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Weston McKennie impressing in preseason with Schalke senior squad

18-year-old Weston McKennie is impressing with Schalke’s senior squad this summer.

After making his senior debut in Schalke’s final Bundesliga match of last season, the U.S. youth international is looking to earn a permanent place with the club. McKennie is coming off a standout display against Besiktas on Thursday in China, where he added an assist in a 3-2 victory.

The midfielder has shown good energy with the senior squad, and looks ready for his first full season in the German top-flight. McKennie has received praise from both Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel and goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann.

“The way Weston acts in the senior squad is impressive,” Heidel toldĀ Der Westen.

“Weston already showed in our last league match at Ingolstadt that he has potential even though he wasn’t on a lot of people’s radar,” Fahrmann said.

It won’t be easy for McKennie as he aims to make the senior squad, but his work ethic has not changed. Under new head coach Domenico Tedesco, McKennie says he feels comfortable and has learned a lot.

“The coach believes in us. You can feel that,” McKennie said. “He is very communicative and really talks to every player. He says what is working well and gives everyone something they can work to improve on. That helps me a lot.”


  1. Honestly, how many here Had foreseen that this guy might be a breakout player before about a few months ago? I would have put my money first on Wright and wasn’t even aware of this guy. Just goes to show you never can tell, especially with young players. A lot of time it’s not only innate talent, but rate of development and what’s inside–desire, discipline, perserverence.

    • I’ve seen analysts on Twitter that have been singing his praises for at least a year now. I would say Perez, Taitague, Wright, and Gaines are all below him on the hype train when it comes to European based players (just from my observations on social media), and every one of those guys have passionate supporters. The only Euro-based guy that I would say is consistently considered a better prospect, at that age group, is Carter-Vickers. I may be missing someone, though.

      • You definitely have to have been following the prospect side of the “soccernet” to have been aware of Mckennie. Most of the mainstream soccer media didn’t spend much time on him until May. Plus as a central midfielder, he isn’t scoring goals like the three Ben mentioned so he’s harder to follow. Word out of Schalke even last August when he began training was saying that Weston was much closer to being ready than Wright, but we are familiar with Wright because of his YNT play and Galaxy/Cosmos connections.

      • Will Parchman is an outstanding follow on Twitter if you are interested in prospect news. Seems to really know his stuff, and is very high on McKennie.

      • @babynatsabroad, @accrossthepond, and @USAprospects are also good, they end up retweeting each other a lot though. @accrossthepond is doing a blog post every Sunday with a run down of how each American is doing in their preseason matches right now, that’s worth a read,

  2. Started and went 45 minutes against Inter today. Most of the players were subbed on the short rest and warm conditions in China. Wright left with an apparent injury after subbing in in the 64th minute, hopefully just precautionary.


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