Philadelphia Sports Day

For Soccer Ventures Debuts ‘Orange Slices,’ Hosted by Emerging USMNT, Phila Union star Mark McKenzie

For Soccer Ventures (FSV), an organization focused on the growth and long-term development of American soccer, today announced the official launch of “Orange Slices,” a new podcast hosted by former US Men’s National Team player and Major League Soccer All-Star Heath Pearce and twenty one year old emerging U.S. international Mark McKenzie of the Philadelphia Union. The podcast celebrates the past, present, and future of American soccer through generational storytelling and unprecedented access to rising U.S. stars around the world. “Orange Slices” is FSV’s second podcast, joining “Best Soccer Show” hosted by Jason Davis and Jared Dubois.

The first two episodes feature 2020 Bayern Munich defender and current UEFA Champions League player Chris Richards, and former U.S. National Team and Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu. Both will discuss their experiences playing abroad, representing American soccer to global audiences, their personal and professional challenges, and the effort to rebuild the fan base and trust of the National Team after the tumultuous 2018 World Cup Qualifying campaign. The two shows will debut on all podcast platforms, including Spotify and iTunes on December 9th.

“Our goal with ‘Orange Slices’ is to dive deeper into the challenges and opportunities facing the current generation of players as both elite athletes and outspoken personalities in a time of global cultural change,” Pearce, who is also FSV’s Chief Creative Officer, said. “My role is to provide Mark and our guests with a bit of perspective on where we’ve come from as a soccer nation, and to help guide a lively conversation that takes fans beyond the on-field discussion. Our athletes have a lot to say, and this podcast provides a megaphone to connect with the diverse soccer community in this country.”

“It’s exceedingly rare for an up-and-coming player like me to have the platform not only to share my experiences with the Union and the USMNT, but also those of my peers, who may actually have a very different experience themselves,” McKenzie added. “’These episodes aren’t just for fans, but also a younger audience seeking great storytelling. In many ways these are universal stories of the struggles and successes and lives of athletes, many of whom I admire and work with, and continue to learn from as well. We think it will be a unique narrative journey many will enjoy and share.”

Through rotating segments, the show will explore the unique culture of American soccer, from the muddy fields and halftime orange slices of youth soccer to the biggest games won and lost on the world’s stage. Each episode will incorporate classic stories and learning examples with a fresh perspective from the younger generation reshaping the game in America.

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