|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||USA National Team|
|Club as Player||Schalke FC|
: 2019 06 01 Manchester City-bound goalkeeper Zack Steffen and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie headline the 28-man squad Gregg Berhalter is calling in for Wednesday’s friendly against Jamaica at Audi Field.
: 2019 06 06 Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie will all be part of Gregg Berhalter’s 23-man U.S. national team roster for the 2019 Gold Cup.
: 2019 06 23 Weston McKennie leads an unchanged U.S. national team lineup to face Trinidad and Tobago after recovering from the hamstring injury that forced him out of the U.S. team’s victory against Guyana.
2019 06 30 Retrieve
[Schalke confirms United States international Weston McKennie has signed a new five-year deal] The decision was very easy for me because I was constantly allowed to enjoy incredibly great support from the fans. The staff were also always behind me. I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming
2019 07 03 Retrieve
[Perfect Gold Cup record hiding worrying flaws for USMNT] We noticed some stuff in the things we can improve on for the next game. We realize what we can prevent, and what we can do more of offensively with better spacing as well.
2019 08 06 Retrieve
[Weston McKennie says he is fired up for the new Bundesliga season] I’m feeling good, but I’m not fully fit yet. That is totally normal after a long break though. I have had another week and a half of training and feel fitter every day. Our coaching staff work very hard with me and have created a special program to get me to 100 percent as quickly as possible. In Mittersill, for example, I completed a few extra training sessions with the fitness coaches. That is the aim [to be ready for the start of the season]. I want to help the team and I am fired up for the season
[McKennie recently signed a new deal with Schalke, putting pen to paper on a new deal in July that will keep him with the German side until 2024] The club approached me and I was immediately taken by the idea. My initial contract ran until 30 June 2022. It was not a difficult decision for me. I owe a lot to the club, I turned pro and I feel really happy here. [Wagner and I] have spoken several times. He is a good guy and suits Schalke. I’m looking forward to working with him
[McKennie, though, has a preference, and that preference is to play in a central role] I have shown in the past that I can play in almost any position. The only thing I can’t do is play in goal! I believe that I can show my abilities best as a holding or central midfielder. When I’m in the middle, I can see the game from all angles
2019 10 10 Retrieve
[With discontent on the rise, USMNT embarks on Nations League journey. Weston McKennie, however, denied that his side is under any added pressure] If we would have gotten a result against Mexico these six points would still matter the same as it does now
2019 11 14 Retrieve
[USMNT looking to rediscover intensity and send a message in Canada rematch] I’m pretty sure all you guys could see on the field the lack of intensity from us, the lack of desire I guess really with it being technically a derby, a rivalry. It kind of lacked. This week, the mentality from the guys, we went in and watched video from the game. We learned what we could have done better. We learned what our mistakes were. A lot of guys have a little sour taste in their mouth from that game and are ready to take on the challenge again and hopefully get a better result, a positive result
We can definitely show a little bit more pride. We’re giants of North America and we’re looking to show that nobody can really mess with us
2020 03 24 Retrieve
[McKennie embraces Dortmund’s rising star] He knows that if Gio Reyna ever needs anyone to hang out with or just wants to come over and chill, he’s more than welcome. Obviously right now in the circumstances, it’s a little bit hard to do such a thing, but I understand where he’s at right now, because at Dortmund he lives on the facility, and all the kids practically have gone home there. So he’s practically all alone by himself, which is kind of a bummer
Honestly it was a pretty crappy situation because I was thinking to myself like, the first camp we have in Europe in such a long time where I don’t have to travel like 10 hours, it’s cancelled. We had two good games, the Netherlands and Wales, and were really looking forward to it, but with the current situation you kind of have to take it on the chin and just look forward to the next thing.
I think many Americans and many people are looking forward to seeing how we do in qualifying and to see what this new group is about. God willing, this virus is over and we are able to play soccer again. I think that’s something that all of us are really, really looking forward to.
2020 03 24b Retrieve
[Schalke and USMNT star Weston McKennie pleased Schalke avoided ‘indescribable’ prospect of playing Revierderby with Dortmund without fans] I don’t want it to come off wrong, but I think many of us were happy that it [got cancelled]. Because as a player and with such a big game like the derby, to play it without fans would be almost indescribable. It’s a game that is one of the biggest in Germany and one of the biggest derbies around the world. You can empty the stadium, but there’s still going to be big gatherings around the city to watch the game. It doesn’t matter if you close the stadium or not. People are still going to be in contact with each other. And as far as the players, the risk is really low. But then whenever you think deeply, you say, ‘Ok, I don’t know where that player has been, who he’s around, like if he has it.’ And the tricky thing about it is some players don’t even show symptoms of it
[Fellow international team-mates Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams joined McKennie in donating to Feeding America as they look to help combat the coronavirus crisis back at home] 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 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 15 Retrieve
[Weston McKennie has also continued his professional development] 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 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 06 03 Retrieve
[Sancho, Hakimi, McKennie & Marcus Thuram avoid punishment from DFB for George Floyd tributes amid US protests] The DFB Control Committee will not initiate proceedings against Hakimi, Sancho, McKennie & Thuram. The committee also intends to maintain this line in new anti-racism campaigns to mark the death of George Floyd on the coming match days
2020 06 03b 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
2020 06 07 Retrieve
[USMNT enters uncharted territory as new generation takes political stand] 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
2020 06 10 Retrieve
[Weston McKennie says President Donald Trump a racist and ignorant] In my eyes, he can be called racist. I don’t think Trump is the right man for the job of president. I don’t think he understands his responsibility to the entire country. I think he’s ignorant. I don’t support him one bit. I don’t think he’s a man of his word.
[McKennie, who has earned 19 USMNT caps since making his debut in 2017, has stated that he plans to continue speaking out against racism] Basically, it’s important that we athletes are also committed to the fight against racism, because we have the exposure. That’s why it’s up to all of us