Mark McKenzie - Philadelphia Union - Celebrate

With teammate Brenden Aaronson officially on his way to Red Bull Salzburg, the future of Mark McKenzie has become one of the next big offseason questions for the Philadelphia Union.


McKenzie is coming off a breakout season that saw him emerge as an MLS Defender of the Year candidate, starting all 22 of his appearances and helping lead the Union to the Supporters' Shield. All of that led to plenty of buzz regarding a potential overseas transfer for the homegrown center back, who has reportedly been linked to Scottish Premiership side Celtic most heavily, but also drawn interest from Germany and England.


A move seems like a matter of time at this point, something McKenzie discussed in an interview with SkySports released on Wednesday, where he said he's still intrigued by the idea of moving to Celtic, who are rumored to be in the market for another central defender. McKenzie was first linked to the Scottish side back in the summer window, but they opted to sign Shane Duffy.


"I've done my fair share of research (on Celtic and the Scottish Premiership) and I've always loved football so I've known about Celtic for a while," McKenzie told SkySports. "You hear about Celtic and the path of Virgil Van Dijk — going from there to the Prem.


"I'm no dummy when it comes to understanding the leagues. I have a general idea of what the leagues look like and keeping up with who is at the front of the pack in the league race and tournaments. I know about Celtic and the league — and a lot of other leagues. But it's an exciting time, though."


It'll be an interesting offseason subplot to track where McKenzie might be headed as suitors emerge and rumors start flying. Regardless of his ultimate destination, McKenzie said his hope is that he can find a team where he'll have the opportunity to compete for consistent minutes and sharpen his skillset.


"It's out there — my goal is to play in the Champions League, play against the best players in the world, win trophies. That's my goal and those are my personal ambitions," McKenzie said. "Obviously right now I'm still a Union player but I hope in the near future that I find myself in the situation where I can make the jump and put myself forward in those important matches. In order to grow your game and diversify your skillset you need to be able to play and compete with the best of the best and getting regular minutes. It's difficult to come in and play here and there. You need regular football


"I think you have to understand where you're at as a footballer and think 'what is the best option for me?" he added. "Would it be to go to a top three or four league? What does the club dynamic look like? Are there veterans in my position? Are there high-profile individuals in my position? Am I ready to compete in this league? Where are my weaknesses? Do I need more time to develop? Do my strengths align with this league?'


Check out the full interview here.

Advertising