Weston McKennie kicked off life at Serie A side Juventus with a first start for the club and a victory in league play.
McKennie got the nod in Andrea Pirlo’s starting lineup at Allianz Stadium and earned his first three points for the club in a 3-0 home victory over Sampdoria. It was an impressive debut for the Schalke loanee, who became the first American player to feature for the Serie A giants.
Not only did the 21-year-old complete 88% of his 61 passes in the match, but he played a part in Juventus’ second goal of the match. His shot in the 78th minute was denied by Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero, but Leonardo Bonucci put away the rebound to ice the win for the Old Lady.
Juventus would add a third goal in the 88th minute from Cristiano Ronaldo to pad the opening day win. As for McKennie, he finished with two shots on goal and won six of his 12 individual battles. Not only did McKennie have an impact offensively, but he also was a top performer defensively with eight recoveries and three successfully won tackles.
He was praised after the match by Pirlo in what should be one of many Serie A appearances this season.
“McKennie arrived with a few more days of preparation and did well,” Pirlo said. “He made a mistake in the setting phase but it was the first and you can forgive.”
Juventus’ league schedule continues on Sept. 27th with a trip to AS Roma before returning to Turin for an Oct. 4th showdown with rivals Napoli.