he’ll still be starting by the end of October. I hope he is, but it’s premature to call him a stating EPL centerback at this time.

      • I hear what you are saying Zac but all I’m saying is that whether he is starting a FULL season in the EPL or not, doesn’t matter, as he is the ONLY center-back even in the EPL and on a team that values him as a player through relegation and promotion.
        …..But like you said lets see how the season goes.

      • Yup he sure would ……..specially being the ONLY CENTERBACK currently starting in the EPL, and people doubting his abilities. Talk about “Nonsensical”. lol

    • He certainly fit with the NT when we played a mid block but just sitting back and absorbing, didn’t fit with the MMA midfield or our attacking players like CP, Reyna, and Aaronson. Berhalter Ball has changed from let’s hold possession to we’re going to harass you and not let you get it out of your half. That means we need CBs that can cover 40 yards of space and that doesn’t fit Tim at this stage of career.
      Apparently Fulham has put in bids for Diop at West Ham and Sarr from Chelsea but neither appear close to signing. Ream probably bought himself some time with a good performance Saturday and might have helped Fulham’s bargaining power.

    • Don’t forget about Chris Richards. Bummer he didn’t get time in week 1 but not surprising given how he just joined a week ago.

    • Mr. bizzy,

      All you’re telling us is that the USMNT hasn’t had a manager who has figured out a way to make the best use of Ream, for whatever reason.

      Is Timmy the kind of defender you build a defense around , the way VVD is for Liverpool for example?

      Because if he is then you build the defense around him.

      Which means in large part you’re essentially building your team around him.

      I happen to rate Timmy but it’s clear to me that however good he has been for Fulham he does not fit into whatever the parade of USMNT managers have wanted to do with their teams and their defenses during Timmy’s time.

      The proof is in Timmy’s play for the USMNT. I can’t remember ever watching Timmy in a USMNT shirt and thinking, this guy is the answer.

      Given that it doesn’t matter how well he plays for Fulham.

      The problem is not so much that Timmy is not fast.

      Thiago Silva is slower, if that’s possible but :

      1. Silva is a better soccer player and defender
      2. He is surrounded by better teamates and a better coaching staff.

      Chelsea can cover for Silva’s flaws and exploit his strengths much better than the USMNT can do that for Timmy.

      So good for Fulham.

      But just because you can start in the EPL, it doesn’t mean you belong on the USMNT, especially this edition of the USMNT which caters to the manager’s system not necessarily to the player’s strengths.

      • Berhalter has completely changed the way we play to fit the players this “Berhalter rigid system is fake news”. We’ve gone from a possession with mid block to a pressing system with a high line. There’s a whole video on the Yank Report YouTube channel that goes through the timeline. It doesn’t fit Ream or Brooks but it does fit Dest, Jedi, Adams, Aaronson, Wes, Weah, and Musah.

      • JR,

        “Berhalter has completely changed the way we play to fit the players”

        Are you saying he had a choice? Berhalter found that his system alone wasn’t enough to make his preferred guys good enough at this level. So, at some point, he had to change.

        “It doesn’t fit Ream or Brooks but it does fit Dest, Jedi, Adams, Aaronson, Wes, Weah, and Musah.”

        My point exactly.

        Ream doesn’t fit the system. Whether that’s his fault or the system’s fault it doesn’t matter. He doesn’t fit.

        “Berhalter rigid system is fake news”.

        I would not say that.

        Berhalter is rigid about whatever particular system he’s in favor of at the moment.

        But he’s been forced to evolve because it didn’t work with the players he had. Once new guys came in or older guys got better at their clubs then Berhalter was able to “evolve” his systems but it is taking him a while and the “evolving ” is not over.

        Remember Sebastian Lletget as the False 9? There were other more suitable candidates available to test out that role. Why fly Seba all the way over from California?

        Have Berhalter’s systems evolved into something that actually works when it all hits the fan?

        We’ll soon find out.

        Of course he had the luxury of comparative job security and crap teams to test his theories on. And he has had the luxury of being in the right place at the right time in terms of our kids developing, something that I credit to their clubs. These kids also have a very strong bond with each other and a great group ethic. Credit to Gregg for encouraging it but it started with Tab and the other youth international managers whose names I don’t know and who don’t get enough credit.

        You could argue that better competition would have forced Berhalter to evolve at a more timely rate but it is what it is.

        Berhalter was hired in December of 2018. It’s coming on 4 years and it seems that they hired him for his vision of what the team could be, not necessarily for his management skills, which were unremarkable but have grown as time rolled on.

        After 4 years and 54 games , he’s better now.

        We will soon see if he has grown enough to win the job of managing the 2026 cycle which is what I believe Qatar is all about for Berhalter.

      • Vacqui: If by preferred players you mean Wes, Serge, Jedi, Aaronson, CP, Musah, and Adams yes he’s adapted his system to make it work. Sorry to Tim Ream and John Brooks that he didn’t cater to aging center backs with very good left feet. This system isn’t designed for Lleget or Acosta or Arriola. It’s not even designed for Ferreira as we operated with he and Pepi rotating in March. We saw iterations in June to get Weah and Aaronson on the field with Pulisic. I don’t know anyone that considers those names “Berhalter guys”.
        Please remind me of these better options for the Wales friendly. MLS playoffs in full swing, different regions across Europe were in lockdown. Lleget was only added because Sargent wasn’t allowed to travel. Soto and Nico had never been in camp before and with Covid protocols had one day of training. Dike was involved in playoffs, as was Ferreira (who had run the false 9 in the previous US match in Feb before the World shut down.) Pulisic was injured, Reyna brand new, Weah (had 45 mins of match time). At the end of the day Lleget’s role in the false 9 created space, when he checked back for the ball. The issue was Konrad and Reyna on one days training weren’t able to time their runs into the space.

