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Weston McKennie leaves USMNT squad due to knee injury


Weston McKennie will play no further part in the U.S. men’s national team’s schedule this month.

McKennie has left the USMNT squad due to an aggravated left knee tendinopothy, U.S. Soccer announced Saturday. There will be no replacement for McKennie on the November roster ahead of Monday’s CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinal second leg trip to Trinidad & Tobago.

The USMNT won its first leg 3-0 against the Soca Warriors on Thursday in Austin, Texas thanks to goals from Ricardo Pepi, Antonee Robinson, and Gio Reyna.

McKennie was the victim of two hard challenges from T&T’s Noah Powder during the match, both of which led to yellow cards being given to Powder. The veteran midfielder was ejected in the 38th minute after his second challenge on McKennie.

Pepi’s goal in the 82nd minute broke the deadlock from Q2 Stadium before insurance goals from Robinson and Reyna helped pad the USMNT’s aggregate lead.

McKennie’s absence could force Gregg Berhalter into several different lineup decisions. Both Yunus Musah and Reyna partnered McKennie in the heart of the USMNT’s midfield on Thursday.

Lennard Maloney, Luca De La Torre, and Paxten Aaronson are all midfield options who were unused substitutes for the first leg.

The USMNT has defeated Trinidad & Tobago in each of its last four head-to-head matches. Should the Americans advance, they would reach the Nations League semifinals (March 2024) and the 2024 Copa America.


  1. On another injury note: Konrad seems to have recovered from his leg injury. He played the final 14 minutes for Eibar and had 3 touches.

  2. the 2002 team had the deepest run of any US team to date and from that era mcbride had 96 caps in 13 years (~7-8 caps a season) and c. reyna had 112 caps in 12 years (~9-10 caps). no, it’s gibberish that we used to call everyone every time.

    the pivot point on the “squash an ant” mentality is klinsi coming in and the usage of landon. as in landon who ended up taking a premature sabbatical, a fit guy who should have played NT til he was 35.

    to be crystal clear, this approach ensures the hype players show up and props up the coach’s record. this makes fanboys superficially happy. the fanboys never ask why christian is being called in to look exhausted, or put 2+2 together on our rash of injuries and usage rates. as is typical (system etc.) people want to mimic some idea of how europe operates without looking at whether it works well. think for yourself.

    • i find amusing the folks saying the game was close so the coach made the right choices. it was pretty obvious the game plan was tentative and the frontline was wrong. we then got 3 goals in 20 minutes after subs which reminds of previous blowouts same opponent.

    • Pulisic has 63 caps in 7 yrs, including 7 in 2023 (he would have had 9 had he been healthy this window) things haven’t changed. McKennie averages 7 caps a year with a high of 13 last year. Reyna had more than that two different times. You are looking back numbers on a stat sheet without context. Like before 2003 the Gold Cup was played in January outside a FIFA window. Claudio was also very injury prone and was unavailable a lot of those times. Jedi Robinson played 25 matches over the last two seasons Reyna played 26 from ‘94-‘95. And when Jedi needed a break Berhalter left him with his club. Things are the same your narrative just doesn’t fit that reality so you think insulting people will make them ignore the facts.

      • pulisic is an awkward example as he has been hurt a few times or do you not remember? mckennie has similar had a mix of injury outs as well as his tiffs with GB. or do we forget he was “reyna before reyna?”

  3. Is our team better or not? If we think this squad is so talented we don’t need to resort to sending out the “B” squad to hack a Socca Warrior. Possess the ball make them use up their energy defending, stay organized in defense, and have urgency in transition. As Tele said leg 1 wasn’t some street melee, Wes suffered a hard foul the player was sent off and Wes was one of our most integral players for the remaining 50 minutes.

    • agree, for more reasons than listed. but Powder had eyes on Wes all the way imho, and while Powder is out, so is Wes. Only Oshane standing up to it made the difference

      the reason given for Wes’ departure reeks of Juve saying ENOUGH of your region on our money, imho, and good for them

      • Juve have an injury crisis of their own and some very big games coming up.

        Their only healthy midfielder besides Weston is Rabiot.

        So whatever pressure they could have applied to Gregg I’m sure they’ve done so.

