Brenden Aaronson scores winner to help Salzburg beat FC Barcelona in friendly

Brenden Aaronson scores winner to help Salzburg beat FC Barcelona in friendly

American soccer fans worried about how Brenden Aaronson would fare at Red Bull Salzburg without Jesse Marsch there as manager can relax a bit after Aaronson’s heroics on Wednesday.

The U.S. men’s national team midfielder scored the winning goal in Red Bull Salzburg’s 2-1 friendly win against FC Barcelona in a preseason friendly played in Salzburg.

Aaronson pounced on a Salzburg shot that ricocheted off the left post and right to Aaronson, who quickly redirected it into the net in the 90th minute for the winning goal.

“It was a special match. To play FC Barcelona at home, it’s always a special occasion,” Aaronson said after the match. “You could see from the fans, and all the players, it was big for us. It was great to win, but they’re a fantastic team.”

Aaronson has enjoyed a positive start to Salzburg’s new season, starting in all three of the team’s first official matches.

The 20-year-old is back in full swing after taking part in the USMNT’s run to the Concacaf Nations League title. Aaronson appeared in the semifinal win against Honduras, but did not play in the final victory against Mexico.

Aaronson is vying for a place on the USMNT World Cup qualifying squad for September’s qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras and establishing himself as a regular starter for Red Bull Salzburg, especially with UEFA Champions League qualifiers coming up.

Aaronson and Salzburg return to action on Sunday with a home match against Austria Vienna. They begin their UEFA Champions League campaign on August 17 with the home leg of a playoff against Brondby.