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Weston McKennie, Tim Weah using “good chemistry” in new Juventus partnership


The number of American partnerships at European clubs has continued to grow this summer. From AC Milan to PSV to Fulham, U.S. men’s national team players are teaming up at an alarming rate at club level.

Juventus joined that list of European clubs after the Serie A club acquired Timothy Weah in a permanent deal from Lille, teaming him up with fellow USMNT teammate Weston McKennie. Unlike Weah who has a fresh start, McKennie returned to Juventus this summer after a frustrating loan spell with Leeds United during the second half of last season.

McKennie was linked with a potential move away from the Old Lady earlier this summer, but since has remained a contributor in Massimiliano Allegri’s squad before the September international break. Now with his latest USMNT opportunity in front of him, McKennie reflected on what he’s witnessed so far in his time back in Turin.

“Coming back to Juventus wasn’t easy,” McKennie said Thursday in a press conference with reporters. “I left the club at a time of crisis, I guess you could say.

“And so coming back I felt like I started back at square zero, but that is a challenge I’m always up for, a challenge that I think I needed at this time in my career to kind of prove to people that I still have it,” he added.

Both McKennie and Weah have appeared in all three matches for Juventus in the early stages of the new season, helping the Old Lady earn seven points out of nine available. Weah, who featured heavily for Lille as a wing back last season, has retained that role in Italy, playing on the right side of Allegri’s 3-5-2 formation.

McKennie and Weah have even replaced each other at times in the squad, with the 25-year-old McKennie recently starting ahead of Weah in a 2-0 victory over Empoli. Although both players will be in their more natural roles with the USMNT against Uzbekistan and Oman, they remain open to playing anywhere possible.

“You’re looking at starting right wingback and backup right wingback right now,” McKennie said jokingly. “With us being able to play so many different positions and being able to adapt to so many situations and roles, I think it’s a good quality to have. I don’t think that we really stress that much about it.”

“It was still very much a learning phase for me,” Weah said. “I think Juve was more of a defensive team last year and they definitely brought me in to play more of an attacking role, coming out the back, which is something I love doing, getting runs in behind the defense, just applying pressure.”

Juventus will certainly hope for continued production from both Weah and McKennie this season with only the Serie A and Coppa Italia trophies up for grabs. A 10-point deduction led to a seventh-place finish in Serie A for the Old Lady last season, one that ultimately eliminated them from Champions League contention.

McKennie and Weah are just one of several American partnerships in Europe’s top leagues this season and both will be relying on their continued chemistry to get Juventus back among the trophy chases in 2023-24.

“I understand how he plays. He understands how I play. So our chemistry is really good,” Weah said of McKennie. “Now that we’re on the same team, training every day is just going to make it even better.”

“Outside of the field, I can be a little bit little bit too much for Tim at some times,” McKennie said. “But on the field…we have a good understanding of each other and coming into camp, it’s good to have a travel partner.”


  1. i am going to go ahead and put this here since weston is the set piece finisher — when we can do any service. GB for good or ill has already broadcast 10/11 of his lineup. he did suggest there may be some evolution including an emphasis on set pieces, which would suit weston– if they can execute.

    the other evolution GB hinted at was we may either play more midblock trapping or at least mix it in with the high pressing. he didn’t use the word trap and some soccer fans never do, but to me if you invite a team into the the lines then swarm — that’s a trap. a press to me you are pressed all the way up. he seemed to acknowledge it’s exhausting. i personally prefer no gimmick marking but i like the counter-transition possibilities better if we let teams out then swarm in the midfield. i think that is more energy efficient and thought his tendency to favor attacking players for chasing effort the silliest thing since wondo was kept around for similar purposes. you win soccer games scoring goals and picking frontline attackers for defense is missing half the game.

    • I don’t think naming the lineup a day ahead is a big deal in a friendly 3 years out. Both sides are pretty much just going to be working on their own stuff. Honestly if you are Uzbekistan and your doing any US prep that’s the lineup you’re guessing anyway.

  2. They’ve been replacing each other all season. A LW and a RM subbing for each other playing the same position is a “serious reallocation of valuable goods!” How much ya got GG starts Weah at RW? FYI – Leao isn’t a better dribbler or shooter than Weah. Raphael doesn’t have a father as a Ballon D’or winner either and also doesn’t have track speed. And both are super duper right footed w/ very little usage of their left foot except when playing LW. Both have 10x better athleticism than CP. This community knows this because I’ve been pointing this out for half a decade.

    • It comes down to Pulisic. Where does he want to play? If he wants to play LW, Tim will be on the right. We don’t have a left footed winger besides Paredes so it’s which right footed player is going to play on the left side. The odd thing for me is the 2 backups are Paredes and Cowell who both play on the left.

      • you could try weah left and dest or musah right. i think footedness matters more with technicians. if a chunk of your game is blowing by people, that’s ambidextrous.

        it’s interesting that spades are apparently broken on using pulisic centrally which i have been asking for, forever. to me it’s lame how we wait until the club teams do it first. you could see it in his game he could/should play middle.

    • i actually think weston is mis-cast where he is often used for the US. he scores a lot of his US goals box-crashing/set pieces — a forward. i have also been curious how he’d fare as a pure back. i personally feel like he’s a bit sloppy for an AM but GB stuck him there. dirty secret is GB’s MF has more in common with klinsi’s empty bucket than he probably wants to admit. problem being he then wants to use the same guys for a possession offense. good luck with that.

      weah is born to be a wing with that speed, and could probably play either end of the field well. HOWEVER how the heck are we scoring if he is put back.

      i personally prefer wide speed unless a winger is highly technical. reyna has some ability to put a cross where he means to but pulisic rarely does. pulisic is overrated inverting. i personally would like to see them pushed inside, leave weah wide. we have some choices at wing, could try dest up there.

    • McKennie is playboy, a party guy, Wes father was in the military. He’s not that disciplined as an adult as he was when under his dad’s care. Law enforcement kids & preacher/pastor kids do the same thing when they’re grown.

      • I don’t think he even is talking about that. Wes is just all energy all the time. Loud, joking, fun loving around the facilities. As Wes said “I can be friends with a rock.”

    • i was thinking about this the other day re reyna’s situation. people have forgotten weston once got sent home from a US MNT window. before there was reyna there was weston partying. it was equally public as we soon knew why weston was in trouble. whether this stuff should be public is a different question. but anyhow, weston was told to sit straight and fly right and when he apparently behaved better since, it was dropped. i know reyna’s parents poured gas on their situation but one hopes for the good of the team he too can just move past it.


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