November 27, 2022

The world has gathered in Qatar and the World Cup soccer championship is underway. Team USA is there and it’s an exciting time for football fans not just across the country, but with roots right here in Ocean County.

Unsplash.com Nasif Tazwar

Unsplash.com Nasif Tazwar

First, let me give you the latest news about Team USA. The men’s soccer team is in Group B, competing against England, Wales and Iran. Each group is 4 countries. So far, Team USA has only played one match against Wales, a 1-1 draw (draw). Team USA will next play the ever-strong team England. The US v England match is on Friday, November 25th at 2pm. Team USA will finish their group stage against Iran on Tuesday, November 29th at 2pm.

Unsplash.com Karsten Weingiert

Unsplash.com Karsten Weingiert

Now back to the World Cup – Ocean County connection. I was recently watching a news report from Burlington County (Medford) and it featured the father of one of the US team players in Qatar for the World Cup. I didn’t connect at first, but after my wife pointed out, I went to high school with my proud dad.

As you may know, Team USA’s Brenden Aaronson (midfielder) is the son of Russell Aaronson, who they went to high school with here in Ocean County. We knew him as “Rusty” Aaronson and he played football at my high school Southern Regional in Stafford Township. “Rusty” himself was a good player and led our Ram team along with others like Ed Fraser and others.

I remember a creative class called “Rusty” with Mr. Germanasi. I can still see “Rusty”, Bill Marone, and I sitting in the back right corner of the classroom trying to come up with “creative” stories.

It was fun to see ‘Rusty’, whom I haven’t seen in 39 years, talk about his son who is a member of Team USA. “Rusty” has another son, Paxton, who plays for MLS’ Philadelphia Union and will play for Germany in 2023. “Rusty” has a daughter, Jaden, who is now a talented high school player. Football in their blood rolls. “Rusty” and his wife Janell will see a lot of traveling miles after the World Cup as Brenden rejoins England’s famed Premiere League side Leeds United team.

“Rusty” said Fox 29 in Philadelphia

Good luck to Brenden and Team USA at this year’s World Cup.

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