Three MLS products make ESPN's list of best players under age 21
Fans of Major League Soccer will see some familiar faces when they read the latest edition of ESPN's annual list of the world's 39 best players age 21 or younger.
2020 (Philadelphia): Aaronson has made 23 appearances (23 starts) for the Union at central attacking midfield, scoring four goals and registering seven assists ... Netted his first goal of the season in the 3-3 road draw against LAFC (March 8) … Registered his first assist of the season in the 2-1 victory over Inter Miami (July 14), providing the final pass to Kacper Przybylko for the match-winner … Earned the secondary assist on the only goal of the 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC (July 20) ... Registered the assist on the third goal of the 3-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City to send the Union to the MLS is Back Semifinals (July 30) ... Scored the fourth goal of the 4-1 victory over D.C. United (August 29) ... Scored the winning goal in a 3-0 road win over the New York Red Bulls (September 6) ... Assisted a goal in the 4-1 road win against the Montreal Impact (September 20)..Scored his fifth goal of the season in second-half stoppage time in a 3-0 victory against Inter Miami CF (September 27)...Collected his fourth assist of the season in a 3-0 home win against FC Cincinnati (October 7)...Provided the secondary assist on the game-winning goal in the Union's 2-1 victory over Montreal Impact (October 11)...Registered his sixth assist of the season during the Union's 5-0 win over Toronto FC (October 24)...Followed up with another assist on the Union's game-winning goal against Chicago (October 28).
2019 (Philadelphia): Aaronson made 28 appearances (25 starts) for the Union, with 15 coming at central attacking midfield, seven at central midfield and six at left midfield ... has scored three goals and added two assists ... scored the opening goal in his MLS and Union debut at Atlanta United FC (March 17) ... was called up by the U.S. U-23s for a training camp in Herriman, UT (June 9-16) ... recorded his first MLS assist on Fafa Picault's goal at Orlando (July 3) ... was named to the roster for the 2019 MLS Homegrown Game, at which he played 45 minutes in a 2 (3) - 2 (0) win (July 30) ... scored his first Union goal at Talen Energy Stadium and added an assist in the 3-1 win over D.C. United (August 24) ... opened the scoring in the Union's 3-1 win over Atlanta (August 31) with his third goal of the season ... received another call-up by the U-23s ahead of a training camp in Chula Vista, CA (September 1-10); during the camp, started in a friendly vs. Japan (September 9), recording an assist ... earned his first senior National Team call up ahead of a pair of Concacaf Nations League matches vs. Cuba (October 11) and at Canada (October 15).
2018 (Philadelphia/Bethlehem): Aaronson turned professional, signing a Homegrown Player deal and becoming the Union's first-ever Homegrown born in New Jersey on September 17, 2018, with the contract effective in the 2019 season. For Bethlehem Steel FC, he made 16 regular-season appearances, with 13 appearances coming as an amateur before signing his Union deal, scoring one goal and adding five assists. He scored his first goal and added his first assist in the match vs. Atlanta United 2 (July 29), becoming the first-ever Union Academy player to make the USL Team of the Week. He notched an assist in his first match after turning pro, vs. TFC II (September 22), and added another at Indy Eleven (October 6). Additionally, he assisted on the game-winning goal in the win that clinched Steel FC's postseason berth, vs. Tampa Bay (October 14). He started Steel FC's postseason matches at Pittsburgh (October 20) and at Louisville (October 27).
2017 (Bethlehem): Aaronson made five regular-season appearances for Bethlehem as an amateur, making his debut for the club on July 15, 2017 vs. Pittsburgh. He also appeared in Steel FC's playoff match at Louisville (October 21).
Aaronson is a United States senior team international. He earned his first call-up for the 2020 January Camp … He went on to earn his first cap in a friendly against Costa Rica (February 1), where he featured in the starting Xl and played for 66 minutes in the 1-0 victory.
Aaronson is a seasoned US youth international player, having played for the U-15, U-19 and Y-23 sides. In 2019 he was selected for the U-23 June training camp … He was again called up to international youth duty in November 2020 as the U-23 team competed in the United International Football Festival … He came on as sub in a hard-fought 1-0 loss to Brazil (November 14), nearly assisting and scoring an equalizer in his 44 minutes of action … He started and played all 90 minutes in a 4-0 victory over Gran Canaria … Aaronson was selected to the US Men’s Olympic Qualifier team (March 8), joining the team in Guadalajara, Mexico for training camp before the matches were postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak.
Was selected for the inaugural U-19 Men’s YNT Summit Camp in 2018.
Made two appearances for the U-15 team in 2015, both against England.
Aaronson joined the Union Juniors at the age of 10 and also starred for the Union Academy, last appearing 14 times for the U-19s in the 2017-18 season, scoring six goals. He previously played for NJ Real and Medford SC.
Philadelphia Union sign midfielder Brenden Aaronson as a Homegrown Player on September 17, 2018, with the signing beginning in the 2019 MLS season.
Name: Brenden Aaronson
Born: October 22, 2000 in Medford, NJ
Hometown: Medford, NJ
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Philadelphia Union sign midfielder Brenden Aaronson as a Homegrown Player on September 17, 2018, with the signing beginning in the 2019 MLS season
MLS All-Stars to face the LIGA MX All-Stars in the 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on August 10