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Mark McKenzie named to United States U18 roster for Slovakia Cup

Philadelphia Union Academy and Bethlehem Steel FC defender one of 23 players on U.S. roster

Matt Ralph

Philadelphia Union Academy and Bethlehem Steel FC defender Mark McKenzie will be traveling to Slovakia later this month with the United States U18 team for the Slovakia Cup.

The Bear, Delaware native who is committed to play at Wake Forest University this fall, has made two starts this season for Bethlehem Steel FC and has a goal in nine appearances this season for the Union U18 team.

It’s McKenzie’s third call-up to the U.S. U18s after being called into Florida training camps the past two Januarys. He’s the lone representative from the Philadelphia Union on the roster.

The U.S. won the tournament last year with a U19 squad coached by Brad Friedel. Allentown native Danny Barbir was the lone player with local ties on the roster.

The U.S. will play Hungary, Belarus and Slovakia in Group B. Group A has Russia, Czech Republic, Republic of Ireland and Turkey.

McKenzie and his teammates left for Trnava, Slovakia today and will train for five days before taking on Hungary on April 24, at 11 a.m. eastern time. The Belarus game will be played on April 25 at 11 a.m. and the Slovakia match at 5 a.m. eastern time.

“We are going with a very good group of players,” head coach Omid Namazi said in a news release. “Obviously, we are coming to the end of this (U-18 player pool) cycle, so our aim is to evaluate the players more, but also have some good performances and hopefully win the tournament."

Click here for the full roster.