Brenden Aaronson is officially on the board with his first goal for RB Salzburg–and it was a good one.
The 20-year-old U.S. men's national team and former Philadelphia Union midfielder opened his account for his new Austrian club in Wednesday's league win over Austria Vienna, tallying the eventual game-winning goal in a 3-1 triumph for the league leader.
Aaronson showed off his skills in the box, first receiving the ball with his back to goal before turning and carving out space with three defenders in close proximity. He didn't hesitate in curling a right-footed shot inside the far post, giving Salzburg a 2-1 lead in the 72nd minute.
Aaronson also had a hand in the build-up to Salzburg's equalizer, which was scored by Sekou Koita, and showed off his flair for the spectacular on a run down the sideline.
"It was fantastic to be there for the team," Aaronson said after the match. "Austria really tested us, and it was therefore a really important win. The confidence we gained in recent weeks carried us through when we went behind."
The match also featured another young American, with 23-year-old center back Erik Palmer-Brown, on loan from Man City to Austria Vienna, lining up against Aaronson.
Austria has turned into a surprising haven for young Americans recently, with a pair being sent on loan to St. Polten, in FC Dallas's 21-year-old midfielder Brandon Servania and Bayern Munich's 19-year-old Taylor Booth (formerly of Real Salt Lake's academy).
Aaronson, meanwhile, plays for American manager Jesse Marsch, who is seeking to guide Salzburg to an eighth straight league title. Salzburg has finished first or second every season dating back to 2005-2006. Salzburg is also in the Europa League knockout stage, where it will face Villarreal in the round of 32.
"We reacted well after conceding," Marsch said in his postmatch remarks. "Until that point I was pleased with the performance, more or less. We then stepped up another gear and showed what makes us stand out.
"We showed mentality and fearlessness. I'm pleased for the two guys to get their first goals. I am sure that we will see a lot more from Brenden and Luka [Sucic]."