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Weston McKennie puts together solid performance in start vs. Bayern Munich

 

The result may not have gone his way, but American midfielder Weston McKennie made a solid impression in his biggest test to date.

The Schalke midfielder played 58 minutes against Bayern Munich on Tuesday in his first career Bundesliga start. Stationed in the heart of the midfield, McKennie generally remained deeper as Bayern retained a bulk of the possession. Save for a bad giveaway or two, McKennie looked fairly comfortable against the Bundesliga’s best side before being removed in favor of attacker Breel Embolo.

At the time of McKennie’s substitution, Schalke was down, 2-0, due to a Robert Lewandowski penalty in the 25th minute and a James Rodriguez finish four minutes later. In the 75th minute, Arturo Vidal added another to cap the scoreline at 3-0.

After joining the Schalke first team at the tail end of last season, McKennie has made a few appearances for the club to start the current campaign. He’d earned 25 minutes of league play in two appearances heading into Tuesday’s start while featuring for a 55-minute performance in DFB-Pokal action.

Comments

    • No, they will not because a league without promotion and relegation is not a real league.

      Promotion and relegation are good because 90% of all the teams will never win anything so their only ambition is not to be relegated. So, in a way, if you don’t get relegated, that is a trophy, sort of what Arsene Wenger believes finishing in the top four means getting a trophy.

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  1. Danny Williams – Huddersfield Town – Premier league
    Geoff Cameron – Stoke City – Premier League
    Weston McKennie – Schalke – Bundesliga
    Emerson Hyndman – Bournemouth – Premier league
    Michael Bradley – Toronto FC – MLS
    I ready don’t understand it sometimes!!!

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    • To be fair Hyndman has never played a Premier League Match. Bradley could still be playing in either of those leagues or Serie A if he had chosen to. He likely wouldn’t have seen a lot of time at Roma going forward but could have played for any of the teams those other players play for.

      Bradley with five-man midfield with a playmaker (Vazquez) in front of him to be most effective. The US doesn’t play that way because they want 2 of 3 of Wood, Altidore, and Dempsey on the field. The difference between Atlanta and Toronto is Bradley, he solidifies the TFC defense.

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      • Johnnyrazor lol, please please please
        “Bradley could still be playing in either of those leagues or Serie A if he had chosen to”….IF HE HAD CHOSEN TO????
        Have you heard of ANY offers from ANY team in ANY top league for Bradley? If he chooses to? hahahaha…. I absolutely don’t think so….TFC and MLS is it for him

      • Bizzy- Its hard to compare players at different stages as well. Bradley likely wouldn’t make the money TFC is paying him were he to go back to Europe and TFC isn’t likely to want to take a loss on the transfer fees so we’ll probably never know.
        —–As far as Green he was so hard to tell because really didn’t get minutes for Bayern in matches against actual top league teams, but during his last few NT friendly matches he was the class of the squad, then he goes to the 2.Bundesliga and is sent to the bench.
        —–If McKennie and Williams continue to get regular minutes they should be considered for Russia, the same with Gonzalez, I’m not really sure where Hyndman plays anymore, he moved to the wing for Fulham, CAM for Rangers, and now was back on the wing for Bournemouth, but if he starts getting regular time(doesn’t have to start) he should be considered too. I just don’t see any of them as a solution for October other than Williams (who may now be hurt). Cameron at CB with Bradley as a #6 or8 is better than Omar with Cameron in front as a #6 or #8. Cameron would have to play next to Bradley or another DM as well he is not a steady enough passer to link the back to the forward line without help (just like Bradley).

    • cameron is our starting cb when healthy, mckennie hasn’t yet started a game in the bundesliga (hopefully soon), and hyndman has basically not played for like 6 months. the only player on your list whose exclusion *maybe* should raise eyebrows is williams (he earned it with his play last year, imo), but it would likely be alongside bradley, so he still wouldn’t replace him.

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      • Cameron has played DM in one of the best league in the world against some of the best teams in the world. How many times have the USMNT played Gonzo / Besler or Gonzo / Brooks in the back??? During these periods Bradley shouldn’t be on the field.
        A player’s development has a lot to do the the competition around him; competition against other teams or competition against teammates for playing time. With that said, CURRENT Bradley cannot make Schalke starting 11 (not even on his best day). Weston McKennie puts together solid performance in start vs. Bayern Munich…..not Seattle Sounders, Not New York Red Bulls….Bayern Munich!!!!
        “the only player on your list whose exclusion *maybe* should raise eyebrows is williams”
        Michael Bradley is better than a player: that plays in the EPL? That was seen and selected by a newly promoted team to help them perform in the EPL? That a newly promoted team has confidence and belief in to keep them in the EPL? hahahaha, no it’s not even something to think about. At a DM/CM, ALL THESE PLAYERS ARE
        (1) PLAYING AT A HIGHER LEVEL THAN MICHAEL BRADLEY
        (2) PLAYING ON A BETTER TEAM THAN THE TEAM OF MICHAEL BRADLEY
        (3) PLAYING ON TEAMS THAT MICHAEL BRADLEY CANNOT PLAY ON

      • @johnnyrazor

        yeah, i’m an idiot. read midweek game and auto-translated to cup.

        regardless, my point was that he’s just gotten his first start, so it shouldn’t be a headscratcher that he hasn’t been called in to replace bradley yet.