      • JR,

        “Please remind me of these better options for the Wales friendly. ”

        As I recall Julian Green at the time was playing well and was about a 3 hour drive up the road.

        And my guy Richie Ledezma was on that bench.

        As was Jony Cardoso, who would have been an intriguing experiment.

        Trying Soto and Nico at the 9, false or otherwise, would have been a useful experiment rather than wasting time on a guy who couldn’t possibly have been more unsuited to the role. Lletget has, for the most part, been a case of throwing good money after bad.

        More to the point, with Sargent gone why not give either Soto or Nico more of a shot at either the false or a more traditional #9?

        How much better off would the USMNT be today if any of those Seba alternative guys had had more time and shown more promise instead of wasting it on Seba?

        In the middle of a pandemic Seba was halfway around the world. Flying him in for a friendly was reckless. If you were flying in some hot prospect to try out at the time that’s one thing. But Seba? Do you really want Backpass junior there?

        He has his uses but he’s a blunt instrument, a Ford 350 Dooley amongst race cars. The false 9 requires some subtlety and nuance neither of which Seba possesses.

        “At the end of the day Lleget’s role in the false 9 created space, when he checked back for the ball. The issue was Konrad and Reyna on one days training weren’t able to time their runs into the space.”
        Are you blaming Reyna and Konrad? How much time at the training camp did Seba have? And weren’t Nico G and Soto in the camp before and longer than Seba?
        I’m more inclined to think that Seba who had never played the False 9 position was more of a negative factor than the one day of training for Konrad or Reyna.
        Except for Reyna, none of the guys I mentioned were necessarily hot prospects as False 9’s but they wouldn’t have been the kind of gross miscasting that Seba was. And they were already handy.
        There were alternatives, Berhalter preferred not to use them. He’s seemingly had a lot of time and opportunities to try things out but not all missed opportunities are equal and that one was a big miss.
        Defending Gregg by pointing out he’s improved makes no sense to me.
        Given where he started of course he’s better. Do you honestly believe that he is the only manager who cold have gotten this program back into the World Cup and looking however good it looks now? Because I think there were any number of available managers who could have done as well or maybe better. Guys like Tab or Hugo Perez.
        But as a USMNT fan the only thing I really care about is did he get better fast enough to make the best use of the talent he has been presented with to represent this country at the World Cup?
        Or is he going to embarrass us? Or more likely be somewhere in the middle, not that bad but not really good either?
        We’ll soon see.

    • Ream is great against Championship level players, not so great in the Premier League. That’s likely why Fulham have brought in two new center backs (Diop and Duffy) in the last week. I wouldn’t count on Ream being a starter for much longer.

      He may be a club legend for sticking it out with the club for as long as he has, and being anywhere from good to very good in the process.

      I’ve always liked Ream, and hope he comes back to MLS (St. Louis would seem to be the place for him) soon.

  2. 1. Aaronson and Adams both looked good, dynamic, sharp….. and were involved in the second goal

    2. Ream and Robinson looked really good as well and held off LIVERPOOL to a 2-2 draw. What even more impressive Robinson had to cover Salah all game!!!!

    Awesome week for the USMNT

    • When people were doubting Robinson, the last time Fulham was in the EPL I pointed out that Robinson stifled Salah in their then recent clash that season. So, this is not new for Robinson.

    • Ream putting himself back in the mix for the USMNT for the WC? Should be interesting. He has immense experience playing against English and Welsh players. And he still has the chops to play in the EPL. If Berhalter goes with 5 CB’s I could see Ream making the team.

    • Wouldn’t Ream have similar issues to Brooks when playing a high line? If you follow Watke you know that Tim is the “Reyna Whisperer” and if Gio is back healthy we might need him.

      • I don’t think adding Ream will have any impact on Reyna. The only reason I see potentially taking 5 CB’s is because Berhalter might experiment with a 3 man back line.

      • You must be unaware of the comic gold that is Watke. He was the one that first brought Berhalter’s bounce passes to light, with highlight reels on Twitter. He also did a running bit of clips of Ream with his arm around Gio, or whispering in his ear. He played up that Ream was in NL roster last summer purely as Gio’s mentor. Tim’s man bun giving him a Jedi master like quality.
        I think making the roster is unlikely for Tim given his lack of speed. He seems to be a good vibes guy so maybe in your 3 man backline scenario he gets chosen over Brooks, but a think both will be watching from home.

  3. Good outing for both.

    Also Pefok with his second goal in as many games today. Overall good performance from Pefok who did some dirty work and had some really nice combination play a few time almost assisting on another goal.

  4. I know no one needs a nitpick, but they didn’t both log 90 minutes if Aaronson was subbed off in the 84th. That aside, glad to read this, really hoping this winds up good for all 3 Americans.


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