Born: October 22, 2000
Brenden Russell Aaronson was born October 22, 2000 in Medford. His father, Rusty, played soccer for Monmouth University. Quick, smart and aggressive, Brenden was a standout scorer and playmaker in youth soccer by the age of 8. His dad established a travel team, Real New Jersey, to help develop Brenden’s skills and he started as a freshman for Shawnee High School, one of the top soccer schools in South Jersey.
The Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer selected Brenden for its youth program and he spent the next three years playing soccer and going to high school across the Delaware. In 2017–18, he played for Bethlehem Steel FC, an affiliate of the Union. Indiana University offered him a scholarship, but he chose to go professional when Philadelphia offered him a contract.
Brenden made his MLS debut for the Union in March 2019 and quickly became a starting midfielder. Philly went 16–11–7 and made the playoffs. Brenden had three goals and two assists and finished runner-up in the MLS Rookie of the Year voting. The Union beat the Red Bulls in the opening round and lost to Atlanta United in the conference semifinals. In the fall of 2019, Brenden earned his first Team USA cap in 2020 against Costa Rica and scored his first international goal against El Salvador.
Following the 2020 MLS season, during which Brenden scored four times and was named to the Best XI team, he joined Red Bull Salzburg for a reported $6 million transfer fee—the highest ever for a homegrown MLS player. He scored in his first game for the club, a 2–0 friendly victory over SK Vorwarts Steyr. In 2021, Brenden’s younger brother, Alex, was promoted to the Philadelphia