      • @bizzy

        dude, calm down, it’s not like what we say here is going to make any difference anyway 🙂

        i agree that cameron is our best dm. that said, he’s also our best cb, and that’s (apparently) where he’s going to play until someone else is good enough to allow him to move somewhere else. (similar to fabian’s situation as our left back). so moot point when it comes to replacing bradley.

        and weston got his first start yesterday, *after* these last qualifiers, so what don’t you understand about him not replacing bradley yet? you want bruce to come out with an announcement that, as of now, weston has jumped over bradley in the depth chart?

        lastly, you and i have no idea if bradley could play for schalke’s 11, all things (mostly $$$) being equal. did you think julian green was better than everyone on a lesser team when he was getting minutes at bayern? sometimes it’s a little more complicated than who is owned by which club.

  2. He was solid in the air and good in his positioning defensively. Challenges for balls and presses hard in his area. He does cover a lot of ground. I didnt see a ton of speed on a few counter opportunities but he could have been gassed. His passing and instincts were good. Seemed a little too quick to give up the ball a few times rather than taking space and had a couppe bad give aways that sprung bayern counters but i thought he was good. Tougher and stronger than Acosta but maybe not quite the motor. He was good and looks promising. Needs gametime and confodence and nearly 60 minutes against Bayern ahould help with both.

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  3. Totally didn’t expect Tedesco to start McKennie today. He’s been mop-up duty so far, and the mids in front of him are fairly young and they don’t have any euro games, so they’re not gassed. Of course Tedesco seems to like him a lot and they do seem to want to break him in slowly, but to get his first start against BM seems unusual, but a good sign. I didn’t get to see the game, but will try to catch the replay tonite.

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    • I had a hunch he would start. If I’m Schalke’s coach, I’m thinking we probably won’t win vs. Bayern, so let’s give the kid a run and see how he does. Meanwhile, other players legs might be a little fresher for Saturday’s game vs. Hoffenheim.

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  4. Not saying he should start for US but if he can start against Bayern Munich then he should atleast be on the speed dial for Arena to get a call for next camp and Gonzalez. Forget experience that has proven sh!t for the national team so far. Bring these kids in and get a look. Sometimes being young and naive could be better than having all the experience in the world. Arena needs to stop wasting people’s time with some of these pointless call ups. I would take talent over experience 9/10 times.

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    • Completely agree about the talent vs experience comment. Germany had the second youngest squad at the 2010 WC and was in the bottom third at 2014. The best teams don’t hesitate to put their most talented players on the field regardless of their age, and we need to do the same. It could pay huge dividends in 2022 and 2026.

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  5. He played a bit more deep lying that the other CM in a 541 but most of the game they were both staying pretty deep. Seemed composed on the ball and knew were to move the ball before it came to his feet. Usually took one or two touches, very few or zero time he touched the ball three times without the ball coming off his feet. Had one good pass that sprung a counter. Won a good bit of balls in the air too.
    —-
    Would like to have seen him press more but could have been given instructions also to keep everything in front of him rather than get beat pressing. Other than the one give away and failure to get into attack on the break just a few minutes before coming off I think it was a successful 58 minutes for a 19 year old against Bayern. He didn’t boss the midfield or anything but that’s unrealistic, just solid minutes against world class caliber competition and not screwing up is a win for his age and experience level.

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  6. Subbed out in the 58′. He had a bad giveaway a couple of minutes earlier and looked like he might be a little bit tired. Could’ve been a planned sub as that was really the only mistake I saw. Really promising overall, though.

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  7. Subbed off at 57′. Schalke had a counter 2 minutes earlier and he stayed home. Couldn’t tell if he was too gassed to go forward.

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  8. McKennie is playing CM in a 5-4-1. Schalke hasn’t had a lot of the ball, but he’s looked composed and confident when he gets it. His passing has been quick and accurate and his positioning has looked good to me. He’s very alert and aware of what’s happening around him. He also seems fearless in that he isn’t afraid to put in a hard tackle on somebody even though he’s barely 19 playing against one of the best teams in the world. Schalke is a bit unlucky to be down 2-0 at half. They haven’t really given up many good chances and they’ve had some bad luck on a couple of good chances of their own. Could be and probably should be tied. McKennie hasn’t been at fault in either of the goals.

    I’d be surprised if he’s called in for these qualifiers, but if he continues on this trajectory he should be a fixture in the squad. Bradley probably survives as a starter through Russia, but with the crop of CM’s listed above (not to mention potentially Hyndman and others), I’m not sure he should and after Russia he’s either a sub or goes to pasture.

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  9. The kid covers a lot of ground and makes himself available when his team has the ball… Something that was sorely lacking in from the US midfielders the last two games

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  10. Between W.McKennie, J.Gonzalez, T.Adams and K.Acosta there is a good crop of young box-to-box / defensive midfielders coming up. Based on their current accomplishments to date (not based on talent), I would have to say the order is :
    J.Gonzalez
    K.Acosta
    T.Adams
    W.McKennie

    If they get playing time and success in their respective leagues, by next summer it will probably be:
    W.McKennie
    J.Gonzalez
    K.Acosta
    T.Adams

    Only issue with the USMNT is no one on the horizon that looks anywhere close to a replacement to C.Pulisic (that and lack of quality fullbacks 🙂

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