The Aaronson brothers have Philadelphia Union, and U.S. Soccer fans, excited about their development and future in the sport.
Older brother Brenden, 19, is excelling with the first team and has drawn several European suitors, while 17-year-old Paxten has opened eyes in the beginning of his professional career with Philadelphia Union II in the USL. He will join the first team next season.
The brothers joined Andrew Wiebe on ExtraTime to talk about their development path and growing up in a soccer family — their father Rusty runs Real Jersey FC, a club that is part of the MLS Next academy structure.
Like many brothers close in age, there's always been competition, including some legendary battles in the basement of their parents Medford, N.J. home.
“We had an unfinished basement so we used to put down this carpet and me and my brother used to do 1v1 on this tiny carpet and we’d be down there for hours on top of hours during the winter time when we couldn’t go outside,” Brenden said.
By following the path his brother paved, Paxten has been able to learn from mistakes Brenden made and learn from them before he made the same errors. For that, Paxten credits Brenden.
“Watching him set the path, it obviously gave me hope because i was like, OK I see him doing it so it’s a clear vision for me,” he said. “I was like, alright now I can really go after this. He set the pathway and me saying, OK he made a mistake, me knowing he did that and fixing my way around it. I give him a lot of credit for setting the path and it kind of helped me out a lot.”
Brenden, who said his brother is a better finisher already, with “very, very good feet in the final third,” calls joining the Union’s academy, switching from his regular school to the YSC Academy a turning point in his career.
“It's an unbelievable place to be, the teachers, the people there, its a great place,” Brenden said. “I think i developed so much there. You not only get school where they work around your schedule, but you get soccer twice a day. I think that was huge for me, being able to go in the morning and work on stuff I need to work on, like finishing or final ball, that kind of stuff.”