Relief for USMNT & ‘Mr Running Back’ Brenden Aaronson as Herculez Gomez reflects on ‘rough’ time for Leeds midfielder

Brenden Aaronson USMNT 2022 World Cup
‘Mr Running Back’ Brenden Aaronson “needed a good showing” for the United States national team following a “rough” run at Leeds, says Herculez Gomez.
  • Playmaker moved to England in 2022
  • Has struggled for consistency
  • Back among the goals at international level

WHAT HAPPENED? Big things were expected of the 22-year-old midfielder when he traded life in Austria at Red Bull Salzburg for that in the Premier League at Elland Road during the summer of 2022. Aaronson has found the going tough at times, with Jesse Marsch being relieved of his coaching duties a matter of months after bringing another fellow American on board, but the talented playmaker did look more like his usual self when bringing a nine-game run without an international goal to a close in a 7-1 CONCACAF Nations League mauling of Grenada.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Former USMNT star Gomez has told ESPN of seeing Aaronson rediscover his spark: “That’s a good one for Brenden Aaronson because he desperately needed a good showing. He was one of the most productive players in the lead-up to the World Cup. We used to call him Mr Futbol Americas. Mr Running back because he would constantly show up with goals and assists in our programme.

“About the time he went to Leeds, and he was about to go to the World Cup, everything started going south for him. He gets injured, then he starts playing with the reserve side and then he is coming in off the bench. Then when he is coming in, his team are giving up leads. They are giving up goals. It’s been a situation that has been kind of rough. The man who brought him there, Jesse Marsch, gets fired, it has been a lot of change for Brenden Aaronson. He desperately needed a strong showing.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Aaronson has taken in 30 appearances for Leeds this season, but with his solitary strike for the club coming in a 3-0 victory over Chelsea back in August 2022.

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Brenden Aaronson Leeds 2022-23

Brenden Aaronson Leeds 2022-23

Brenden Aaronson USMNT 2022 World Cup

WHAT NEXT? Aaronson is now working with international team-mates Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams at Leeds, which should be helping to make him feel more at home, and the expectation is that there will be plenty more to come from him for club and country once confidence in his game is fully restored.