Weston McKennie

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Weston McKennie
USMNT vs. Trinidad and Tobago (48125032298) (cropped).jpg
McKennie with the United States at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
Personal information
Full name Weston James Earl McKennie[1]
Date of birth (1998-08-28) August 28, 1998 (age 22)
Place of birth Little Elm, Texas, United States[2]
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Juventus (on loan from Schalke 04)
Number 14
Youth career
2004–2009 FC Phönix Otterbach
2009–2016 FC Dallas
2016–2017 Schalke 04
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017– Schalke 04 75 (4)
2020–Juventus (loan) 5 (0)
National team
2013–2014 United States U17 6 (0)
2016 United States U19 9 (2)
2016 United States U20 2 (0)
2017– United States 21 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of November 26, 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of November 16, 2020

Weston James Earl McKennie (born August 28, 1998) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Juventus, on loan from Bundesliga club Schalke 04, and the United States national team. A versatile player, McKennie is capable of playing in a multitude of positions in midfield—mainly as a box-to-box or as a deep-lying defensive midfielder.

Coming through the youth system, McKennie began his senior club career at Bundesliga side Schalke 04. In 2017–18 he established himself as a first team player, playing 25 games in all competitions. After three seasons, McKennie moved to Italian champions Juventus on loan.

McKennie has represented the United States internationally, at both youth and senior level. He made his senior debut in 2017, and has finished runner-up in the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Early life[edit]

Weston McKennie grew up in Texas, but spent three years in Kaiserslautern, Germany, between the ages of six and nine. He started playing soccer for the local club FC Phönix Otterbach in 2004, before moving back to the United States.[3] McKennie played for the youth system of Major League Soccer side FC Dallas for seven years from 2009 to 2016, before moving to Schalke.[4] In fact, his transfer to Schalke and a few other cases, were the catalyst for FC Dallas to create their reserve team, North Texas SC, which plays in USL League One.[4]

In February 2016, McKennie signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Virginia,[5] but he subsequently turned down the scholarship offer to play for the Cavaliers, and instead sought to go professional.[6]

Club career[edit]

Schalke 04[edit]

2016–2018[edit]

McKennie with Schalke 04 in 2018

In July 2016 McKennie rejected the chance to sign a Homegrown Player contract with FC Dallas.[7] He joined German Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 in August 2016.[8]

After spending less than a year with Schalke's academy team, McKennie was promoted to the first-team squad in May 2017.[9] He made his professional debut on May 20, 2017, as a 77th-minute substitute during a 1–1 draw with FC Ingolstadt 04.[10] This was his only appearance during the 2016–17 season.[11] McKennie made his first start in September 2017 and signed a five-year contract shortly after.[12] During the same year, McKennie made 21 appearances and scored 4 goals with Schalke's U-19 team.

During the 2017–18 season, McKennie cemented his place as a member of the Schalke first team at the age of 19. He made over 22 appearances in the Bundesliga.[13] He finished the 2017–18 season with 25 appearances in all competitions.[14] Further, he proved to be a valuable asset to Schalke given his versatility, McKennie played in multiple positions in the midfield and defense of the team.[15]

2018–19 season[edit]

During the 2018–19 season, McKennie further increased his position with the Bundesliga club, starting 25 games for the club in both the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and UEFA Champions League.[13] Overall, McKennie made 33 appearances for the club and scored 2 goals in all competitions,[13] in which he scored his first Champions League goal in a 1–0 away win over Lokomotiv Moscow.[16]

2019–20 season[edit]

McKennie further established himself as an important part and valuable asset to a team that struggled to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic with new manager, and fellow American, David Wagner.[17] McKennie made a total of 28 appearances and scored three goals for Schalke in the Bundesliga.[13] McKennie made a further four appearances in the DFB-Pokal for the club.[13]

On May 30, 2020, during a 1–0 loss to SV Werder Bremen, McKennie wore an armband that said “Justice for George” following the murder of George Floyd in the United States.[18]

