It seems that every time Brenden Aaronson puts on a uniform these days, he is in the middle of vital goals for club and country.
In his first game back after another impressive stint with the U.S. Men's National Team, the 20-year-old midfielder set up Red Bull Salzburg's second goal of an early three-goal run with a highlight reel assist in its 3-1 home victory against Sturm Graz on Sunday.
With Salzburg already enjoying a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute, Aaronson ran onto a through ball on the right flank. The former Philadelphia Union standout sent a wonderful cross to an onrushing Patson Daka, who headed it past goalkeeper Jörg Siebenhandl for the second goal of the Zambian's amazing eight-minute hat-trick.
Beyond his assist, the former Philadelphia Union standout enjoyed another strong game in attack for the Austrian Bundesliga Group Championship leaders, making the visitors' outside backs work hard to keep up with the speedy and crafty 20-year-old.
Since arriving in Salzburg, Aaronson has three goals and three assists in 15 appearances matches across all competitions for the Bundesliga leaders, who are vying for their eighth successive league crown. Aaronson also helped Salzburg to the ÖFB Cup Final to be played on May 1 against LASK Linz.
THE BEST OF THE WEEKEND
Christian Pulisic experienced ecstasy and agony in Chelsea's 5-2 home defeat to lowly West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. The 22-year-old attacker opened the scoring for the Blues before having to be withdrawn at halftime.
A 26th minute foul committed on Pulisic just outside the box set up the goal. Marcos Alonso fired a free kick that bounded off the right post and straight into the path of Pulisic, who tucked it into the lower right corner from five yards away. It was the American's first goal since Thomas Tuchel took over as coach, second league goal of the season and first since a 3-1 win over Leeds United on Dec. 5. Pulisic also has 11 goals for Chelsea in EPL action.
TO THE TAPE! 🎥@cpulisic_10 puts home the rebound after Marcos Alonso's free kick comes back off the post.— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) April 3, 2021
It's #CP10's second goal of the @premierleague season and 11th career strike in @PLinUSA! 🇺🇸
Things went downhill from there. A second yellow shown to defender Thiago Silva two minutes later forced Chelsea down to 10 men and West Brom scored two goals before halftime. Sprinting back onto the field following the break, Pulisic returned to the sideline and informed Tuchel that he felt something in his hamstring, forcing the manager to pull him just before the second half kicked off.
The overall extend of the injury has not been reported. Chelsea meets Porto in the first leg of its UEFA Champions League quarterfinal Wednesday.
Center back John Brooks continued his stellar play for Wolfsburg as he helped the Bundesliga third-place side to yet another shutout in a 1-0 home win over Köln on Saturday. Wolfsburg, which is gunning for a spot in next year's UEFA Champions League, has allowed only 22 goals in 27 matches. That has tied the team with RB Leipzig for the best defensive record in the German topflight this season.
Wolfsburg (15-3-9, 54 pts.) trails Leipzig (17-4-6, 57 pts.) by two points. Bayern Munich (20-3-4, 64 pts.) is in first place.
Tim Weah didn't start Lille's 1-0 victory over second-place Paris St-Germain on Saturday, but he certainly helped finish it as the team restored a three-point lead at the top of Ligue 1. Weah came on for the injured Jonathan David in the 35th minute, only six minutes after the Canadian tallied the lone goal of the match to help Lille to its first win at Parc des Princes in 25 years.
With seven games remaining, Lille (19-3-9, 66) owns a three-point advantage over PSG (20-8-3, 63) in a crowded field battling for the league championship. AS Monaco (19-7-5, 62) and Olympique Lyonnais (17-4-10, 61) are within four and five points, respectively, of the top.
SOME MONDAY ACTION:
In his first La Liga game since a brace in Barcelona's 6-1 win at Real Sociedad on March 21, full back Sergiño Dest and his Barca teammates meet Real Valladolid on Monday (3 p.m. ET; beIN Sports). Dest also scored a stunning goal in the USMNT's 4-1 victory over Jamaica on March 25.
The title race in Spain got much more interesting on Sunday as league leaders Atlético Madrid (20-3-6; 66 pts.) dropped a 1-0 result to Sevilla. That gave renewed title hopes to third-place Barcelona (19-4-5; 62 pts.) who can jump over second-place Real Madrid (19-4-6; 63 pts.) move within one point of Atletí with a victory against Valadolid on Monday.
-- Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig; German Bundesliga) – 82 minutes in a 1-0 loss vs. Bayern Munich (April 3)
-- Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria Bundesliga) - 77 minutes and ASSIST in a 3-1 win at Sturm Graz (April 4)
-- Tyler Boyd (Sivasspor, Turkish Super Lig) - 79 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Trabzonspor (April 3)
-- John Brooks (Wolfsburg; German Bundesliga) – 90 minutes in 1-0 win vs. Köln (April 3)
-- Reggie Cannon (Boavista; Portuguese Primeira) – 89 minutes in 2-0 win at Belenenes (April 4)
-- Cameron Carter-Vickers (Bournemouth; English Championship) – 90 minutes in 3-1 win vs. Middlesbrough (April 2)
-- Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona; Spain La Liga/Segunda B) - Vs. Real Valladolid (Monday, 3 p.m. ET)
-- Luca de la Torre (Heracles; Eredivisie) - 65 minutes in 3-0 loss at PSV (April 4)
-- Sergiño Dest (Barcelona; Spain La Liga) – Vs. Real Valladolid (Monday, 3 p.m. ET)
-- Daryl Dike (Barnsley; English Championship) - 45 minutes as a substitute in 1-1 draw vs. Reading (April 2)
-- Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen; French Ligue 2) – Not in 18, DNP in 1-1 draw vs. Pau (April 3)
-- Julian Green (Greuther Fürth; German Second Bundesliga) – 90 minutes in 1-0 win at Heidenheim (April 3)
-- Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge; Belgian Pro League) - In 18, DNP in 2-1 win at Kortrijk (April 3)
-- Duane Holmes (Huddersfield Town; English Championship) – 59 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. Brentford (April 3)
-- Matthew Hoppe (Schalke; German Bundesliga) - In 18, DNP in 2-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen (April 3)
-- Aron Johannsson (Lech Poznan; Polish Ekstraklasa) - Not in 18, DNP in 2-1 loss at Cracovia Krakow (April 3)
-- Weston McKennie (Juventus; Italian Serie A) – Not in 18, DNP in 2-2 draw at Torino (April 3)
-- Mark McKenzie (Genk; Belgian Pro League) - vs. OH Leuven (Monday, 7:30 a.m. ET)
-- Matt Miazga (RSC Anderlecht; Belgian First Division A) - vs. Antwerp (Monday; 12:15 p.m. ET)
-- Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Düsseldorf; German Second Bundesliga) – Not in 18, DNP in 2-1 win at Darmstadt 98 (April 4)
-- Yunus Musah (Valencia; Spain La Liga) - 1 minute as a substitute in 2-1 loss at Cadiz (April 4)
-- Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton Wanderers; English Premier League) - vs. West Ham (Monday, 3:15 p.m. ET)
-- Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien; Austria Bundesliga) – 90 minutes in2-0 win vs. Rheindorf Altach (April 4)
-- Christian Pulisic (Chelsea; English Premier League) – 45 minutes and a GOAL in 5-2 loss vs. West Bromwich Albion (April 3)
-- Tim Ream (Fulham; English Premier League) – In 18, DNP in 3-1 loss vs. Aston Villa (April 4)
-- Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund; German Bundesliga) – 10 minutes as a substitute in 2-1 loss vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (April 3)
-- Bryan Reynolds (AS Roma, Italy Serie A) - In 18, DNP in 2-2 draw at Sassuolo (April 3)
-- Chris Richards (Hoffenheim; German Bundesliga) – 74 minutes in a 2-1 loss at Augsburg (April 3)
-- Antonee Robinson (Fulham; English Premier League) – In 18, DNP in 3-1 loss vs. Aston Villa (April 4)
-- Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen; German Bundesliga) – Suspended, DNP in 1-0 loss at Stuttgart (April 4)
-- Jordan Siebatcheu (Swiss Super League) - 21 minutes as a substitute in 3-0 win at Sion (April 4)
-- Zack Steffen (Manchester City; English Premier League) – Not in 18, DNP in 2-0 win at Leicester City (April 3)
-- Tim Weah (Lille; French Ligue 1) – 55 minutes as a substitute in 1-0 win at Paris St-Germain (April 3)
-- DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray; Turkish Super Lig) - Suspended, DNP in 3-0 loss at Hatayspor (April 3)