Five Philadelphia Union Players Receive International Call-Ups
CHESTER, Pa. - Philadelphia Union announced today that five of the club's players have received international call-ups from their respective federations ahead of next week's FIFA international window. The list of Union players called up is as follows: Brenden Aaronson (United States), Matt Freese, Mark McKenzie (both United States Under-23), Andre Blake (Jamaica), and Olivier Mbaizo (Cameroon Under-23).
Freese and McKenzie are among the group of players called in for a United States U-23 training camp in Miami, Florida, set to be held from October 6-15. The U-23 MNT is preparing for the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship this spring and will play El Salvador in a friendly (October 15) at Florida International University as part of the camp.
Freese and McKenzie previously joined the U-23s for a camp in Chula Vista, California from September 1-10, 2019. Both players started in a 2-0 victory in a friendly vs. Japan (September 9).
Blake, meanwhile, joins Jamaica ahead of two Concacaf Nations League contests: vs. Aruba (October 12) and at Aruba (October 15) These two matches are Jamaica's third and fourth in the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League B, which consists of a double round robin among four teams in one group. The team won their first two matches against Antigua and Barbuda (6-0) and Guyana (4-0) with Blake earning clean sheets in both. The team atop the group after all matches are played earns promotion to League A for the 2021-22 cycle.
The Union goalkeeper regularly features as Jamaica's number one goalkeeper and serves as the Reggae Boyz' captain. He has earned 44 caps for the side.
Finally, Mbaizo is set to join the Cameroon Under-23s training camp. The Indomitable Lions are preparing for the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations. Mbaizo last joined the team in September when they took on Tunisia in the Third Round of qualifiers: At Cameroon (September 6; W 1-0) and at Tunisia (September 10; L 1-2). With an aggregated 2-2, Cameroon won based on away goal differential and qualified for the final tournament set to be held in Egypt from November 8-22. Cameroon takes on Ghana in the Group Stage on November 8. Mbaizo has also earned one senior cap for Cameroon.
This news comes after the club announced Brenden Aaronson's first call-up to the senior National Team. He'll join the U.S National Team for a pair of Concacaf Nations League Matches where the team will face Cuba (October 11) and Canada (October 15).
Up next for Philadelphia Union, the club hosts NYCFC for Decision Day presented by AT&T at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday, October 6 (4:00 p.m. ET / PHL17). All five players called up will depart to join their national teams following the match.
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