From Medford to Qatar: Brenden Aaronson playing in World Cup; Ted Lasso, Carli Lloyd send messages

Brenden Aaronson has been nicknamed the "Medford Messi" and "American Boy."

ByBrock Koller WPVI logo
Monday, November 21, 2022
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MEDFORD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A local soccer superstar is getting support from big names - real and not - as the 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar.

Brenden Aaronson, 22, of Medford, New Jersey is a midfielder for the US Men's National Soccer Team and was announced on the World Cup roster last week.

Aaronson was a homegrown player with the Philadelphia Union, spending four seasons in the Union Academy.

Action News profiled Aaronson in 2019 after he scored in his Major League Soccer debut with the Union at age 18.

"I love playing soccer. It's kind of that thing that I just love to play. My goal is to get to your Europe, that's the biggest thing for me," Aaronson said.

GOAL!! It was a huge score for Philly as 18-year-old Medford native Brenden Aaronson scored in his Major League Soccer debut with the Philadelphia Union! Join us in congratulatin

He played two seasons with the Union before he reached his goal and joined Austria's FC Red Bull Salzburg in 2021.

Fun fact, Aaronson's younger brother Paxton followed in his footsteps and is a midfielder on the Union.

On May 26, 2022, Brenden Aaronson joined the English Premiere League club Leeds United.

Leeds fans have embraced the South Jersey native, even giving him his own chant to the tune of Estelle's "American Boy."

Aaronson made his USMNT debut at age 19 on Feb. 1, 2020.

United States forward Brenden Aaronson, center, stands for the national anthems prior to a friendly soccer match against Morocco, Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Cincinnati.
AP Photo/Jeff Dean

The young athlete, nicknamed the "Medford Messi" - a nod to his hometown and legendary player Lionel Messi - is getting recognition from some big soccer stars, both in the real world and in TV land.

On Tuesday, the USMNT's official Twitter account posted a photo of the Shawnee High School graduate with the caption, "Here for the fans in Medford, Leeds, everywhere in between, and beyond."

Soccer great and fellow Burlington County native Carli Lloyd responded.

"Fans in Medford," Lloyd tweeted with a wave emoji.

But the admiration doesn't stop there for Aaronson who describes himself as a huge gamer and whose ideal day off is a day at the Jersey Shore.

Ted Lasso, the fictional, optimistic American soccer coach who leads an English soccer team, played by Jason Sudeikis on the AppleTV+ series, had some words of wisdom for Aaronson.

The show put up billboards in each hometown of the 26 players on the US Men's World Cup team.

A billboard displays a letter from TV character Ted Lasso to South Jersey's Brenden Aaronson in Medford, New Jersey.

Each billboard displays a motivational note from Coach Lasso.

"Like most M. Night completists, I believe in signs. Go get 'em, boys!" the Ted Lasso Twitter account posted, referencing Philadelphia filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.

One of those billboards is on a barn at Kirby's Mill in Medford, with a note written out to Aaronson.

Real Jersey Football Club, the club where a young Aaronson got his start, posted about it on Facebook.

Chopper 6 was over the barn and got a glimpse of the coach's message.

A billboard from the TV show Ted Lasso displays a note from the fictional coach to local soccer star Brenden Aaronson in Medford, New Jersey.

The billboard reads:


It makes sense that you were raised in Medford whose tagline is 'Historic in Nature' 'cause that's how I'd describe the way you play the game. Heck, folks are even callin' you 'The America Boy.' I know how tough it can be as an American overseas. A cookie's a biscuit, chips are fries, pants are underwear, and don't even get me started on 'fanny pack.' But what remains the same no matter what side of the pond you're on is that you were barn to be on the USMNT. You were barn to play in the games of all games. And you were barn to go all the way. This billboard's on a barn, right? 'Cause if not this joke isn't gonna make sense.

Another American Boy,

Ted Lasso"

So, Brenden Aaronson, know that you have Carli Lloyd, Ted Lasso and the entire Delaware Valley rooting for you - our own "American Boy" from South Jersey!

The quest for the World Cup championship begins on Monday, Nov. 21 for the USMNT when the squad meets Wales.