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"Medford Messi" Brenden Aaronson makes World Cup debut

"Medford Messi": Community celebrating Brenden Aaronson who's playing in World Cup
"Medford Messi": Community celebrating Brenden Aaronson who's playing in World Cup 02:09

MEDFORD, N.J. (CBS) -- A Burlington County community is pumped for the World Cup with one of their own playing for Team USA. Brenden Aaronson, of Medford, made his debut Monday afternoon as a member of the U.S. Men's National team.

Aaronson, who broke into professional soccer with the Philadelphia Union," is affectionally called "Medford Messi," after the famous soccer player Lionel Messi.

Bryce Dunleavy described Aaronson as one of his closest friends since middle school.

"Seeing him grow to the player he is today, it's been incredible," Dunleavy said. "It's just awesome to see him in the World Cup now. We're really excited. We're rooting for him and wishing the best for the entire team."

Before the match, Irma Lorenz visited historic Kirby's Mill to read a large billboard placed on the building by the television show "Ted Lasso."

"I love it," Lorenz said. "My grandson, as I said, played with Brenden, so it's really meaningful to my family because of the connection and Brenden's doing such a great job."

At King's Road Brewing Company, brewers launched a beer Monday in Aaronson's honor named "Medford Messi."

"It's a London yeast in American hops," Jose Bendana, a bartender at the brewery, said. "He's an American obviously. He's our midfielder and he plays for Leeds now in the English Premier League."

Bendana said Aaronson came to visit the brewery last June.

"He's so down to earth," Bendana said. "He's a kid but you look at him like a superhero because he plays for the U.S. Men's Team."

Aaronson's younger brother, Paxten Aaronson, also played for the Union as recently as this past season. The 19-year-old Paxten Aaronson recently joined Eintracht Frankfurt.

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