|Desc||If it’s a position that doesn’t involve wearing goalkeeper gloves, Weston McKennie has probably played there this season. McKennie has emerged as Schalke’s Swiss Army Knife under former USMNT midfielder David Wagner, stepping in all over the field during what has been an injury-filled campaign for the club. He’s played 24 games for Schalke this season and, with the league back underway, the club hopes to make a push towards a European berth from their current sixth-place spot|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Schalke FC|
2020 03 28 Retrieve
[Schalke and USA midfielder Weston McKennie on current situation] We kind of put our heads together and wanted to help out with the current situation even though we are over here in Europe. We definitely pay attention to how this coronavirus is affecting America, so we teamed up with Feeding America, and we’ve decided to donate together. Hunger has been a struggle in America for a long time. And with the coronavirus and the effects that it has on people losing their jobs and people not being able to go out in public, I think donations can definitely help get people the food that they need
2020 05 08 Retrieve
[Schalke’s McKennie wants Premier League move] For me, the next goal is England. It has always been my dream to play in the Premier League. I want to join a club that fights for a place in Europe – the Champions League or the Europa League. For now, I’m happy at Schalke because I get to play
[Yet while McKennie has firmly established himself as one to watch, things could have turned out much differently for the American, who admits he knew little about the sport when making his first foray into football] I didn’t know what soccer was, I only knew baseball, basketball and [American] football. That was it. I did my very first trial in American football cleats and a polo shirt!
[As such, getting to grips with the German language and socialising was far easier than it might have been for others] My mother always said that I was a social butterfly. I could have been friends with a rock. It was relatively easy for me to relearn German again, I hadn’t forgotten too much
[The Schalke ace will likely have to alert his sleeping pattern, which has been flipped on its head during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown] On days off, I get up at 1pm, I’m on the couch at 2pm, I watch Netflix at 3pm and I only train in the evening. I train at around midnight, or sometimes 1am. It’s not until 5am that I go to bed.
2020 05 21 Retrieve
[McKennie disputes claims that USMNT doesn’t have identity] Whenever I think of the national team, I think of the collective group – that we know what we want to do, we know the type of players we have, and everybody knows what they have to offer, what we can do and everyone knows our abilities. When they say it’s a lack of identity, I don’t agree with that at all either. Our group is so close together, and so molded together and understand each other so well, it’s something I haven’t experienced in a long time. Cristian Roldan is a good example. He doesn’t start many of the games, but the thing is, the games I have played and started on the national team – he is such a team player. That’s probably the biggest team player I’ve ever met in my life. I’ll come in at halftime and he’ll leave his spot, come sit down next to me and tell me things like, ‘Wes, if you can open up to this pocket here, you’ll be able to get the ball more because they’re closing that midfield down’
2020 05 30 Retrieve
[McKennie says he’ll continue to speak out against racism following Floyd tribute] I felt like it was my responsibility and my duty, especially being American, and with the situation going on in America. And I felt like it was the best and biggest platform that I could use to spread awareness. Of course, maybe some people don’t agree with it, but that’s their opinion and for me, I felt like it was my duty and my responsibility to go out to show justice for George Floyd. This is a problem that’s been going on way too long. We’re the only league that’s playing right now, all eyes are on the Bundesliga. So I felt like there’s no better way and no better time than now. I wouldn’t even say that it was surprising, but it definitely was sickening. When a man of that age cries out for his mother, his dead mother, he’s essentially crying out ‘please help me’. He knows that he’s not going to make it out. It’s hard to watch. Many of my teammates here saw it and are also disgusted. It’s something that touches you in a different way. It’s too much and it needs to be brought to attention. It needs to stop. There are too many social injustices and too many police brutality incidences where they say ‘it’s an accident’. An accident happens once or twice, but when it’s happened so many times like it has now, it can’t be overlooked anymore
2020 05 30b Retrieve
[McKennie also added that he did not speak to the club before donning the armband, admitting that he should have, while the American star added that he was asked by the referee to remove the armband during the match] I was like, ‘I’m not taking it off’. There’s a rule in the league that you can’t make political statements. But I mean, if you really, really look at this as a political statement, then I don’t know what to tell you. The league and everyone (in soccer) always preaches ‘say no to racism’. So I didn’t think that there would be a problem. If I have to take the consequences to express my opinion, to express my feelings, to stand up for what I believe in, then that’s something that I have to do. My message for those people is that, yeah, we’re athletes, but we’re humans first. I know that I will continue to pay tribute to George Floyd in some way and not just him, but for the many senseless deaths that have happened in these situations. I believe that athletes have one of the biggest platforms to influence and if their followers don’t like what they believe in, they don’t have to follow them. If they don’t like what they believe in, they don’t have to support them. But I shouldn’t have to change what I believe in and what my opinion is, based on the people that follow me. It doesn’t work like that
2020 05 30c Retrieve
[McKennie could potentially be in his final season with Schalke, having expressed a desire to move to the Premier League earlier this month] For me, the next goal is England. It has always been my dream to play in the Premier League. I want to join a club that fights for a place in Europe – the Champions League or the Europa League. For now, I’m happy at Schalke because I get to play.
2020 06 03 Retrieve
[McKennie, Pulisic and Adams headline video protesting police brutality] This has been going on for way too long. To the cops out there that continue to abuse their power, the world is watching now. Enough is enough