USMNT’s Brenden Aaronson signs with Leeds United

Brenden Aaronson Leeds United
Jan 27, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; United States forward Brenden Aaronson (11) during the CONCACAF FIFA World Cup Qualifier soccer match against the El Salvador at Lower.com Field. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Leeds United’s survival in the Premier League ensured that more American reinforcements were on the way, as the English club announced that it signed American midfielder Brenden Aaronson on Thursday. 

The contract will keep him with the club through 2027 while his transfer fee of $29.5 million is the second-largest ever paid for an American behind Christian Pulisic’s transfer to Chelsea.

Aaronson had been playing with Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga, posting nine goals and 11 assists over 56 games in all competitions in two seasons. 

That included a pair of assists in eight Champions League appearances this season.

He began with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer where he quickly stood out as one of the top young American talents alongside the likes of Pulisic and Weston McKinnie. 

Over the last three seasons, he’s appeared in 17 matches for the United States men’s national team (USMNT), including seven starts during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

He scored vital goals in a 1-1 draw with Canada and a 4-1 win over Honduras to help the Americans reach the World Cup after its famous collapse in 2018. 

Leeds brings in Aaronson after hiring Jesse Marsch — the two worked together at Salburg — mid-season to help them escape the clutches of relegation.

He did just that on the final day of the season last week with a 2-1 victory over Brentford to put them at 38 points and 17th place. 

Meanwhile, Burnley’s loss kept them at 35 points and 18th place, thus suffering the drop to the Championship — England’s second-tier beneath the Premier League. 

“It’s an amazing feeling to be here at this historic club, I am really excited for the new season,” Aaronson said (h/t ESPN). “I think it was around Christmas or January that I could see there was some interest and hearing about Leeds United being interested, it was a huge moment for me and I was super excited.

“I had known a lot about Leeds at that time and what a famous club it is, the fans they have, and how dedicated they are, it was just a dream place for me.”

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