Paxton Pomykal - FC Dallas - Slides to pass

Saturday will feature something we don’t see often: Two American teenagers at the heart of their teams.

At Talen Energy Stadium, 18-year-old Brenden Aaronson of the Philadelphia Union will face off vs. 19-year-old Paxton Pomykal of FC Dallas (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info).

Both are locally developed, hometown kids who have pushed their way into the first teams of the professional clubs they supported as children. And they’re not just appearing for them, either, but leading.

They aren’t filling in for someone because of an injury. They aren’t making up the numbers and following the lead of veterans around them. They are key cogs in the systems that their teams have built. Their coaches, Jim Curtin with the Union and Luchi Gonzalez in Dallas, have entrusted them with huge responsibilities.

Let’s take a look at each of them as a player, why they’ve forced their way into the team and what could take them to the next level.

Brenden Aaronson