At the foundation of Philadelphia Union’s philosophy is the full embrace and belief in players that are deemed by the rest of the world as young, and sometimes too young to be regular contributors. This willingness to give young players the chance to showcase their skills in pressure moments is showcased once again on the league stage as Jack McGlynn, Paxten Aaronson and Leon Flach are recognized in the MLS 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR.
With the Aaronson name on the back of his kit, the 19-year-old knew there would be lofty expectations set by outsiders when he joined the Union. Paxten, an unnervingly mature attacking player, has blazed a singular trail that sees him rank No. 12 in the league’s list of the top young players even before he has fully stamped his mark in league play.
On the international stage Aaronson has shown how bright he can shine as he guided the United States squad back to the FIFA U20 World Cup and the Olympics with a resounding performance at the Concacaf U20 Championship. Aaronson returned the City of Brotherly Love with loads of hardware in his luggage as the tournament’s Golden Boot Winner with seven goals and the Golden Ball winner as the top player of the event.
After a boost during the summer break with the U.S, Aaronson was eager to get on the pitch and was willing to make the most of any opportunity he got. 15-minute appearance in the second half of match? You got it. Want him to start the following day for Union II and rack up some goals? Done. Two leagues, two teams, all for the love of the game. The reward has seen the attacking midfielder put up six goals and three assists combined across MLS and MLSNEXTPro in just over 1,100 minutes in 2022.
So yes, Aaronson enters this list just outside the Top 10 this year, but you should buy your Paxten stock now because he is primed to race up the 22 Under 22 list in the future.