Union welcome Vancouver to town on Saturday

The Union will return to MLS action Saturday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Chester.

Matt Leon
June 22, 2018 - 4:10 pm
Union rookie defender Mark McKenzie

Philadelphia Union/Sideline Photos

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Philadelphia Union will return to MLS action on Saturday night as they welcome the Vancouver Whitecaps FC to Chester.

The Union have gotten good play as of late from rookie defender Mark McKenzie. A Homegrown Player who came through the Union Academy, McKenzie is enjoying his first season in MLS.

"I feel like it's going pretty well," he tells KYW Newsradio. "I'm only 19, so I'm still getting used to everything. Signed my first contract in January. I feel like it's been a good season. I had a good preseason getting used to everybody, getting used to the style of play and playing at this level."

McKenzie spent the first part of the season watching, but things changed mid-April.

"Then my name got called in the Orlando City game (April 13) and then from there it has just been grinding and putting in the work and letting my ability show," he says.

McKenzie has started the last six MLS matches for the Union and made eight appearances total. He talks about what his biggest focus is right now.

"Just getting more comfortable on the ball," he says.

McKenzie and the Union will face a Vancouver team on Saturday that is unbeaten in its last six matches (2-0-4).

"They're strong on the counterattack," he says. "They've got some guys up top who are athletic, strong, fast, they also have technique. So you've got to be aware of those aspects of the game to try and eliminate a counterattack."

Philadelphia comes into Saturday's match 5-7-3, with 18 points they are 8th in the East. Vancouver is 6-5-5, good for 23 points and 4th place out West.

Saturday's match gets underway at 5:00pm.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleon1060.