Philadelphia Union Sign Defender Mark McKenzie To New Contract
Union ink homegrown to new deal; McKenzie’s contract with Union now guaranteed through 2022 with a team option for 2023 and 2024 seasons
CHESTER, Pa. (Jan. 16, 2020) – Philadelphia Union announced today that the club has signed centerback and homegrown player Mark McKenzie to a new contract. A Union homegrown signing in 2018, McKenzie will now remain under contract with Philadelphia through the 2022 season, with club options for 2023 and 2024. McKenzie, who has received multiple US Men’s National Team call-ups over recent months, has spent two seasons with the first team and was a crucial contributor to the Union’s historic 2019 season and playoff run.
"We’re excited to have come to an agreement on a new contract with Mark, solidifying his spot on our team. As a homegrown player, he exemplifies our commitment to the development of our academy players,” said Ernst Tanner, Union Sporting Director. “Mark has become a proven asset on and off the field. Through his development, he’s become a valuable centerback who sees everything in front of him and is an emerging role model in the community.”
McKenzie, who grew up in Bear, DE, was signed as a homegrown player in 2018 after coming up through the Philadelphia Union Academy. In 2018, McKenzie made 19 regular-season appearances (18 starts) for Philadelphia and was named a finalist for the league's Rookie of the Year award as he helped form one of the league’s youngest back lines in history and carry the Union to the playoffs. After early-season injuries, McKenzie made seven regular-season appearances (6 starts) in 2019 and contributed to the club’s history-making season and first-ever playoff win.
McKenzie has made multiple national team appearances, most recently joining the U.S. Men’s National Team for training and closed-door scrimmages in Jan. 2020 and 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. In May 2019, 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 in September.
TRANSACTION: Philadelphia Union sign defender Mark McKenzie to a new contract on Jan. 16, 2020.