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Schalke experimenting with Weston McKennie at centerback

Weston McKennie has made waves in the center of the field since breaking through with Schalke, but manager Dominic Tedesco sees the American prospect as a potential answer in a different position.

Schalke has been experimenting with McKennie at centerback throughout the winter break and recently deployed the young star at the position in a 2-1 friendly win over Belgian side Genk on Sunday. McKennie featured as part of Schalke’s experimental back three setup.

“We’ve been wanting to try him out in central defense for a while,” Tedesco said after the game when asked about McKennie’s new position. “He’s good in the air, strong and up for anything.”

As things stand, the club has Naldo, Pablo Insua and Matija Nastasic as primary centerbacks. Tedesco has had success molding some of Schalke’s other young stars into different positions with Benjamin Stambouli and Max Meyer finding success in new roles.

McKennie has made 14 Bundesliga appearances for the club this season and scored a goal in his U.S. Men’s National Team debut back in November.


  1. I don’t know if anyone noticed, the Nat team didn’t exactly light up the CB spot. It SEEMS like they should. But they definitely didn’t.

  2. The best centerback that plays in the middle of three in the back that comes to mind is Bonnucci. He isn’t essentially a center mid in the attack and springs the attack with his first ball distribution like no one else. Does his kid have that ability? The other thing is does he have the leadership to direct the entire back five, keeping them organized, and yet attack?
    Regardless the defensive backline needs a leader to step up and build around for the USMNT for the defense to mature around in the future

    • From what I have seen of him Weston is very vocal when he’s on the field, so I think that leadership quality is there already. I just don’t want him playing CB, but you have to respect what a coach thinks at that level.

    • Agreed. Why is this bad news? Its pretty clear we need as many quality players as possible no matter what the position (although a striker would be great). If CB is the position with his highest potential then that is the best move for him in his career.

    • Maybe the US should just get over it and invent the 7-1-2 formation to accomodate our plethora of defenders and dwindling pool of midfielders. With 7 good defenders like yedlin-brooks-cameron-mcKennie-Shaq Moore-Timothy Chandler -Fabian Johnson no one would ever score on us!


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