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Mark McKenzie

Discussion in 'Transfer Rumours' started by Notorious, Jul 9, 2020.

Discuss Mark McKenzie in the Transfer Rumours area at TalkCeltic.net.

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  1. We named the dog Indiana Gold Member Gold Member

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    Looks strong and pretty composed on the ball but definitely needs coaching.
     
  2. HoopswithPride

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    A combination of being sad,bored, furloughed and insomnia. I watched the full game.

    McKenzie was a mixed bag for me. Although he was comfortably the better player in comparison to the bombscare of a centre half partner (Elliot).

    He used the ball well, although a lot of his passes were rather to maintain possession. Comfortable using both feet. Played one long pass, and it was bang on the money(fine switch of play). Had one other pass that split the Kansas press and got Aaronson(impressive showing) onto their defence.

    Defensively, good in close contact and in 1 v 1. Covers the ground well, had a good block to deny Kansas a good goal-scoring chance. In terms of his ability in the air, I was expecting a bit more. Although Kansas never really tested them much in that regard. On the occasions they did, he done enough.

    Plenty of potential for improvement and could handle playing in the SPFL. Based on this viewing, he would only be back up to Ajer or Julian. Which I suppose is what we are looking for.
     
  3. littlekennie

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    How do we know we weren’t scouting Russel he’s striker Scottish and more easier to obtain


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  4. McGuire Gold Member Gold Member

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    Thanks for that Kennie..
     
  5. mickcfc91

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    Sorry for the bump. His team got put out of the mls cup thing last night. Hopefully here something soon if we are interested
     
  6. HoopswithPride

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    Watched the game last night. They were unlucky with a late offside decision and the penalty miss was a howler. Up against a bit more quality and he struggled a fair bit(so did the whole team). In fairness at times he was exposed by his teammates but he was at caught out badly at the 2nd goal(has to be seen), then minutes later got caught in possession which almost led to another.

    My two biggest questions were over his heading and some his decision making, especially with regards to closing down.

    The heading thing was quite a weird one. There were an few instances last night where he seemed more intent on getting the physical contact, rather than winning the ball. Doesn't attack the header, indeed barely gets off the ground. Its about the only thing his centre half partner does better than him. This is taking it to an extreme, but its almost like he stops the ball with his head. It probably better to explain with some sort of clip. His part in the 2nd goal was really poor.

    His decision making in terms of when to press the play. If you have seen the Huns goal from Saturday, he done a "McKenna" on a few occasions. Portland have the guy Diego Valeri, one of the better players in the league, very clever on the ball and with his movements. McKenzie followed the striker (Blanco I think) as he dropped deep and left a massive gap in behind. Valeri was off on the 3rd man run and was played in. At times its ok to follow the dropping forward. But the field of play was short on this occasion, the immediate danger was in behind.

    He's by no means *, but he's got a bit of developing to go in terms of game awareness and I think he would need/and can fill out a bit more(hate saying that). Especially if he plans to play in European football. Aside from the heading, his technique and use of the ball is solid. Tends to maintain possession rather than look to step in and effect the game. By that I mean what we see from Ajer and Julien, when teams sit in a block. Step forward with the ball and get the reaction from the opposition, force them to break the shape and create space for teammates.
     
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  7. McGuire Gold Member Gold Member

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    He doesn't look good enough from the clips I've seen..

    All over the place a bit..

    Can't see him being our number 1 centre half signing..
     
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  8. Officer Doofy Come to me, human man Gold Member

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    lol jk
     
  9. D'Ecosse

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    I agree with @HoopswithPride analysis of his performance in the Union/Timbers game. All of the criticisms he observed I would definitely share.
    I was hoping to see something in him and just didn't. Based on that (although not fair to judge on one game really) I would say don't bother!
    Aaronsen has been mentioned too however and did catch the eye a few times - definitely a better prospect of the two IMO
    But for me, the real standout of the game was Portland's Niezgoda - electric and exciting, 25 year old Pole - a buddy for Klimala! :D
    Particularly check out the footwork at 3.48 and 4.36 - would have been perfect if he had finished up that latter move with a better shot and a goal; and for the first of those two segments, made total total mince out of the full back and McKenzie. Loved the commentator's line - little bit of FILTH there from Niezgoda :giggle1:
    Another nice move at 7.33



    p.s. Check Niezgoda Wiki - ex-Legia Warsaw, 13 goals in 27 apps in 17/18 season (he'd have been 22) then 14 goals in 18 apps in 19/20 !!! :eek1:
    (must have been injured in 18/19 season - only 5 apps?)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarosław_Niezgoda
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  10. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    Philadelphia Union chief Ernst Tanner insists his club will fight to hang on to Celtic target Mark McKenzie.