      • Papa: it’s always this is our greatest generation, the manager should get these results because players A, B, and C play for these clubs. Then when there’s a little adversity (and there is very little adversity) we should just make it American football and just put out some tough guys to grind out a result. If we’re not good enough to hold a 3-0 lead over this Trinidad group that had 1 shot last game…

    • they’ve had one good 90 minute effort in their last 3 games playing mostly A teamers. made ghana look silly but that was a different tactical look. lost to germany. struggled with TNT for most of the game. on a level a result is a result but it’s kind of a mess and you’re trying sell improvement?

      • Who looked at that game Thursday and saw improvement? Not me certainly, actually read comments before you make blanket statements because no one thought it was good performance. However, just because the US didn’t play particularly well in the attacking third hardly means we need to resort 90s style hit and hope with a bunch of D teamers.

      • IV,


        This team can be said to have improved if they perform better in Copa America than they did in Qatar, i.e. get out of their group and beat whoever they get in the knockout game.

        To get there they have to qualify by going through CONCACAF and we know that they are capable of that.

        Getting to Copa America is no indicator of improvement. This team, as it is right now, is 100% capable of qualifying and absolutely should.

        It doesn’t matter if you are an improved team in November of 2023.

        It matters if you are an improved team at the Copa America in 2024

        This isn’t high school, college or select team ball.

        This is professional ball, national team style.

        Their are no midterms. No one cares if they look like hot shit going into COPA America and wet the bed when they get there.

        Gregg is managing a real, professional team not an amateur setup. National teams are not as stable and predictable as club teams.
        None of your players are yours. You are only borrowing them and their availability is uncertain. As for injury, always a concern, their fitness schedule is in the hands of the clubs and they organize them for the maximum benefit of the player and the club, not the player and his national team.

        Sure, there are FIFA windows and all that jazz but clubs have had lots of time to figure out ways around that and frankly, if a club thinks a player has too many commitments to their national team, they can just find a replacement The USMNT have very few players who can afford to have their club think very seriously about replacing them.

        Point being, the more important our players become to their clubs, the more the manager makes his money successfully negotiating player availability. Any kind of positive stability in national team lineup is in itself an accomplishment.

        In English, that means that Gregg can’t get too precious about his lineups.
        It is a 90 minute game and if the pair of wingers you start out with , don’t really work out ( it’s worth noting that Tillman had some good scoring chances in the first half so his selection was hardly a disaster) then you have the second half to sort things out.

        That’s why you have subs.

        This concept of “getting the starters wrong but the subs right ” is bullshit.
        The concept of being roasted for a bad first half is bullshit.

        Did you win? Did you get the result you needed?

        If so, then you got things correct.

        You know why the big boys are the big boys?

        Because, with a broader and deeper talent pool they have more options tactically in terms of who they can send out there, starters and subs, to play a given style or formation. They can more easily change tactics between games and indeed , during games, without having to be coached up a ton.

        Gregg would look a lot more sexy if he had France’s tactically diverse and well coached player pool. Then he could actually think about doing some fancy shit.

        That’s why I want to keep Pepi as a super sub ( as long as Flo is producing) because he is something rare. He’s a Unicorn. An American offensive option, a weapon for Gregg that actually works.

        Gregg and his boys got the result.
        They got enough of a result to give them a good chance of getting through the second leg. Right now nothing is more important than getting the right result.

        Remember, I’m the guy who wanted Gregg fired after the 2019 Gold Cup and I’d still fire him in a second. But not for this game. He didn’t do much wrong here.

        You want to improve this team? Then win every game you possibly can so that they will get to play more meaningful games, which is the ONLY way they can really improve.

  4. The injury to his knee is being reported as overuse. The injuries McKennie got from tackles were to his ankles. I don’t recall Trinidad ever being a dirty team and i didnt notice them hacking down players like other CONCACAF teams as a lot of these posts suggest. The foul on McKennie from behind was deserving of a straight red card IMO but that’s the only bad foul I can recall the whole game.

    • hey Tele, in general in our region, it’s often a hack fest with injury potential, like with Wes in that game and a complicit ref who lets it go uncarded. I give Oshane Nation, the Jamaican ref, credit for that. and even tho the rest of the game didn’t see punky play from either team, and agree TnT is not typically that way, we’ll see how it goes down down there

      Again, I thought Oshane Nation, the Jamaican ref, did a good job

      anyway, the idea we should play away games more brutish doesn’t make sense to me; we’ll just get sent off and have to play a man down, etc., making things harder. not saying you said that, but no answers there imho, instead mostly reveals a naïveté about playing away games in CONCACAF, where we get hosed just for showing up and must always overcome that 😉


      • Didn’t Bradley get a soft yellow for a tackle on Joel Campbell and then had to miss then next qualifier? You are right just because we believe other countries get away with it doesn’t mean we will. Not to mention with VAR there’s no guarantee we would’nt be playing down a man trying to hold the 3g advantage.

