While the Major League Soccer campaign has ended for Philadelphia Union, the year action on the field isn’t quite over yet as homegrowns Mark McKenzie and Brenden Aaronson are preparing for the United States Men’s National Team friendly against El Salvador.
With Aaronson departing the club for FC Red Bull Salzburg on January 1, McKenzie said he’s looking forward to being with his homegrown partner one more time.
“It’s always great teaming up with B,” McKenzie told reporters on Saturday afternoon. “We’ve had a really good year together and we came up and I’m just really excited to see where he goes on this next journey for him. I’m happy for him and I’m looking forward to sharing the field with him one more time before we part ways and he takes his next step to Europe.”
This current USMNT camp sees 22 of the 23 players from MLS and 13 players looking for their first USMNT cap. However this squad could be at the heart for the Stars and Stripes bid for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. With so many new faces and youth, McKenzie finds himself in a role he’s quite familiar with during his tenure with the Union: young but experienced.
“Considering I’m only 21 and I’m more experienced is funny to say but at the same time I’ve been trying to help the younger guys,” McKenzie said. “For this to be their first camp, there is a lot of pressure in a way so just helping them filter what is going on and helping them dial in and mix their game to our style is where I have to step up. I have older here helping me too and I think having that balance is really good for not only myself but other guys but I have taken on more of a leadership role this camp.”
The Union duo look to help the USMNT cap off 2020 with a win as they host El Salvador on Tuesday, December 9th. Kick off from Inter Miami CF Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on UniMas and TUDN.