In a repeat of last year’s Cup final, USMNT player Brenden Aaronson and Red Bull Salzburg easily beat LASK to advance to the final four of the competition

RB Salzburg 3 – 1 LASK

Fresh off of his stint with the USMNT for World Cup qualifying, Brendan Aaronson shook off the icicles and started at center midfield, putting in a strong performance to help his team win their Quarter-Final match in the Austrian Cup. 

LASK struck first through midfielder Sacha Horvath in the 13th minute. His shot from outside the box bounced off of Salzburg defender Maximilian Wober’s back and found its way into the top corner for the 1-0 advantage to the visitors.

Salzburg responded immediately, though, equalizing two minutes later. Benjamin Sesko made a great run down the right, beating his defender with some slick dribbling. LASK winger Rene Renner was able to get a foot on the ensuing shot, but the ball looped over the keeper and into the goal. It would go down as an own goal for Renner. 

The tie was broken in the 41st minute when Andreas Ulmer’s corner kick went straight to Rasmus Kristensen at the near post. Kristensen was able to put his looping header over everyone and into the goal. Salzburg went into halftime with a 2-1 lead. 

Aaronson helped his side get an insurance goal just after the restart. He recovered a deflection 40 yards from goal and found himself with space to run. He powered into the left side of the box, picked up his head, and made an inch perfect left footed cross through traffic to Nicholas Capaldo, who buried it into the back of the net. 

The American nearly found himself on the scoresheet with a great moment of individual skill. In the 74th minute, he dribbled around the keeper and a defender before tapping the ball in himself, but the goal was disallowed for offsides. 

The score remained unchanged, and Aaronson went the distance in the 3-1 win. 

This victory earns Salzburg a spot in the ÖFB Cup Semi-Final against Wolfsberg on March 2.

Salzburg’s next league match is on February 11 when they go on the road to play Rapid Wien. February 16 is a date marked on every Salzburg supporter’s calendar, though. The Austrian side will host Bayern Munich in their round-of-16 Champion’s League matchup.  

By Dan Whelton

Dan is a statesider living in Connecticut. He was a latecomer to obsessing about the beautiful game, with the spark coming while watching the US play into the quarter finals in 2002. That fire was fanned when he married into a football-centric French family, full of eternal football souls. When he's not coaching the youth teams of his two children, he loves watching and discussing the continued development of the sport in this country, and of the players that represent the U.S. on teams all over the world.

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