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Wright, McKennie called up to Schalke first team

With the Bundesliga season coming to a close, two American youngsters may get a chance to impress on the final matchday of the campaign.

Schalke has called up Haji Wright and Weston McKennie from the Under-19 side to the first team ahead of the club’s game against Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt, which has already been relegated.

The Royal Blues have virtually nothing left to play for on Saturday, so this could be a perfect opportunity for Wright and McKennie to earn some minutes with the senior squad.

Both youngsters have been impressive with the U-19 side this season. Wright has been one of the top attackers, bagging 12 goals in 26 appearances. McKennie, meanwhile has racked up 21 appearances in midfield, scoring four times.

Recently, U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos revealed that he attempted to call McKennie and fellow Schalke midfielder Nick Taitague in for the U-20 World Cup. Schalke opted not to release the players.


  1. While I’m happy for them, this isn’t the first time they’ve been called into the first team, so unless they make the game-day roster and/or play, it’s nothing to get too excited about. Most clubs, not fighting off relegation or trying to get a Europa/CL spot, will call up young players who have performed well at the youth level as a reward and/or further evaluation heading into the off-season. They do this to see if they need to buy someone in the transfer window or if the youth ranks may offer the depth they need/want for the next season.

    • You are correct it is the equivalent of the September call-up in baseball, but their other call up was during an international break when others were away. I don’t expect to see them play either though, much like Olesunde was on the travel squad at ManU a few weeks back.

  2. If they get on the pitch they need to follow’s Klinsmann’s admonition to seize the opportunity. Play like there is no tomorrow and go all out for as long as they can. Show the coach they need to be with the first team next season.

    • Not sure where Klinsmann comes into that. That should be the mindset of a young professional getting a shot, regardless of what Klinsmann has said.

  3. Good for them, even if they don’t dress it will be good experience to see how game preparation is done at the top level. Also probably takes a little sting off the Junior A semi lost on penalties this week. Interesting with forward a presumed need for U20 squad that Ramos mentioned not getting MFs McKennie and Taitague, but not the forward Wright.

      • Tab wasn’t impressed with Wright, he only talked about the other 2. It may be a moot point since Schalke wasn’t going to let anyone go.

  4. Good for the boys! I hope they can play a part in the finale and can continue to show that american players are on the up tick in european football!


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