Weston McKennie

Weston James Earl McKennie (born August 28, 1998) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a midfielder for Serie A club Juventus 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.

Weston McKennie
USAvVEN 2019-06-09 - Paul Arriola, Weston McKennie, Gyasi Zardes (51170534993) (cropped 2).jpg
McKennie with the United States in 2019
Personal information
Full name Weston James Earl McKennie[1]
Date of birth (1998-08-28) August 28, 1998 (age 23)
Place of birth Fort Lewis, Washington, United States[2]
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[3]
Position(s) Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 14
Youth career
2004–2009 FC Phönix Otterbach
2009–2016 FC Dallas
2016–2017 Schalke 04
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2017–2021 Schalke 04 75 (4)
2020–2021Juventus (loan) 21 (4)
2021– Juventus 16 (1)
National team
2013–2014 United States U17 6 (0)
2016 United States U19 9 (2)
2016 United States U20 2 (0)
2017– United States 25 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:41, September 22, 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of September 2, 2021

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, with the deal becoming permanent in March 2021.

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

Early life

Born in Fort Lewis, Washington, McKennie lived in Kaiserslautern, Germany, from age six to nine as his father, a United States Air Force officer, was stationed at nearby Ramstein Air Base.[4] McKennie started playing soccer for the local club FC Phönix Otterbach in 2004, before moving back to the United States.[5] McKennie played for the youth system of Major League Soccer side FC Dallas for seven years from 2009 to 2016, before moving to Schalke.[6] His transfer to Schalke was the main catalyst for FC Dallas to create their reserve team, North Texas SC, which plays in USL League One.[6]

In February 2016, McKennie signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Virginia,[7] but he subsequently turned down the scholarship offer to play for the Cavaliers, and instead sought to go professional.[8]

Club career

Schalke 04


McKennie with Schalke 04 in 2018

In July 2016 McKennie declined to sign a Homegrown Player contract with FC Dallas.[9] He joined German Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 in August 2016.[10]

After spending less than a year with Schalke's academy team, McKennie was promoted to the first-team squad in May 2017.[11] He made his professional debut on May 20, 2017, as a 77th-minute substitute during a 1–1 draw with FC Ingolstadt 04.[12] This was his only appearance during the 2016–17 season.[13] McKennie made his first start in September 2017 and signed a five-year contract shortly after.[14] 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.[15] He finished the 2017–18 season with 25 appearances in all competitions.[16] 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.[17]

2018–19 season

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.[15] Overall, McKennie made 33 appearances for the club and scored 2 goals in all competitions,[15] in which he scored his first Champions League goal in a 1–0 away win over Lokomotiv Moscow.[18]

2019–20 season

Under new manager David Wagner, McKennie further established himself as an important part and valuable asset of a team that struggled to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.[19] McKennie made a total of 28 appearances and scored three goals for Schalke in the Bundesliga.[15] McKennie made a further four appearances in the DFB-Pokal for the club.[15]

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.[20]


2020–21 season

On August 29, 2020, it was announced that McKennie joined Serie A side Juventus on a year-long loan.[21] In doing so, he became Juventus' first player—and Serie A's fifth—from the United States.[21] 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.[21] However, if McKennie meets certain performance incentives, the option will automatically trigger, and the deal will become permanent.[21] In both scenarios, the deal will be for €18.5 million, which could rise an additional €7 million.[21] On September 7, McKennie had his introductory press conference and was given the number 14.[22]

McKennie made his league debut for Juventus on September 20, starting and playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–0 league home win against Sampdoria.[23] 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.[24] On November 1, 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.[25] On November 24, McKennie started a Champions League match against Ferencváros, becoming the first American international in Italy to do so.[26] McKennie scored his first goal for Juventus on December 5, in the Derby della Mole against Torino; he scored the equalizer of the match, which eventually ended in a 2–1 win.[27] Three days later, McKennie scored his first Champions League goal for Juventus—a scissor kick on the volley—against Barcelona,[28] helping his team win 3–0 away from home and finish in first place in their group.[29] On January 6, 2021, McKennie scored a goal against league-leaders Milan in a 3–1 away win; it was Milan's first league defeat in 27 games.[30]

On March 3, 2021, Juventus exercised their purchase option for €18.5 million, plus €6.5 million in potential bonuses, on a four-year contract.[31] McKennie started for Juventus in the Coppa Italia Final against Atalanta; he assisted Dejan Kulusevski for the team's first goal in an eventual 2–1 win.[32] McKennie finished the 2020–21 season with six goals in 46 appearances in all competitions.[15]

International career

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.[33][34]

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.[35]

On June 6, 2021, McKennie scored a decisive 2–2 equalizer in the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League Final against rivals Mexico, bringing the game to extra time.[36] The game ultimately ended 3–2 to the United States, and McKennie was nominated Player of the Tournament.[37]

On September 7, 2021, during the final round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, McKennie was dropped from the national team for breaking COVID-19 team protocols by bringing a guest into his hotel room while the team was in Nashville, Tennessee, for their match against Canada. As a result, he missed the final two matches of the series.[38][39]

Style of play

McKennie is known for his versatility as a player. During his time at Schalke, McKennie played in numerous positions including in midfield, as a center-back, full-back, and even as a striker.[40] However, he has primarily played as either a box-to-box midfielder or in a deeper-lying defensive role.[41] During his time with Juventus, he has been used in several midfield positions, including as a wide midfielder, in a holding role, or even as a more offensive–minded central midfielder, known as the mezzala role in Italian football jargon.[42]

McKennie's primary attributes are his defensive skills and work rate, as well as his ability to win back the ball.[41] Furthermore, his passing allows him to dictate the flow of the game and push the ball forward from deep-lying positions in midfield.[43] His ball-winning qualities, combined with his positioning, tactical intelligence, eye for goal from midfield, and ability to make late attacking runs into the box led Alberto Mauro of Il Messaggero to be compare him to former Juventus midfielders Edgar Davids and Arturo Vidal; McKennie's technical ability was cited as an area in need of improvement, however.[42]

Personal life

On October 14, 2020, McKennie tested positive for COVID-19 amid its pandemic in Italy.[44]

Career statistics


As of match played September 22, 2021[45]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
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 21 4 3 0 6[a] 1 1[b] 0 31 5
Juventus 2020–21 Serie A 13 1 1 0 1[a] 0 15 1
2021–22 Serie A 3 0 0 0 1[a] 0 0 0 4 0
Total 16 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 19 1
Career total 112 9 14 0 14 2 1 0 141 11
  1. ^ a b c d Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
  2. ^ Appearance in Supercoppa Italiana


As of match played September 2, 2021[46]
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
2021 4 1
Total 25 7
As of match played June 6, 2021
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
7 June 6, 2021 Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, United States   Mexico 2–2 3–2 (a.e.t.) 2021 CONCACAF Nations League Final



United States



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  5. ^ Uerfsfeld, Stephan (April 4, 2017). "Schalke's Weston McKennie dreaming of following Christian Pulisic's path". ESPN FC. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Virginia Welcomes 10 Student-Athletes for 2016-17". Virginia Cavaliers men's soccer. University of Virginia. February 26, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
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  36. ^ Das, Andrew (June 7, 2021). "U.S. 3, Mexico 2: All the Plot Twists". The New York Times.
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  38. ^ Carlisle, Jeff (September 7, 2021). "McKennie dismissed by USMNT for two COVID protocol violations, including bringing unauthorized individual into bubble - sources". ESPN. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
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  43. ^ 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.
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  45. ^ "Weston McKennie » Club matches". WorldFootball.net.
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External links