More honors were given to the Union as three players were named to the MLS Best XI.

Those players were Jamaican international goalkeeper Andre Blake, Homegrown defender Mark McKenzie, and Homegrown midfielder Brenden Aaronson. The Best XI was determined by media, MLS players, and MLS club technical staff as it recognized the league’s top players at each position.

The 11 players hail from seven different countries as seven different MLS clubs are represented by this year’s Best XI squad, all of which qualified for the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. For the first time in MLS history, three Homegrown players make up part of the MLS Best XI with Brenden Aaronson, Mark McKenzie, and Jordan Morris. Aaronson is the youngest player ever selected to a Best XI at 20 years and 29 days.

The Union had the most players in the Best XI with three, as the Seattle Sounders also had three players represented in the squad.

Andre Blake

Andre Blake, the winner of the 2020 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year recorded a league-best 0.88 goals-against average and he was named to the MLS Best XI for a second time.

Of the three Homegrown players selected, two were selected in the MLS SuperDraft, both in the first seven selections overall as Blake was picked first overall in 2014 and defender Walker Zimmerman was picked seventh in 2013. All five finalists for the 2020 Landon Donovan MLS Most Valuable Player award were also named to the MLS Best XI including Blake.

Blake won MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors for a second time in his career as he led the Union to the best overall record in the league this season. The 29-year-old posted a 77.8 save percentage and allowed 18 goals in his regular-season appearances while his 13 wins were the most in MLS. Blake was the first goalkeeper ever selected number one overall in the MLS SuperDraft, as he is also the captain of Jamaica’s national team.

Mark McKenzie

McKenzie was the center of a backline which allowed just 20 goals over the course of the season as the Union finished atop the MLS in the standings. McKenzie was also named a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year honors after being named a finalist for Rookie of the Year in 2018.

This is McKenzie’s first Best XI selection in his third year in the league after he progressed through the Union academy.

Brenden Aaronson

Aaronson scored four goals and notched seven assists in 2020, starting all 23 games for the Union as lifted the Supporters Shield. In his first MLS season in 2019, Aaronson recorded three goals and two assists in 28 appearances, and a few months later he notched his first U.S. national team cap in February.

Just like McKenzie, this is Aaronson’s first Best XI selection.

This 2020 Union roster continues to reap the rewards of a phenomenal season and three players earning spots in the Best XI is the cherry on top.
Although these individual accolades are wonderful, this team has its sights set on something much bigger, and that is lifting the MLS Cup trophy in December.

Featured Image: Wes Shepherd/Philadelphia Sports Nation
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