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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Weston McKennie

Weston McKennie couldn’t have asked for a better U.S. Men’s National Team debut.

The 19-year-old Schalke midfielder found the back of the net in his first start in the USMNT’s first game since failing to advance to the World Cup. The goal and McKennie’s play in the midfield earned the young Schalke star honors as SBI USMNT Man of the Match.

McKennie made a nice run through the middle of the Portugal defense and linked up with a C.J. Sapong pass to give the USMNT the lead in Portugal in the 21st minute.

Unfortunately the strike was countered by Portugal’s equalizer by way of an Ethan Horvath howler 10 minutes later.

McKennie continued to make an impact on the contest, and he almost scored a second, but his attempt off a corner in the second half banged off the crossbar.

McKennie was one of a few players who impressed in the 1-1 draw to close out the 2017 calendar. New York Red Bulls product Tyler Adams shined in midfield, as did former Red Bull Matt Miazga at center back. C.J. Sapong, coming off a stellar season with the Philadelphia Union. also deserves praise for his performance.

What did you think of McKennie’s performance? Who was your Man of the Match? Which players stood out to you?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Not only did “McKennie made a nice run through the middle of the Portugal defense and linked up with a C.J. Sapong pass to give the USMNT the lead in Portugal in the 21st minute.”, but he actually started the move by intercepting the ball.

    And, upon second viewing, I don’t think McKennie headed the ball off the crossbar, I think that was CCV. The camera angle was from behind, so it’s hard to tell, but the direction the ball takes, would indicate that it must have come off CVV’s head, and not McKennie’s.

  2. Might be time for Acosta to focus on being a lefback? He has poor awareness of players around him. Quality midfielders constantly take into account where and who is around them. Acosta does not see the field or just is not calm on the ball. Twice in the first half after a turnover Acosta chose to shoot when the US had numbers advantage in the box? Once all he had to do was look right and he had two un marked players who could have easily been in one vs one with the goalie or two vs one. Another time play a quick ball to the the left where one defender was marking two players. This scenario should result in at least a shot on frame where a quick ball is played left That player could cross, pass back to Acosta or shoot. When you press and get turnovers in the offensive third goals should follow.

  3. McKennie Williams & Acosta worked controlling the midfield, Miagza & Brooks with CCV are brawn with IQ, Yedellin & Villafana became more attacking flank players, only forwards need improvement.

    • I’m actually less impressed with Yedlin after each match. He can’t cross. The last decent RB we had that could cross was Cherundolo. It was entirely predictable that Yedlin would find space on the flank and deliver a wasted cross right to the defense. Moreover, he was also caught upfield on the counter more often than not after a poor cross. Yes, his one on one defending is better, but I don’t think he’s an international quality fullback.

  4. What, We have midfielders who are good and play with urgency and passion. Obviously MB was the only guy good enough to play every minute of every meaningful game for 10 years straight(sarcasm).

    Williams has been a good player and consistent for years but was never really given more than spot minutes by JK and BA often on the wing instead of central too.

    As for the kiddos obviously could have used them and even though this was a Portugal B team that’s still better than the team TnT rolled us with. Could have at least had a few on the bench over Mcarty and Roldan.

    Still need to keep focused on getting changes at Ussf and fixing the ultimate problem which is Ussfvis not in control of itself instead it is controlled by MLS/SUM. Stay focused y’all.


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