Mark McKenzie vs. Orlando City SC

Homegrown product Mark McKenzie makes MLS debut

Philadelphia Union Homegrown product Mark McKenzie made his MLS debut on Friday night in the club's match against Orlando City SC, becoming the fifth Homegrown player to make an appearance for the team this season.

He now joins Anthony Fontana, Auston Trusty, Matt Real and Derrick Jones in completing the "Path to the Pros," playing at the Union Academy to Bethlehem Steel and now the First Team.

Despite walking away with a 2-0 loss, McKenzie made his impact on the pitch in front of the home crowd. The 19-year-old defender came on as a substitute for Jack Elliott in the 52nd minute of play where he logged 38 minutes in his debut.

"I think I handled myself pretty well," McKenzie said. "But at the end of the day, we didn't get the result we wanted and now we'll prepare for Dallas and get three points."

While on the pitch in his 38 minutes, McKenzie was able to keep Orlando off the scoresheet for the remainder of the match — recording one tackle and 93 percent passing accuracy in his 34 touches. 

McKenzie was on the pitch alongside Trusty and Real, two teammates who he's been with since the beginning of their soccer career. It was also the youngest backline to perform in MLS with Keegan Rosenberry (24-years-old), Real (18-years-old), Trusty (19-years-old) and McKenzie.

"We've (McKenzie and Trusty) played together for a while, it's like the old days but at a much higher level," McKenzie said. "It's not a joke, this is our job and everything has to be taken seriously. But it is nice being back out there with him."

The team will now begin preparation this week as they head to Frisco, Texas to take on FC Dallas. Kick off for the inter-conference matchup is slated for 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 21 and will be broadcasted on PHL17.

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