      • Beach, I agree that I have watched many CONCACAF games thinking the reffing was totally biased against the US and the players were at risk of injury but never in a game against Trinidad and I don’t recall ever seeing Jamaica play that way either. There is a difference between playing hard and physical and being dirty and mowing people down without consequence. In the last qualifying I watched a Mexican game not against the US and I thought they actually got the same treatment the US usually gets without protection from the refs. I was kind of surprised. I also watched Mexico Canada in Ontario and Canada should have had at least 3 red cards. The reffing is usually horrible in CONCACAF and a lot of the teams resort to mowing guys down and if the ref let’s it go on it continues but Trinidad has no history of that so I don’t see why the coach should gameplan around that. Tendinitis is a swelling of tendons and his injury is in his knee. I have had tendinitis several times that were cured by the miracle of cortisone. The hard fouls could have aggravated his knee but he never grabbed at his knee.

    • tele: amnesia. two separate fouls for the Y+Y=R. plus the almost-PK where they clattered our guy but were absolved by VAR after the call because he managed to knick the ball.

      my concern is more this is overkill risking overuse or injury than that they are lumberjacks. and when i mentioned lumberjacks the other article it was pointed more at why didn’t we go right at them and see if we could get PKs. i don’t think we should play soft in games. i think we should protect our players more by rotation.

      i disagree with the implications on here that we historically would squash teams in the same manner. i remember plenty of semi round quali or two-leg stuff where we sent the B team for at least one game. i remember cuba at the end of NL qualifying in 2019 we rotated heavily after the canada result.

      to answer some of the folks on here, the idea is not to protect GB’s job by risking the players. he needs to do right by the players and rotate. someone on here getting cute mentioned giroud and mbappe. they get about 10 caps a year, not 15-20. that’s how we used to operate.

      • You named two fouls that were both given a yellow cards and one that was determined to not even be a foul after reviewing on VAR. That is hardly a rough game. Trinidad is not a dirty team and doesn’t have reputation for being dirty. Two reckless fouls in 90 + minutes doesn’t make a team dirty and is probably well below average for professional games including the US national team that makes occasional reckless tackles also.

      • In US last four games against Trinidad, the US has outfouled Trinidad 14-9, 15-11, 11-7, and 16-15. The 9 fouls they had against the US on Thursday is less than the US has had in any of those games that they won 3-0, 6-0, 7-0, 6-0. Maybe Trinidad held their best players out so they wouldn’t get hurt.

  5. The good news is that all we have to do is keep them from scoring 3 goals. Play a bunker D and foul them a lot to keep them from getting any rhythm in attack. There are lots of ways to foul without getting cards. I know Klinsmann is passe, but his urging for the US to play nasty still holds true. I like the idea of bringing lesser skilled but tough defenders for CONCACAF away games.

    • what about TNT says we needed to show up with the physical midfield we did? they could barely get out of their own end.

      to me the story of the bigger games is we need a little more precision of an attack. we have to work a little too hard to get goals. we lack the precision to execute precisely or score easier.

      or if we’re gonna defend we need something more leakproof than the 433 with this set of mids and backs.

  6. I am against thugs in soccer. The real solution is to make the referees enforce the rules and punish dangerous fouls with expulsions as deserved.

    Pele famously said he would refuse to play in the next WC if the referees did not protect players. He more or less got his way.

  7. 20th time, you can rotate the team, bring in fresh faces, rest the stars or mix them in, and still advance. we beat teams like this with a gold cup unit. it’s the coach’s insecurity and the win-everything-squash-like-bug mentality. PROTECT THE TALENT.

    • Had they scored the 3 goals at the end of the first half then Weston gets subbed.

      But Gregg likely wanted to make sure they got the 3 points..

      This doesn’t affect the USMNT much but Juve who are down now to one fully healthy midfielder, Rabiot,are probably pissed. They have a lot of big games coming up.

    • Easy to say when it’s not your job on the line. Berhalter rotated a lot in qualifying and nearly missed out. Now maybe if TnT sees the U23s out there they don’t bunker and we have an easier game, but I’m not sure we would have had success had they stayed with their game plan.

