CHESTER, PA (November 17, 2022) – Philadelphia Union today announced they have reached a transfer agreement with top-tier German league club, Eintracht Frankfurt, for Homegrown midfielder Paxten Aaronson. The deal, which is the Union’s fourth Homegrown European transfer, includes a multi-million-dollar transfer fee, as well as additional performance-based bonuses. The Union will also retain a percentage of any future transfer fees for Aaronson.
A local product from Medford, New Jersey, Aaronson first played for Union Juniors and remained with the Philadelphia Union Academy throughout his youth. He signed a Homegrown Player deal on August 19, 2020, that saw him join the first team ahead of the 2021 season.
“Paxten has accomplished so much in a short amount of time. He has worked incredibly hard, and he has taken advantage of every opportunity with the first team, Union II and the U-20 National Team,” said Sporting Director, Ernst Tanner. “There has been interest in him for a long time, and we feel this is the right move for the club and the player, putting him in a good situation to continue developing in one the best leagues in the world. It is another great example of our development philosophy, and we are very proud of Paxten and wish him all the best at Frankfurt.”
Aaronson made his debut for the first team after he subbed in, in a 3-0 victory over Portland on May 30, 2021. In his first start for the club, he scored the only goal for the Union against New England on August 8, 2021. In his two seasons with the club he recorded four goals in 37 matches, seven of which he started.
Internationally, Aaronson has made 10 appearances for the U20 National Team. This past year, his performance at the Concacaf U20 Championship guided the United States squad back to the FIFA U20 World Cup as well as the Olympics for the first time since 2008. Aaronson returned from the tournament as the Golden Boot winner with seven goals, and the Golden Ball winner, as the top player of the event. Additionally, his performances for the Union and on the international stage earned him the #12 position on Major League’s Soccer 22 under 22 list, which highlights the best young players in MLS.
Paxten is the second Aaronson to come out of the academy, progress through to the first team, and transfer to Europe in a multi-million-dollar deal. The Union completed a historic transfer for his older brother, Brenden Aaronson, in 2020 to FC Red Bull Salzburg in what was at the time the highest ever transfer fee for a U.S.-based homegrown player.
Aaronson will join Eintracht Frankfurt, who have won a league title, two Europa League trophies, and five DFB-Pokal. The reigning Europa League winners, known for their impressive development of players like Jay-Jay Okocha, Filip Kostic, and Sebastien Haller, have qualified for the next round of UEFA Champions League and will face Napoli in the round of 16 on February 21, 2023.