LOOKING BACK AT STANDOUT MARK MCKENZIE AND OTHER STARS FROM THAT SQUAD
In March 2013, EDP Soccer brought a group of U14 players to one of the most prestigious youth soccer tournaments in the world, the Dallas Cup. The EDP Select Team was composed of top players from the EDP League, who came together to compete with top teams from around the world. The team went unbeaten in the group stage, winning all 3 games without giving up a goal. They first defeated Skhy FC from Trinidad and Tobago, then beat Seleccion RCL Soccer Monterrey from Mexico, and finished the group stage with a victory over Arsenal FC from California. The team's fantastic run came to an end in the quarterfinal, when they were defeated by eventual finalist CF Monterrey Rayados from Mexico.
Leading the team was one of the EDP League top players of all time, former Philadelphia Union star Mark McKenzie who recently signed for KRC Genk in Belgium. McKenzie would go on to play collegiate soccer for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons before signing as a homegrown player for Philadelphia Union on January 18, 2018. McKenzie was nominated for Rookie of the Year in his first season, and has been a mainstay on the Union backline ever since. On February 1, 2020, McKenzie earned his first senior cap for the national team as a substitute in a friendly match against Costa Rica.
Another member of the squad was midfielder Anthony Fontana, who is also a member of the Philadelphia Union. Fontana signed as a homegrown player on July 17, 2017. Fontana made his first start for the first team on March 3, 2018 against the New England Revolution, and scored a goal in his debut. Fontana has also represented the US, when he was a member of the U20 National Team in the 2018 Concacaf U23 Championships.
NCAA Division I National Champions Jack Beer and Rio Hope Gund were also part of the squad who traveled to Texas. Playing collegiately for the Georgetown Hoyas, both players were instrumental during their Junior year in the squad's 2019 National Championship run. Jack Beer was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Big East Tournament, and Rio Hope-Gund started 20 games for the Hoyas, and was part of the back line that posted 13 shutouts during the season. Rio’s brother Kofi was the keeper for the squad during the event that kept three clean sheets in the group stage. Kofi would go on to play for Amherst College, who were NCAA Division III National Finalists in 2019.
Rounding out the squad was a long list of players who would go on the play in collegiate soccer. Andrew Aprahamian plays at Stanford University, and was part of the college's NCAA National Championship in 2017. Kian Alberto at Colgate, Alexis Ayala at Ursinus, Francisco Corral at Georigan Court, Kexxer Carmarco at University of Delaware, Jonathan Filipe at Fairfield, Jacob Frank at High Point, Evan Godfrey at Liberty, Matthew Howlett at Scranton, Kirtis Orson at Duquesne, Gililiano Santucci at Iona and Conrad William at University of Rhode Island.