    But the sporting director has confessed they won’t stand in the way of the central defender’s dream move to Europe if Parkhead hierarchy choose to advance their initial interest in the 21-year-old.


    Celtic boss Neil Lennon is hunting new faces and a striker is a major priority with West Ham’s Albian Ajeti high on the target list with talks over a move for the Swiss hitman having taken place.

    Lennon is also chasing defensive additions after the departure of Jozo Simunovic in the summer and McKenzie is amongst those on the backline radar – as first revealed by Record Sport last month.

    Celtic have scouted the stopper on several occasions and have spoken to Union about him.

    Tanner has confirmed initial contact and admits he’s also taken calls from other European clubs interested in the United States international.

    The Union chief accepts that his top stars are keen for moves to Europe, but is also adamant that the club would like to keep their squad together having lost out in the semi-finals of the MLS is Back tournament last week and hope to keep them in place for the time being.

    Tanner said: “We have had interest. There was a talk with Celtic, but I told them: We were not willing to talk before the [MLS in Back] tournament or during the tournament, but maybe then later on.

    “Will they come back? That is not in my obligation. That is up to Celtic. There is obviously a little bit of an interest, but there are so many players in the market at the moment.


    We have a situation where we don’t need to sell because we also have goals as a club.

    “We do not have a club policy (in terms of sales). But everyone has objectives. We have a competitive team in our league and that’s quite a strong argument for us.

    “You know American players, in general. It is their dream to go to Europe and that is okay.

    “But, when you do a transfer, all sides have to come under one hat and that’s the critical point.

    “I cannot speak for Celtic. I might think the interest (is serious), but as I said, there are so many players out there. It is not only Mark, but he’s an interesting asset.

    “He is probably the most interesting prospect in our country in terms of defending. He is good.


    There is interest from a lot of clubs and I have already been talking to some. We are the last ones who are hesitant in these situations, but it needs to be suitable for everyone.”

    “I have so many express interest in our players and I say: Okay if you are, you are welcome to make an offer. Then the interest gets lower.”


    Hoops recruitment staff have noted McKenzie’s form for Union and the player has himself admitted he’d relish a chance to play in the Champions League.

    But Tanner, who dismissed rumours of interest from Celtic in McKenzie’s team-mate Brendan Aaronson, added: “With the Covid, no-one really has money and there is a big uncertainty in the market, anyway.


    No-one knows when supporters can return to the stadium, how many can return when they do? So how much money do we have to spend in the market? We still have pay cuts.

    “It’s not the best time for the other players if you do a million transfer while the other players have pay cuts.

    “The transfer market in Europe is certainly like that, to me. That is reflected in the moment with our situation.”
     
  11. HTG "I have an uncle who does Yoga"

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    If we're going for another two CB'S this window (which we should) then i'd be very happy with him as fourth choice, if not, we need a more experienced CB this year
     
  12. _DannyBhoy_ Gold Member Gold Member

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  13. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  14. Cesar67x https://www.twitch.tv/GlasgowFIFA @GlasgowFIFA_

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  15. Cesar67x https://www.twitch.tv/GlasgowFIFA @GlasgowFIFA_

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  16. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    Celtic are monitoring Philadelphia Union centre-back Mark McKenzie.

    Sky Sports News understands the Scottish champions have asked to be kept informed on any developments regarding the 21-year-old, who is keen on a move to Europe.

    McKenzie became a USA international when he made his senior debut in a friendly against Costa Rica in February.


    Celtic's priority in the current transfer window is now to sign a left-back, but it's believed they would like to bolster their central defensive options, as well as adding a winger.

    The Hoops signed Brighton defender Shane Duffy on loan this week and made an enquiry for Sampdoria defender Omar Colley.


     
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  17. Dublin Celt

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    Would like him in as back up and development

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  18. Garrymac1888 Gold Member Gold Member

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    I * hate that quote "asked to be kept informed ". (If true)

    If we want him, go sign him.
     
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  19. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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  20. Notorious Gold Member Gold Member

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    I'll grab it with both hands' - Celtic-linked McKenzie embracing transfer rumours and USMNT expectations

    https://www.goal.com/en-us/news/cel...nsfer-rumours-usmnt/phd2m3k6ivpn1j9h74gl5s0xx



    The Philadelphia Union defender has been heavily linked with an MLS departure, but those reports have proven more encouraging than pressure-inducing



    Mark McKenzie is not too worried about the rumours regarding his future that continue to swirl, and they have been swirling for quite some time.

    For months, the Philadelphia Union defender has been linked with a move to Europe, making him one of several young MLS stars tipped to eventually outgrow the league.

    He has been most prominently linked to Celtic since the start of the season, though more teams could certainly come calling as a result of his latest performances in MLS.