      • so he gets to overuse players because he wants to flatter his stats? the idea is to be the adult in the room who keeps the players healthy and ready, not manipulate things to keep your job. you’re absolutely wrong in suggesting this is the way we have operated historically or in implying guys from other teams who play maybe 10 times a year are “called every time.”

    • Mbappe and Griezman both went 90 minutes today against Gibraltar. They brought in 37 yr old Giroud up 9-0 for his 127th cap. Everyone plays their best players when they’re available.

    • for someone that comes off as a soccer aficionado, you’re positions don’t make a lot of sense much of the time, as they lack perspective and instead exude arrogance. Considering we don’t have wcq, and are trying to qualify for Copa America. That means we need to play our starters together as much as possible under different scenarios, using different formations like we did on Thursday night(4-2-2-2 and a 4-3-1-2), while continuing to blood more newer faces into the team as we also did Thursday(although more our of necessity)because we’re not as deep as some would have us think. So yes, we should be playing our top players together in these types of games as opposed to worrying about potential injury or sitting certain players for certain games especially when they are games of consequence no matter the opponent.

  8. Holding a two-legged tie within the same week in CONCACAF is a suicide pact, because dirty play in the first leg rewards the team doing it in the second. If I were the T & T coach (and pretty much any other coach) knowing full well the “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” officiating philosophy in our region I would be putting bounties on the opposition stars. Had the first leg been in Port of Spain I am pretty sure Weston would have been injured far more than he is now and that Powder would not have been sent off, because that is the way CONCACAF rolls.

    • +1

      I was actually surprised we got out of that game with no injuries and the ref actually put a second yellow on a guy who was making absolutely gratuitous fouls. That was awfully…un-CONCACAF’y. So much for that because we did actually end up losing Weston, though the red at least did seem to slow the lawnmowing down a good bit.

      If I was a player I’d probably show up to the second match wearing bubble wrap. I can’t imagine the field is going to be in any kind of playable shape either.

      • I personally think that the USA should bring a goon squad for official CONCACAF road games. Leave the stars on the bench and let the goons give as good as they get and then put in the stars after the opposition has been softened up. In the new 5-sub era this would work because the USA has a ton of good but not great players that are plenty capable of of exchanging blows with the average CONCACAF foes for 60 minutes. The average CONCACAF foes, however, don’t have enough depth to match what the USA can bring off the bench when we pull the switcheroo.

      • I’m with Alex H. On this… I’ve oft wondered why we don’t have more bruisers in away fixtures. Give me Gooch on the back line and a JJ in the middle on away fixtures. Shenanigans will go down pretty fast.

        Too bad Ozzie Alonso couldn’t get his FIFA stuff sorted out earlier. We needed a player like him in the ‘15-‘18 cycle.

      • AlexH,

        I appreciate the sentiment but the trouble with a goon squad is that they have to be at least decent players too. Otherwise you just get guys sent off and that’s not useful.

        You don’t need a lot of goons . You just need the right ones.

        If we had them I would send both Beckerman and Jermaine Jones our two all time best dirty players. Jones was a psychotic or at least convinced everyone that he was. Both were also very skilled footballers.

        Because they are so young, this edition of the USMNT is actually “softer” than previous editions.

        Most of them are peaceful.

        As best as I can tell, there are no true high level professional enforcers like Jermaine Jones. Guys like him knew how to intimidate the other team without getting sent off. There are only three guys in the current pool who might qualify for this: Yedlin, Acosta and Weston, all seriously tough guys..

        The USMNT are generally considered well behaved and not known for being chippy or unruly..

        Yet, it should be noted that in our last Copa America, 2016, we had three guys red carded in three different games, Jermaine, Yedlin and Orozco, one of JK’s favorite thugs who was more of a no-nonsense hard man defender than an enforcer.

        CONMEBOL teams are better at pushing your buttons than what the USMNT are generally used to in terms of having their buttons pushed. They can piss off a lot of non-CONMEBOL teams.

        In which case the USMNT may want to use the TNT game to try out whoever they believe to be a promising enforcer. They may need to be smarter and tougher when Copa America rolls around.

        If possible calling Yedlin and Acosta might be fun. I know nothing about them but maybe Gregg should audition Maloney and Lund for the enforcer role. He should play them regardless.
        I would play a back five of Scally, Richards, Miles, CCV, Lund
        Stick LDLT, and Maloney in front of that back five
        Put Zendejas, Tillman and Pepi in front of them.

        I would not dress Reyna or Flo.

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