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Three Union players named to MLS Bext XI

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

The year-end awards keep rolling in for Philadelphia Union.

Major League Soccer announced today that three Union players — Andre Blake, Mark McKenzie, and Brenden Aaronson — were named to the league’s 2020 Best XI.

Blake, named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year earlier this week, makes the Best XI for the second time in his career. After a down year in 2019, the Union’s longtime keeper returned to peak form, recording a league-best .88 goals against average.

McKenzie, a Homegrown player, earned his first Best XI selection after finishing second in the Defender of the Year voting earlier this week. McKenzie anchored the Union’s backline, which allowed a league-low 20 goals despite a rotating cast around McKenzie caused by injury and other absences. McKenzie added two goals and three assists on the offensive side of the ball.

Aaronson, a somewhat surprising selection, becomes the youngest-ever player voted into the Best XI. Aaronson started every game this season, chipping in four goals and seven assists in an attacking midfield role. Also a Union Homegrown, the Medford, N.J. native will leave the Union for Red Bull Salzburg at the conclusion of the MLS Playoffs.

The recognition comes at the conclusion of a week that also saw manager Jim Curtin win his first-ever Coach of the Year Award.

First-place Philadelphia begins its run in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night against an opponent to be determined. Kickoff from Subaru Park is at 8:00 p.m.

6 Comments

  1. Glad for those guys. It was also the first time that there were 3 home grown players in the Best XI (Jordan Morris being the third).
    .
    The bad news is that I noticed Wanyama is listed as Out due to International Duty for tonight’s Montreal game which means I’m guessing it will be the same for Monteiro and Mbaizo next week (unless someone has heard differently).

    • Joe Tansey, on TWitter, has a picture of Jamiro Monteiro sitting in a plane seat and says that Monteiro has posted on Instagram that he is back in Pennsylvania.
      .
      Also, from the MLS group that were in Africa, Roman Metanire and Kai Kamara seem to be available to Minnesota in the play-in game that taps off tonight in Foxboro.
      .
      We will know for certain once Lineups are posted in the preview on the MLS website in about an hour.
      .

    • Wanyama “could not get” a charter flight, but I don’t know anything else.

  2. Zakary Petroski says:

    Congratulations guys !!Great Work !! GO UNION !!!!

  3. Zakary Petroski says:

    Great job guys !! Great Work !! GO UNION !!!!

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