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Brenden Aaronson helps Union Berlin seal Bundesliga safety

Union Berlin avoided relegation from the German Bundesliga on Saturday by using a dramatic 2-1 home victory over Freiburg.

Brenden Aaronson registered one assist and played 80 minutes in the final match of his season-long loan, helping Union Berlin seal another year in the top-flight.

After a goal-less first half, Union Berlin broke the deadlock after the hour mark. Aaronson laid off a pass at the top of the Freiburg box before watching Benedict Hollerbach drill a left-footed shot into the top-left corner.

It marked Aaronson’s second assist of 2024.

Ritsu Doan would tie the match for Freiburg in the 85th minute, dropping Union Berlin back into the relegation playoff spot.

However, Union Berlin would steal all three points in stoppage time through Janik Haberer’s round finish. Kevin Volland’s penalty kick effort was denied but Haberer raced into the box and volleyed home into the bottom-left corner.

Union Berlin would hang on to seal Bundesliga safety, capping off what has been an up-and-down season.

Aaronson will head back to Leeds United this summer, pondering what’s next in his club career.


  1. Yay for Brendan!! He got onto the Nations League roster by injury but did enough in camp to get onto the field and has been a regular starter at Berlin since so hopefully things are looking up.

  2. He has hustle and skill. The only problem is consistently doing it with a bigger return on final third production. One reason why Paxten Aaronson is considered better than his brother is he had show a more consistency in the final third of the field. With the right Club situation Brendo could flourish.

  3. …and that right there is what Aaronson does best. Hustle play, deft little touch over and past the CB, runs down the ball, and turns into a fruit fly. Jukes two dudes out of their shoes – including that poor CB he had already just skinned a couple seconds ago – pulls it back, and puts a slick little centering pass across the top of the 18. Bam. Goal.

    You see stuff like that, it’s like: it’s hard to not see this guy having a bright future. We hadn’t seen that guy in about a year and a half and it’s been nice to see him re-emerging over the second half of Union Berlin’s season. You’d have to think Union Berlin would love him back just as you’d have to suspect Leeds likely doesn’t, so hopefully there’s a deal to be made there.

    I still think Aaronson’s best fit is Serie A or maybe La Liga, but if he’s making it work at Union Berlin for the moment, why change?

    • I think a problem BA has had for awhile is what position does he play exactly. Is he a wing, a ten, a false nine, a second striker, a center mid, or maybe a 6 in a dual 6 set up. He has qualities that could fit in all of those but some deficiencies that also pop up in all of those.
      I don’t know about what would be best for him, it’s funny five years ago everyone wanted Americans in the Bundesliga. Then Reyna, Pefok, Pepi, and Aaronson had struggles for PT. Now with Pulisic, Wes, Timmy, Yunus getting time in Serie A and perhaps Tessmann, Busio, and Giaocchini the push is for Americans on the move to head to Italy.

      • just my humble opinion, but his best position is underneath a mobile striker who can interchange and move, or beneath 2 strikers. 4 3 3 is not the best system for him for that, instead the wing in that formation

      • “He has qualities that could fit in all of those but some deficiencies that also pop up in all of those.”

        If I’m being unkind I would call him Jack of all trades master of none.

        If I’m being kind I would say Brenden has a chance to be the American ramdeuter. The original ramdeuter, Thomas Mueller says it means he seeks out useful spaces and uses them produce assists and goals.

        Brenden is no Mueller but in terms of movement? With a lot of work, that’s something Brenden has always been able to can pull out of his Ariolla playbook and do well if not as intelligently as Mueller. The problem is it has to be in concert with your teammates and they then have to be able to take advantage. Brenden is mobile but he’s not a great finisher. He’s in the same boat Pulisic was when CP moved to Chelsea. Except CP had and has a much higher soccer IQ. If BA wants to stay at the top level he’s going to need to get a lot more productive than he has been.

        Mueller , who is a much better player period, also has the advantage over Brenden in always having had much better teamates, and coaches. As I’ve said elsewhere, it was Brenden’s struggles at Leeds that first made me take a closer look at Jesse’s so called coaching.

        When Brenden first went to Union he was managed by Urs Fischer, if you want to call it that. Fischer didn’t play Brenden much. Eventually, after leading Union into the relegation zone, Fischer got axed and was replaced by Nenad Bjelica, who had them going a bit better but not getting them out of danger. He played Brenden a bit more but Union got their panties all in a twist and Bjelica’s been axed for these last two games and the team is now managed on an interim basis by Marco Grote.

        I don’t know what Brenden’s options are and the situation at Union is certainly a conniption fit but if they want him back either on a loan or a buy basis, I suppose he could do worse.

