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Brenden Aaronson verbally commits to Indiana University for 2019

Medford, N.J. playmaker chose Hoosiers over Pitt and Georgetown

Matt Ralph

One of the top youth prospects in the Philadelphia Union system has his heart set on Bloomington, Indiana as a college destination in 2019.

Playmaking midfielder Brenden Aaronson verbally committed to eight-time national champion Indiana University last week.

“I tried not to think about the national championships and just focused on the program and how I would succeed there,” Aaronson said about his decision. “I just felt that Indiana had every tool I would need.”

The Hoosiers last won the title in 2012 but entered this year’s tournament as one of the favorites to get to the College Cup at Talen Energy Stadium in December.

“They play the right way - good ball movement - and playing in the Big 10 will teach me to play more physical,” he said.

The 17-year-old Aaronson has made considerable strides in his development over the past year, becoming a regular in training with Bethlehem Steel FC over the summer and earning his first professional start late in the season in the team’s push to the USL playoffs.

“My dream is still to go pro and I’m going to keep working toward that dream but I also need to get my degree,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to make the decision to go to Indiana University.”

The Medford, N.J. resident had narrowed his choices to Georgetown and ACC up and comer Pitt before going with the Hoosiers. He also had interest from several other Big East, Big 10 and ACC programs.

“It’s a hard decision to make but I just kind of got that feeling that I would really love it,” said Aaronson, who joined the Philadelphia Union Academy in 2013-14 from South Jersey club Real Jersey FC.

Aaronson is the second member of the 2019 YSC Academy graduating class to commit to college soccer, joining his former Real Jersey FC teammate JD Wagner, who verbally committed to the Naval Academy last month.