As Celtic’s defence continues to lick its wounds after another dismal afternoon yesterday, one of our reported targets was shining over the weekend once again in Mark McKenzie.
The USA international was linked with a summer move to Parkhead, but nothing came of it (Sky Sports). Sky journalist Anthony Joseph then tweeted after the summer window had closed that the Hoops were still tracking his development.
Since then, Celtic’s defence have made mistake after mistake. The latest being the three goals we shipped to Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday. Meanwhile, McKenzie was glancing home another goal for Philadelphia Union en route to a 5-0 mauling of Toronto FC.
The victory sent Philadelphia to the top of the Eastern Conference, and American supporters were certainly impressed with the centre-back’s display. Here’s a look at some of the reaction below:
🇺🇸 Mark McKenzie (21) and the @PhilaUnion unleashed a combo of offensive prowess & defensive stability in a BIG win over Toronto:
✅ 90 minutes
⚽️ 1 goal
🚫 Clean sheet
🚀 4 clearances
⚔️ 2 tackles won
❌ 2 interceptions
💪🏿 7/7 duels won
🙌 5-0 win
Top of the MLS table. 🐍 pic.twitter.com/pjhuxiBURR
— Football Wonderkids (@fbwonderkids) October 25, 2020
The obvious target that should be sold is Mark McKenzie, probably the DPOY in the league.
James Sands is probably 1b to Mark's 1a.
It's a high bar and there are quite literally dozens of other MLS youngsters who, in a perfect world, should go to Europe.
— x- Zane Price (@zathanielprice) October 25, 2020
Mark McKenzie goal scoring machine #doop
— pat in the hat (@pat_in_thehat) October 25, 2020
From no career goals to suddenly McKenzie is a goal machine.
Union in control in this Top of the Table clash, 35th minute.
— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) October 25, 2020
2-0 Union. Appreciate Mark McKenzie. He’ll be in Europe come January.
— noah (@unitedaway) October 25, 2020
Union tweet: Mark McKenzie is really good. And now he's scoring goals
— Andrew Robinson (@ADRobinson3) October 25, 2020
Maybe Barcelona could use Mark McKenzie
— Loco_Gringo 🇺🇸🔴⚫️🇺🇸 #BLM (@Milan4eva1026) October 25, 2020
At what point do we start talking about him being a starting cb for the #usmnt? He seems so consistent, left footed, and a great passer.
— Colin Scott (@cscott209) October 25, 2020
Sums it up
Whilst we seem to be doing all we can to spurn our chances at the top of the table, McKenzie’s Philadelphia fair took their own opportunity over the weekend.
They went into the game against Toronto three points behind them in the Eastern Conference. McKenzie and co really made a statement with such a commanding display on such a big occasion.
With only three more games to go before the MLS regular season comes to a close, Philadelphia have well secured their playoff place. However, all eyes for McKenzie will be on trying to secure the MLS Supporters Shield and indeed the MLS Cup.
Celtic, if we are indeed still monitoring his progress, will almost certainly be looking to make a move at the first moment he becomes available. And yes, that’s regardless of who else is interested.
Whilst we already have a ton of centre-back options at the club, McKenzie represents an investment in the future. A player we can get good use out of before selling him on for a hefty price.
It remains to be seen what level of finances is open to the manager in January. But once again, the USA international has thrown his name into the headlines with another big performance in Philadelphia’s most important game of the season.