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McKenzie, Aaronson make competitive debuts with USMNT in 1-0 Nations League semifinal win

Mark McKenzie started, Brenden Aaronson came off the bench in a 1-0 win over Honduras in the Nations League semifinal



The starting XI for the U.S. Men’s National Team had plenty of local flavor in the Nations League semifinal in Denver on Thursday night.

Pennsylvania natives Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen were joining in the starting lineup by Delaware native Mark McKenzie, who made his first start in a competitive match for the senior national team. South Jersey native Brenden Aaronson came off the bench in the second half for his first minutes in a competitive match.

The former Philadelphia Union homegrown duo became the first Union homegrowns to feature in a competitive senior men’s national team game.

For McKenzie, the KRC Genk defender from Bear, Del., it was his third start and fourth overall appearance while Aaronson, an FC Red Bull Salzburg midfielder from Medford, N.J., made his sixth appearance.

The U.S. won the match 1-0 on an 89th minute goal from substitute Jordan Siebatcheu to advance to the Nations League final on Sunday night.

At an average age of 23 years, 259 days, head coach Gregg Berhalter’s starting XI was the second youngest to ever start for the U.S. in a competitive match.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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