Another U.S. Men’s National Team player is headed to Europe, as the Philadelphia Union announced Friday that 19-year-old midfielder Brenden Aaronson will transfer to Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Bundesliga following the conclusion of the 2020 MLS campaign.
Though the transfer fee is undisclosed, it is being touted as the highest fee paid for a U.S.-based Homegrown Player in MLS history. Aaronson would be eligible to play for Salzburg in January.
🚨Philadelphia Union have reached a historic transfer agreement with @redbullsalzburg for Homegrown Midfielder Brenden Aaronson.— X - PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) October 16, 2020
Brenden will remain with us for the remainder of our season before going Red Bull Salzburg in Jan 2021.
📝👉 https://t.co/Ozf7aLOl0Q#DOOP pic.twitter.com/Mo9Sj2RaFG
“Playing in Europe has always been a part of my dream. I’ve been able to accomplish the first part of my dream, to play for my home city, and am so excited for this continuation of my journey,” said Aaronson. “Before working towards a career overseas, my first goal was to play on the Philadelphia Union field. My family had tickets to the inaugural season, so I grew up watching the team from the very beginning and I remember hoping one day to be on that field scoring in front of the home crowd. I am so incredibly appreciative of all my coaches, my family, and the Philadelphia Union fans.”
A native of Medford, N.J., Aaronson played for the Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, before signing with the first team ahead of the 2019 season.
After standing out during his rookie year, the midfielder earned his first USMNT call-up last October and made his senior-team debut in the side’s 1-0 friendly win against Costa Rica on Feb. 1, 2020. He was also named to the U.S. U-23 roster for the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship before it was postponed due to COVID-19.
Welcome to Salzburg, Brenden #Aaronson!— FC Red Bull Salzburg EN (@FCRBS_en) October 16, 2020
OFFICIAL: The 19-year-old American will join in the winter transfer window from Philadelphia Union and has signed a contract until 30 June 2025.#WirSindZukunft pic.twitter.com/7tqLTLb3Mv
He has continued to impress in his second professional season, registering four goals and five assists in 18 matches, helping the Union to an MLS Cup Playoffs berth this past week.
When he heads to Austria, Aaronson will join former USMNT assistant coach Jesse Marsch, who is currently the manager of Red Bull Salzburg. Now in his second season, the twice-capped U.S. international guided the club to the Austrian Bundesliga and ÖFB Cup titles last campaign.
Red Bull Salzburg will open up the UEFA Champions League group stage next week against Lokomotiv Moscow next Wednesday, Oct. 21.