2020–21 season: Loan to Juventus[edit]

On August 29, 2020, it was announced that McKennie joined Serie A side Juventus on a year-long loan.[19] In doing so, he became Juventus' first player—and Serie A's fifth—from the United States.[19] The move was structured as an initial year-long loan for a fee of €4.5 million, with an option to make the loan permanent at the end of the season.[19] However, if McKennie meets certain performance incentives, the option will automatically trigger, and the deal will become permanent.[19] In both scenarios, the deal will be for €18.5 million, which could rise an additional €7 million.[19] On September 7, 2020 McKennie had his introductory press conference and was given the number 14.[20]

McKennie made his league debut for Juventus on September 20, 2020, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–0 league home win against Sampdoria.[21] McKennie made his Champions League debut for the club in the second match of the group stage, coming on in the 75th minute of a 2–0 home defeat to Barcelona.[22] On November 1, 2020, McKennie got on the score sheet for the first time for Juventus, earning an assist on the opening goal by Álvaro Morata in a 4–1 win against Spezia.[23] On November 24, 2020, McKennie started a Champions League match against Ferencváros, becoming the first American international in Italy to do so.[24]

International career[edit]

McKennie with the United States at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup

McKennie has played with various United States youth teams, including the under-17 and under-20 national teams. McKennie earned his first senior team callup for the United States' friendly against Portugal on November 14, 2017, scoring on his debut.[25][26]

McKennie's first international assist came in the opening game of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Guyana at Allianz Field in a 4–0 win. McKennie scored the lone goal for the U.S. on June 30, 2019 to help them secure a 1–0 win in the Gold Cup quarter-finals against Curaçao. McKennie notched his second goal in the semi-finals against Jamaica in the 19th minute.

On October 12, 2019, McKennie scored the fastest hat-trick in the U.S. men's national team's history, scoring three goals in thirteen minutes in a CONCACAF Nations League game against Cuba.[27]

Style of play[edit]

McKennie is known for his versatility as a player. During his time at Schalke, McKennie played in numerous positions including the midfield, center back, fullback, and even striker.[28] However, he has primarily played as either a box-to-box midfielder or as deeper-lying defensive role.[29]

McKennie's primary attributes are his defensive ability and work rate as well as his ability to win the ball back.[29] Further, his skilled passing allows him to dictate the flow of the game and push the ball forward from deep-lying positions.[30]

Personal life[edit]

On October 14, 2020, McKennie tested positive for COVID-19 amid its pandemic in Italy.[31]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played November 24, 2020[32]
Club Season League National Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Schalke 04 2016–17 Bundesliga 1 0 0 0 1 0
2017–18 Bundesliga 22 0 3 0 25 0
2018–19 Bundesliga 24 1 3 0 6[a] 1 33 2
2019–20 Bundesliga 28 3 4 0 32 3
Total 75 4 10 0 6 1 0 0 91 5
Juventus (loan) 2020–21 Serie A 5 0 0 0 3[a] 0 0 0 8 0
Career total 80 4 10 0 9 1 0 0 99 5
  1. ^ a b Appearances in UEFA Champions League

International[edit]

As of match played November 16, 2020[33]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
United States 2017 1 1
2018 6 0
2019 12 5
2020 2 0
Total 21 6
As of goal scored on October 11, 2019
Scores and results list the United States' goal tally first, score column indicates score after each McKennie goal.
List of international goals scored by Weston McKennie
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 November 14, 2017 Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa, Leiria, Portugal  Portugal 1–0 1–1 Friendly
2 June 30, 2019 Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, United States  Curaçao 1–0 1–0 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
3 July 3, 2019 Nissan Stadium, Nashville, United States  Jamaica 1–0 3–1 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup
4 October 11, 2019 Audi Field, Washington, D.C., United States  Cuba 1–0 7–0 2019–20 CONCACAF Nations League A
5 2–0
6 4–0

Honors[edit]

International[edit]

United States

References[edit]

