Christian Pulisic. Tyler Adams. Weston McKennie. What do all three of these players have in common?
If you answered that they’re all young, promising American talent who represent the core of the national team’s rebuild, you would be correct. You’d also be correct if you said they’re all injured.
Pulisic and Adams both pulled out of the USMNT squad for the upcoming international break last week, and on Sunday U.S. Soccer announced that McKennie would be the latest casualty.
The 20-year-old midfielder was withdrawn in the 79th minute of Schalke’s 2-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday. Before the injury, McKennie had enjoyed a fantastic week. He scored his first goal for the club on Wednesday, the winner in a 1-0 Champions League victory over Lokomotiv Moscow. He followed that up in Saturday’s win with his first Bundesliga goal, striking the decisive goal just minutes after the halftime break.
Since the United States failed to make the 2018 World Cup, McKennie has been a central figure in Dave Sarachen’s youth movement. He has earned six caps, including appearances in each of the last five USMNT games. He scored on his debut, a 1-1 draw against Portugal.
Toronto F.C. midfielder Marky Delgado was added to the roster in McKennie’s place, another young player who has impressed with the national team of late. The U.S. takes on Colombia and Peru this coming week in a pair of international friendlies.