      • how many games to you see him play in Berlin? he’s been coming on very well for some time now, like months. that’s a lot of words if you haven’t seen him play in those games only to come here and say your same backhanded crap about him

        IF you have seen all those games, and you choose to compare him to Mueller, LOL, apply for SNL because you’re a joker…not even close to the same players, skill sets, physicality…NOTHING.

        pretty clear you have not watched him play and came here to troll…

        anyway, BA soccer IQ is not in question, except by you. because HE DOES WHAT HIS COACHES ASK HIM TO DO

        evidently, that makes a difference and coaches like that when you’re looking for PT. Sound familiar?

      • “anyway, BA soccer IQ is not in question, except by you. because HE DOES WHAT HIS COACHES ASK HIM TO DO”

        Really? For most of the games I’ve seen BA his coaches were Gregg and Jesse. Maybe he ought to reconsider his approach to their instructions. Whatever they have been telling him, it hasn’t been helping him for a long time now.

        The players I really rate don’t always do exactly what their coaches ask them to do. They try to interpret it to their teams benefit.

        Mueller, a World Cup and Champions League winner has , at times, been almost “world class” and CP , also a Champions League winner is not far behind him either. To say BA’s soccer IQ is not on par with theirs is no insult. Few players are.

        The Mueller comparison comes up because of what JR said about BA not exactly having a defined role. That’s reminiscent of the fact that Mueller has made an art form out of not having a defined role. Turn a negative into a positive.

        “Mueller, LOL, apply for SNL because you’re a joker…not even close to the same players, skill sets, physicality…NOTHING.”

        Of course, as you say, Brenden is nothing compared to Mueller. However, BA is very mobile and can use his movement in the same way that Mueller does. Now all he needs is to upgrade his skills a bit and get a little more help from his teammates. This is maybe where Gregg can help him now and where Jesse could have in the past. It may yet happen and why it didn’t in the past, I dunno.

        Part of the reason I haven’t seen as much of BA with Union is his playing time with them has been , at times, limited severely and the team is in turmoil. And ,as I have always said, he has been doing better with them lately.

        But most of all, I don’t care how he does with Union , as long as he does well enough to get playing time so he can stay somewhat sharp for the USMNT. Everyone loves Brenden and his story but that doesn’t change that he’s largely been shit for the USMNT since he moved to Yorkshire.

        Or the fact that when you put BA at the same level as Mueller and CP his performance is not in their class.

        What I focus on and am mostly interested in is BA’s USMNT performances . And I’ve seen all of them since he moved to Leeds and I have not been impressed.

        If you are that’s on you.
        Gregg is almost certainly going to take BA to Copa America. That should surprise no one since Gregg is also the guy who took Aaron Long, Roldan and Jesus Ferreira to Qatar. Hopefully BA’s recent improvement continues at Copa and he makes Gregg look good.

      • beachbum,

        “say your same backhanded crap about him”

        My comments about BA are not backhanded.

        I’ve been very clear and direct about BA:

        He’s been garbage for his club and certainly for his country, since he moved to Leeds. He’s been lucky to have a job.

        Deserve has got nothing to do with it but he does not deserve to be on the Copa America team.

        He’s popular with the media and you all for a number of reasons not all having to do with his ability as a footballer. He’s been the anti-diva shitbag.

        He’s a professional based mostly on his hard work and playing for teams that fit what he did best. He has more talent and skill than, for example an Arriola, but that isn’t saying much.

        His proven level is RBS, or if you think they are better, Philly. He showed nothing at the World Cup or in his time in the EPL. Champions League? 14 games, 9 starts, 2 assists.

        In English, in the right circumstances he can be effective but he struggles outside of that. In American sports parlance he’s what they call a “system player”. That means he’s limited. It looks like Union are not keeping him which is too bad because he was beginning to make some headway and he needs to be where he can get with a manager who can help him develop as a player.

        Jesse did not seem to able to develop him . BA got to Leeds as a RBS player and Jesse need to transition him into being a Leeds player. Either BA just isn’t good enough or Jesse couldn’t do it.

        Jesse didn’t hurt Tyler much but then Tyler is a better player than BA, probably much better and did not need as much help if any.
        As for Weston, did Jesse and Weston even meet at Leeds?

        BA has been a below average international player . His next move is critical because he needs to find a place that will actually develop him to where he can actually stay with players that are just a little bit bigger, stronger, faster and smarter than he’s been used to. beating up on CONCACAF weaklings. The league itself, Serie A, Turkey, MLS, Scottish premier, Bundesliga, La Liga, Liga MX etc., matters less than the team and the manager.

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