Seven Philadelphia Union Players Receive International Call-Ups
CHESTER, Pa. - Philadelphia Union announced today that seven 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, Matt Freese, Mark McKenzie (All United States Under-23), Andre Blake (Jamaica), Olivier Mbaizo (Cameroon Under-23), Jamiro Monteiro (Cape Verde), and Warren Creavalle (Guyana).
Aaronson, Freese and McKenzie are among the group of players called in for a United States U-23 MNT International Tournament held in Spain. The tournament, set to be held from Nov. 7-18, is the United International Football Festival 2019 and includes the following countries: United States, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The U.S. will face Brazil on Nov. 14 and either Argentina or Chile on Nov. 17, dependent on the Nov. 14 results. The tournament continues the U-23's preparation for the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship this spring.
Earlier this year, all three players were 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. The trio all got the start in a friendly against Japan (Sept. 9). As the second youngest player on the team, Aaronson added an assist in the 2-0 victory for the U.S.
The call-up comes on the heels of the announcement that Aaronson and McKenzie made the Senior Men's National Team Pre-Camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida (Nov. 2-9). The two players will finish out pre-camp with the senior team before joining Freese and the rest of the U-23 team in Spain.
Aaronson previously received his first call-up to the senior National Team on Oct. 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).
This is also McKenzie's second USMNT call-up. He received his first senior team call-up earlier this year to the 2019 January camp. He and Freese most recently joined the U-23's in a training camp in Miami, Florida, held from Oct. 6-15. During that time the team faced El Salvador in a friendly where both players started in what was a 6-1 victory for the U.S.
Blake, meanwhile, joins Jamaica ahead of a pair of matches in the Concacaf Nations League contests: at Antigua and Barbuda (Nov. 15) and vs. Guyana (Nov. 18). The captain of the Reggae Boyz last joined the team for their Nations League matchups vs. Aruba (Oct. 12) and at Aruba (Oct. 15). Blake started vs. Aruba, keeping a clean sheet in 2-0 win. These matches are Jamaica's last two 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. Blake has earned 45 caps for the side.
Creavalle also departs ahead of two matches in the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League B, as the Union midfielder's Golden Jaguars will play their fifth game against Aruba (Nov. 15) and sixth match against Jamaica (Nov. 18). Creavalle has earned five caps for his country. His last call-up came ahead of the previous pair of Concacaf Nations matches in September, but missed out due to injury. The last time Creavalle played for Guyana was when he made a substitute appearance in a 2-1 win vs. Belize that clinched a 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup berth for Guyana.
Mbaizo, who joined the Cameroon Under-23s training camp from Oct. 26-Nov. 4, will continue with the team as they begin the U23 Total Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt from Nov. 8-22. Cameroon will take on Ghana in the Group Stage on Nov. 8 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Mbaizo was last called up for a U23 camp from October 7-15. Before that, he joined the team in September when they took on Tunisia in the Third Round of qualifiers: At Cameroon (Sept. 6; W 1-0) and at Tunisia (Sept. 10; L 1-2). Mbaizo has also earned one senior cap for Cameroon.
Finally, Monteiro joins the Cape Verde National Team "A" for a pair of qualifiers for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2021. The team is set to play Cameroon on Nov. 13 and Mozambique on Nov. 18. Monteiro has earned five caps for Cape Verde, four in Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches and one International Friendly. His last call-up came ahead of the qualifying match against Lesotho, a 1-1 draw, on Sept. 9, 2018.
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