Mark McKenzie using tough Genk campaign in latest USMNT opportunity

The 2023-24 Belgian Pro League is certainly one that Mark McKenzie and Genk will want to forget, but luckily for McKenzie, he has a new opportunity with the U.S. men’s national team to focus on.

McKenzie is with the USMNT ahead of the 2024 Copa America group stage, which begins for the Americans on Sunday night. The former Philadelphia Union homegrown defender is one of five centerbacks in Gregg Berhalter’s squad, aiming to feature in the competition for his first cap of 2024.

After not featuring against Colombia and Brazil earlier this month, McKenzie is eager to fight against tough South American opposition this summer.

“I think we have a group of guys, we’re all hungry,” McKenzie told reporters Tuesday. “We’re all competitive and every time we step into this environment, I think the expectations rise. We demand more of ourselves and it makes us demand more of each other, and at the end of the day, that’ll raise performances and raise the levels here.

“You step into a platform like Copa America and now you have a trophy on the line,” he added. “Everyone realizes what we need to do. It’s about putting together quality performances each step of the way, and from there we just continue to grow as a group.”

At club level, McKenzie was one win away from being a Belgian Champion in 2023 but Genk’s quest of lifting the title fell just short on the final day of the season. Since then, he’s remained a stalwart in the Genk backline, but the club took a step back in terms of fighting for silverware on the domestic level.

The 25-year-old logged 44 combined appearances last season, logging over 4,000 minutes of playing time. However, Genk finished fifth in the Belgian Pro League Championship Round, missing out on European Football for next season.

McKenzie’s first priority this summer remains on helping the USMNT win the Copa America before starting a new chase for league success at Genk.

“I think in…


Source link : https://sbisoccer.com/2024/06/mark-mckenzie-using-tough-genk-campaign-in-latest-usmnt-opportunity

Author : Larry Henry Jr

Publish date : 2024-06-19 01:47:23

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