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Weston McKennie starts at centerback in Schalke preseason friendly


Weston McKennie remains one of the brightest midfielders in the U.S. Men’s National Team pool, but Schalke continues to experiment with the 19 year old in a different role.

McKennie started and played 45 minutes at centerback on Wednesday as Schalke took on Southampton in China for a preseason friendly. McKennie started with several first team regulars, including Ralf Fahrmann, Yevhen Konoplyanka and Nabil Bentaleb.

The USMNT midfielder experimented at centerback in January before injury issues impacted the second half of the season. In total, McKennie made 23 appearances for the club last season.

McKennie and Schalke went into halftime level at one apiece before a new lineup emerged for the second half. The match ended as a 3-3 draw.


  1. We miss out on capitalizing the talent and experience of having an experience player that has the physical attributes of a CB but can effectively play as a defensive midfielder at the highest level, like a younger Geoff Cameron, being in sync and controlling the Midfield in front of the backline. Maybe we can use this to our advantage. Gaining valuable experience in different positions at the highest level makes McKennie a more versatile player, a DM that better understands the movements and roles of his CB? Hmmm?

    At 19 let him gain some ⚽experience at CB but at the end of the day WE NEED HIM AT DM!!!!


  2. Him playing and playing well for Schalke is what the US needs. They won’t play him there if they don’t think he will give them value.

  3. I wouldn’t look to much into this its first preseason game and it can only help with Dmid responsibilities and some veteran players probably are not there yet so its ok. He has versatility so no need to come to conclusions as where he stands at the club

  4. Was Schalke playing three in the back with McKennie in the center? I can’t see him being one of two CB? A skilled player that can hunt and win balls is a good quality in center of a three man backline. However, the ability to pick out passes that connect the back third with the midfield or offensive third is a talent. I don’t see McKeenie being a Bonucci reincarnated and a waste of his midfield motor.

  5. Agreed. He is way more valuable as a midfielder than center back and not just for the US National team. This could derail his progress if Schalke keeps moving him around.


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