Two Union Players To Join Men’s January National Team Camp
Brenden Aaronson, Mark McKenzie to take part in MNT training camp in FIFA World Cup destination Qatar
CHESTER, Pa. (Dec. 30, 2019) – Philadelphia Union, in conjunction with U.S. Soccer, announced today that Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie will join the Men’s National Team to train and play closed door scrimmages at Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar from January 5-25. The squad will then travel to Los Angeles for an additional week of training that will conclude with a match against Concacaf rival Costa Rica on February 1 in Carson, CA.
The camp opens the MNT 2020 schedule that will see the team competing in the Concacaf Nations League semifinal in June and the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, which kicks off in September.
The pair most recently received call-ups to the senior National Team on October 31 for a MNT pre-camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL that was held in preparation of the team’s Concacaf Nations League matches. The duo then traveled to Spain to join the U-23’s for the United International Football Festival, where they placed third overall after defeating United Gran Canaria 4-0.
This marks Aaronson’s third senior team call up to date. He received his first call-up to the senior National Team on October 2, ahead of a pair of Nations League matches against Cuba on Oct. 11 (7-0 W) and Canada on Oct. 15 (2-0 L). Earlier this year he was called up by the U.S. U-23 squad from September 1-10 as part of training camp ahead of the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship. As the second youngest player on the team, Aaronson started the friendly against Japan (September 9), adding an assist in a 2-0 victory.
McKenzie received his first senior team call-up to the 2019 January camp. He previously joined the United States U-23 training camp in Miami, Florida, held from October 6-15. During that time the team faced El Salvador in a friendly where McKenzie started in a 6-1 victory for the U.S. In May, he was named captain of the U-20 squad during the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, a tournament the U.S. finished as quarterfinalists, and he joined the U-23 training camp along with Aaronson in September.
The call up follows stand out 2019 campaigns for both players, who’s contributions led to the Union’s best season in club history. In his rookie season, Aaronson added three goals and two assists in 28 games, while McKenzie battled through a plethora of injuries to earn the starting position at centerback where he proved to be a crucial figure in the Union’s historical playoff victory.
Both players will join the Union for preseason training immediately following camp.