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For the first time in their professional careers, Brenden and Paxten Aaronson will be alongside one another in a U.S. men’s national team camp.
The Aaronson brothers were both called into Gregg Berhalter’s 24-player roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinals. The USMNT will face Trinidad & Tobago on Nov. 16 and 20 respectively, with the winner advancing to the tournament’s semifinal round.
Both Aaronson’s came up through the Philadelphia Union’s academy before earning their opportunities with the first team.
Brenden, 23, made 54 combined league appearances for the Union over the 2019-20 seasons. He contributed seven goals and nine assists in MLS play, lifting the 2020 Supporters’ Shield under head coach Jim Curtin.
On the international level, Aaronson has earned 36 caps to date with the USMNT, scoring eight goals and registering six assists. He has lifted two Nations League titles and also featured in the 2022 FIFA World Cup last fall.
Paxten made 40 senior appearances for the Union, scoring four goals and reaching MLS Cup with them in 2022. He departed the Union for German club Eintracht Frankfurt last winter and has since continued to earn growing playing time abroad.
A former U.S. Under-20 men’s national team standout, Aaronson made his senior debut for the United States earlier this year. He logged 90 minutes in a goal-less draw with Colombia.
“When two guys go down, an opportunity opens up for another player,” said Berhalter about Aaronson during Thursday’s press conference with media. “We see [Paxten] as a winger similar to Christian, in the fact that he gets in the penalty box and he’s dangerous in front of goal, and that’s what we focus on with our wingers. We know goals are a premium, and he’s a young player that has shown that he has a knack for scoring goals, and the starting point is arriving in the penalty box, which he does really well.
“He’s got an interesting profile with his quickness and his ability to get out of trouble, we think he’s good at pressing,” Berhalter added. “He’s got a lot of things that show us he’s going to be an excellent player in the future and now’s the time to give him an opportunity.”
The USMNT has won the last two CONCACAF Nations League titles and is seeking a three-peat. Should they advance past Trinidad & Tobago, the Americans would feature in the semifinals in March 2024.