Mark McKenzie and Matthew Real were originally planning to be teammates at Wake Forest this fall, but that changed when Matthew Real signed a professional contract with Bethlehem Steel FC in January.
McKenzie passed on a potential pro contract to head to Winston-Salem last month, where he’s appeared in eight of the Demon Deacons 11 games, all off the bench. Real, meanwhile, has been starting on the Steel back line, earning his 16th start of the season in a 1-1 draw with Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday.
The Philadelphia Union Academy grads are back on the field together with the United States U18 team for an international training camp in Marbella, Spain through October 10.
McKenzie and Real, who were both with the team last for a tournament in Portugal in June, were among 20 players called into the camp by head coach Omid Namazi.
“I feel we have a very strong roster going into this camp. We are looking to end the U-18 player cycle, players born in 1999, on a good note,” Namazi said in a news release. “Our goal is to continue to establish our style of play and also gets results against some formidable opponents.”
During the camp, the U.S. will play Belgium on October 5 and Russia on October 9.
The full roster includes:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Brady Scott (FC Koln; Petaluma, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (6): Julian Araujo (Barca Academy; Lompoc, Calif.), Mark McKenzie (Wake Forest; Bear, Delaware), Matthew Real (Bethlehem Steel FC; Drexel Hill, Pa.), Aedan Stanely (Saint Louis FC Academy; Columbia, Ill.), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.), Carson Vom Steeg (Stanford; Santa Barbara, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Christian Cappis (FC Dallas; Katy, Texas) Jose Carranza (North Carolina FC; Masassas, Va.), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas; Highland Village, Texas), Paul Rothrock (Notre Dame; Seattle, Wash.), Brandon Servania (Wake Forest; Birmingham, Ala.), Juan Pablo Torres (Sporting Lokoren; Lilburn, Ga.), Sam Vines (Charlotte Independence; Charlotte, N.C.)
FORWARDS (5): Shaft Brewer (RB Leipzig; Sacremento, Calif.), Griffin Dorsey (Indiana University; Evergreen, Colo.) Emanuel Perez (NC State; Garner, N.C.), Nebiyou Perry (AIK; New York, N.Y.), Nicholas Taitague (FC Shalke; Midlothian, Va.)