  1. ^ "40-Player National Team Roster: 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup: United States" (PDF). CONCACAF. p. 16. Retrieved May 21, 2019 – via Bernews.
  2. ^ "U.S. prospect Weston McKennie is living his dream in Germany". ESPN FC / Howler Magazine.
  3. ^ Uerfsfeld, Stephan (April 4, 2017). "Schalke's Weston McKennie dreaming of following Christian Pulisic's path". ESPN FC. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Sidway, Scott (September 23, 2016). "How FC Dallas became home to the best academy in the United States". MLS. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  5. ^ "Virginia Welcomes 10 Student-Athletes for 2016-17". Virginia Cavaliers men's soccer. University of Virginia. February 26, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  6. ^ Straus, Brian (November 10, 2017). "Schalke's Weston McKennie Copes With Missed World Cup, Eyes Bright US Future". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  7. ^ Stejskal, Sam. "Dallas trying to sign US U-20 Weston McKennie, say he hasn't joined Schalke". MLS. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Joseph, Brendan. "Weston McKennie signs with FC Schalke". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  9. ^ "Schalke promote American duo McKennie and Wright to senior squad". bundesliga.com.
  10. ^ "Ingolstadt vs. Schalke 04 – 20 May 2017 – Soccerway". uk.soccerway.com.
  11. ^ "Weston McKennie". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Schalke tie U.S. youngster Weston McKennie to new five-year deal".
  13. ^ a b c d e "USA - W. McKennie - Profile with news, career statistics and history - Soccerway". us.soccerway.com. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  14. ^ "Weston McKennie". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  15. ^ "What is Weston McKennie's best position for Schalke and the USA?". bundesliga.com - the official Bundesliga website. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  16. ^ "Weston McKennie: My first #UCL goal". UEFA. December 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Weston McKennie shines for floundering Schalke 04". www.socceramerica.com. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  18. ^ "American Weston McKennie wears 'Justice for George' armband during Bundesliga game". tampabay.com. May 30, 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d e Juventus.com. "Welcome Weston!". Juventus.com. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  20. ^ Press, Associated. "McKennie: Juventus Move 'A Dream That Has Become a Reality'". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  21. ^ "Juventus-Sampdoria, le pagelle: McKennie stupisce, Kulusevski geniale | Goal.com". www.goal.com. Retrieved September 20, 2020.
  22. ^ "Juventus vs. Barcelona score: Dembele, Messi fire Koeman's men past Ronaldo-less Juve". CBSSports.com. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  23. ^ "Spezia vs. Juventus - Football Match Report - November 1, 2020 - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 1, 2020.
  24. ^ "Juventus 2–1 Ferencváros". UEFA. November 24, 2020.
  25. ^ "USA's new era starts with draw against European champions Portugal". theguardian.com. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  26. ^ "Weston McKennie man of the match as U.S. earn draw in Portugal". espnfc.com. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  27. ^ sport, Guardian; agencies (October 12, 2019). "Weston McKennie scores record hat-trick as USA hammer seven past Cuba". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  28. ^ "What is Weston McKennie's best position for Schalke and the USA?". bundesliga.com - the official Bundesliga website. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  29. ^ a b "Tactical Analysis: Weston McKennie, Schalke's jack-of-all-trades". Total Football Analysis Magazine. January 10, 2019. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  30. ^ flopping, serving as the site expert of the aptly named “Pain in the Arsenal ” He despises; picture, is proud that his fellow Americans are finally getting the; Footballseriously, Taking (November 6, 2017). "Scout Report: Weston McKennie | Schalke's American stalwart • Outside of the Boot". Outside of the Boot. Retrieved August 29, 2020.
  31. ^ "Juventus: McKennie positive for Covid-19". Football Italia. October 14, 2020.
  32. ^ "Weston McKennie » Club matches". WorldFootball.net.
  33. ^ a b "USA - W. McKennie - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. Retrieved June 2, 2018.

External links[edit]