Two Philadelphia Union Players to Join USMNT for Upcoming Friendly
CHESTER, Pa. - The Philadelphia Union, in conjunction with U.S. Soccer, announced today that Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie have been called up to the United States Men's National Team for a friendly match vs. El Salvador in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on December 9. This follows the Philadelphia Union's historic 2020 season and Supporters' Shield victory, the first trophy for the club, in which Aaronson and McKenzie were both regular starters and contributors.
The pair, both named to the 2020 MLS Best XI team, were most recently selected to the final roster for the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico last March, that was subsequently postponed due to health and safety reasons.
Aaronson joins the national team after being called in to the U.S. Men's National Team January camp in Bradenton, Florida where he earned his first cap in a friendly against Costa Rica. Aaronson featured in the starting XI and played for 66 minutes in the 1-0 victory. He 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).
In 2019 he was called up by the U.S. U-23 squad for the United International Football Festival, where they placed third overall after defeating United Gran Canaria. Previously, he was called in to the U-23's from Sept. 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 (Sept. 9), adding an assist in a 2-0 victory. Aaronson signed with Red Bull Salzburg in October in a historic transfer agreement and the first European transfer for the Union. He will join the club for the 2021 season.
McKenzie, coming off a landmark season with the Union where he was named a finalist for Defender of the Year and named to MLS Best XI, also attended the senior team January Camp in Bradenton where he earned his first cap in the friendly against Costa Rica (Feb.1), playing 28 minutes after coming on as a sub in the 1-0 victory. He received his first senior team call-up to the 2019 January camp. Last November he joined Aaronson for the United International Football Festival, where he earned the start against Brazil. Taking part in the U-23 camp in Miami, Florida, held last October, McKenzie started in what was a 6-1 victory for the U.S in a friendly against El Salvador. 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.
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