    Over the last few weeks McKenzie has raised his game, evolving from one of the top young defenders in MLS to one of the top defenders of any age. He is now one of the most reliable centre-backs in the league at the age of just 21.

    In his latest outing McKenzie was largely responsible for keeping Gonzalo Higuain quiet in the Union's 3-0 win over Inter Miami. On the day Higuain was limited to the fewest touches of any Miami player, and keeping the Argentina forward out of the game can be credited to McKenzie and defensive partner Jakob Glesnes.

    With performances like that come rumours, and with rumours come excitement. But those reports also lead to pressure, something McKenzie is comfortable dealing with as his dream move edges closer and closer.

    "The dream, of course, is to play in Europe," McKenzie told Goal. "That is the ultimate goal. But I’m here at Union at the moment and I'm focused on helping the club in any way I can.

    "But if there is an opportunity, I'm ready and I'm prepared to take the next step. I’m confident that I can take such an opportunity with both hands. However, I'm focusing on my game right now and help win a title this year.



    Personally, no (the rumours do not affect me). I try and filter out as much as I can. There is a lot of stuff that goes on in the industry. I can only control my game and everything I can do.

    "I can’t control rumours nor am I interested in them. The important thing is performing day in and day out. That is most important. If I do not perform, no opportunity will materialise.

    "It is all about me working and improving day in and day out. Everything else will follow."

    He added: "Ultimately, it is a positive thing for the young guys in MLS. Seeing that there is a path to Europe from MLS is great, and opportunities will come if you work hard. It is on you to work hard and grab them when they come. Of course, you need to handle the pressure that comes with it."

    McKenzie is not the only member of the Union feeling that pressure, with team-mate Brendan Aaronson having also been heavily linked to Europe.

    Most recently the midfielder has drawn interest from Red Bull Salzburg, a club managed by American Jesse Marsch that is fresh off making quite an impression in the Champions League last season.

    Both Aaronson and McKenzie are products of YSC Academy, the Union-affiliated school that has allowed the club to emerge as one of the best talent developers in MLS.

    Over the past few years the club has developed plenty of talented players, but the key is to now sell those players on to clubs that can allow them to thrive in Europe.



    Like every young player in the U.S., McKenzie is looking towards those that are performing well abroad. Players such as Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna have emerged as stars over the last few years, and McKenzie is determined to join them at some point or another.

    To do that he has had to evolve his game. After making 19 appearances in 2018 and seven in 2019, he has taken a major leap forward this season. His defending has improved, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Higuain.

    But perhaps his biggest development has come with his ability on the ball, having developed into a significantly better passer throughout his standout 2020 season.

    "I've always tried to improve my passing. It's an area of my game that I'm very confident in. I've been a ball-playing centre-back for a long time now. And in the highest level of football in America, it is an important trait," he said.

    "A modern centre-back is the start of the attack in a team. His passing out from the back is crucial and is a very important tool for the side. I need to improve more but I’m taking massive strides and I'm putting the effort to make it my strong suit.

    "I want to be the centre-back that strikers hate to play against. You always need to do your primary job well and that is defending. You need to help keep clean sheets and become the defender that strikers do not want to go up against."

    With that in mind, McKenzie has studied several players that opposition forwards despised, including one current Real Madrid star that remains among the very best in the game.

    "For example, Sergio Ramos. He is the type of defender against whom strikers start to question themselves," McKenzie said. "Being that type of a dominant and aggressive defender is something I want to improve.

    "I think I can be more consistent and be at a point where strikers see my name and think this is a guy we don't want to go up against."



    Reaching the level of Ramos is a big ask for a 21-year-old defender but, even at his current ability, McKenzie has the ability to be a key player for the U.S. men's national team.

    The defender earned his first cap this past winter, featuring against Costa Rica as part of the annual January camp. That appearance came after McKenzie established himself as a regular across the U.S. youth national teams, having worn the captain’s armband at the most recent Under-20 World Cup in Poland.

    Under head coach Gregg Berhalter, the U.S. plays a system that relies on defenders being comfortable on the ball. Full-backs need to be dangerous going forward, goalkeepers need to feel comfortable with the ball at their feet and, in McKenzie's case, centre-backs need to be able to initiate the attack with their passing.

    As that part of his game has evolved, McKenzie could grow into a key figure under Berhalter in the coming years. And, if that happens, this may not be the last time that McKenzie draws interest from some of Europe's most famous teams.

    "I have the confidence in myself to play well for the USMNT if I get the opportunity," he said. "I'm very confident and capable of representing my country and playing as the central defender.

    "I think I’ve shown that ability. I'm not perfect and I can improve on my composure while playing out from the back, stepping into the midfield and cutting out passes. I'm not the perfect defender but I’m improving.

    "I have the confidence to go there and compete. And I’m sure If I get an opportunity, I will grab it with both hands."
     
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