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USMNT midfielder McKennie returns to Schalke training, February return expected

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United States men’s national team midfielder Weston McKennie is back training with Schalke’s first-team, and is on course to make his return to action in February.

In mid-December, during Schalke’s match against Eintracht Frankfurt, the 21-year-old was taken off the field on a stretcher after suffering a gruesome shoulder injury.

Shortly after the match, it was confirmed that McKennie had dislocated his left shoulder and would be out until at least February, according to manager David Wagner. “[Weston will] undergo a conservative course of treatment which means he won’t be able to play again until February,” he said.

However, the midfielder’s has made significant progress in rehabilitation and has joined Schalke in their mid-year training camp in southern Spain ahead of Bundesliga’s second half of the season.

McKennie isn’t only participating in individual drills, but he is also involved in the majority of full training with the rest of his teammates with the exception of tackling.

The FC Dallas has made 13 league appearances for the Royal Blues this season, starting a total of 10 for Bundesliga’s fifth-place side. Schalke returns to league action on January 17, as they host a tough Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern on top; Schalke dismantle RB Leipzig

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With David Wagner‘s red-hot Schalke rolling past RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich are atop of the Bundesliga table.

Paderborn 2-3 Bayern Munich

For a second, it seemed Bayern Munich’s visit to Paderborn was going to end with a fairytale ending for the recently promoted home side. In the end, Bayern’s overwhelming talent showed through with goals from Serge Gnabry, Philippe Coutinho, and Robert Lewandowski, who sealed the game in the 79th minute with a delicate chip.

With Schalke’s dominating performance over RB Leipzig, Niko Kovač and company are back at the top of the Bundesliga with 14 points from six matches.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule  ]

RB Leipzig 1-3 Schalke 04

From early on, Wagner’s side took control of the game, specifically in the 29th minute when Salif Sane gave the traveling team the lead. Before halftime, Amine Harit converted from the spot. By the time Leipzig attempted to rally back with a goal from Swede Wmil Forsberg in the 83rd minute, Schalke was two goals up. Like Leipzig, Schalke remains one point back of the leaders.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie started and played all 90 minutes for Bundesliga’s third place team.

Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Werder Bremen

The years were rolled back on Saturday as Mario Götze and Marco Rues put Dortmund up 2-1 over Bremen in the first half.

But just a handful of minutes into the second, Marco Friedl and USMNT teen Josh Sargent let Westfalenstadion know what the future is all about. Off of a corner-kick set piece, Sargent assisted Friedl, who attentively found the ball near the back post and tapped the ball with his head as he was going down. Dortmund are two matches removed from their last league win.

Elsewhere

Union Berlin 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt — Friday
Mainz 0-1 Wolfsburg — Saturday
Augsburg 0-3 Bayer Leverkusen — Saturday
Hoffenheim 0-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach — Saturday
Fortuna – SC Freiburg — Sunday
Köln – Hertha Berlin — Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 6 4 2 0 19 6 13 2-1-0 2-1-0 14
 RB Leipzig 6 4 1 1 14 6 8 1-1-1 3-0-0 13
 FC Schalke 04 6 4 1 1 13 6 7 2-0-1 2-1-0 13
 Mönchengladbach 6 4 1 1 10 5 5 1-1-1 3-0-0 13
 Bayer Leverkusen 6 4 1 1 11 7 4 2-1-0 2-0-1 13
 VfL Wolfsburg 6 3 3 0 9 4 5 1-2-0 2-1-0 12
 Borussia Dortmund 6 3 2 1 17 9 8 2-1-0 1-1-1 11
 SC Freiburg 5 3 1 1 11 4 7 1-1-1 2-0-0 10
 Eintracht Frankfurt 6 3 1 2 9 8 1 2-1-0 1-0-2 10
 Werder Bremen 6 2 1 3 10 14 -4 1-0-2 1-1-1 7
 1899 Hoffenheim 6 1 2 3 4 10 -6 1-0-2 0-2-1 5
 FC Augsburg 6 1 2 3 7 14 -7 1-1-1 0-1-2 5
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 5 1 1 3 7 9 -2 0-1-1 1-0-2 4
 1. FC Union Berlin 6 1 1 4 6 12 -6 1-0-3 0-1-1 4
 Hertha BSC Berlin 5 1 1 3 5 11 -6 1-0-1 0-1-2 4
 1. FC Köln 5 1 0 4 4 11 -7 0-0-2 1-0-2 3
 FSV Mainz 05 6 1 0 5 5 16 -11 1-0-2 0-0-3 3
 SC Paderborn 6 0 1 5 8 17 -9 0-0-3 0-1-2

 

Bundesliga wrap: Wagner’s Schalke shine; RB Leipzig hang onto 1st

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The Bundesliga’s leaders remain RB Leipzig after four match days, and Schalke continues to surprise under new boss David Wagner.

Paderborn 1-5 Schalke

One-time “next big thing” Amine Harit scored twice to join goals from Salif Sane, Suat Serder, and Ahmed Kutucu as Schalke overcame an early concession to clobber the hosts at Benteler-Arena.

USMNT youngster Weston McKennie came off the bench to get in on the action for David Wagner’s men, trading a 1-2 with Everton loanee Jonjoe Kenny en route to Harit’s first of the night.

[ MORE: Bundesliga schedule  ]

RB Leipzig 1-1 Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski’s third minute goal leant the early goings of this one an aire of predictability, but Julian Nagelsmann’s Leipzig rallied behind a first half stoppage time penalty to keep the top spot on the table, one ahead of BVB and Freiburg. Bayern remains two points back of the leaders.

Union Berlin 1-2 Werder Bremen

Davy Klaassen and Niclas Fullkrug score early in each half as Bremen improved to 2-2 on the season.

USMNT teen Josh Sargent was a 68th minute sub for the visitors, but only had four touches while completing all three of his passes as the visitors defended for the win. He was credited with 31 runs over his 22 minutes.

Elsewhere
Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-1 Wolfsburg — Friday
Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen — Saturday
Koln 0-1 Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Mainz 2-1 Hertha Berlin — Saturday
Augsburg 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Hoffenheim 0-3 Freiburg — Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 RB Leipzig 4 3 1 0 10 3 7 1-1-0 2-0-0 10
 Borussia Dortmund 4 3 0 1 13 5 8 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 SC Freiburg 4 3 0 1 10 3 7 1-0-1 2-0-0 9
 Bayern Munich 4 2 2 0 12 4 8 1-1-0 1-1-0 8
 VfL Wolfsburg 4 2 2 0 7 3 4 1-1-0 1-1-0 8
 FC Schalke 04 4 2 1 1 8 4 4 1-0-1 1-1-0 7
 Mönchengladbach 4 2 1 1 5 4 1 0-1-1 2-0-0 7
 Bayer Leverkusen 4 2 1 1 6 7 -1 1-1-0 1-0-1 7
 Eintracht Frankfurt 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 2-0-0 0-0-2 6
 Werder Bremen 4 2 0 2 8 9 -1 1-0-1 1-0-1 6
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 4 1 1 2 6 7 -1 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
 1. FC Union Berlin 4 1 1 2 5 8 -3 1-0-2 0-1-0 4
 1899 Hoffenheim 4 1 1 2 3 6 -3 1-0-1 0-1-1 4
 FC Augsburg 4 1 1 2 6 10 -4 1-1-0 0-0-2 4
 1. FC Köln 4 1 0 3 4 7 -3 0-0-2 1-0-1 3
 FSV Mainz 05 4 1 0 3 4 13 -9 1-0-1 0-0-2 3
 SC Paderborn 4 0 1 3 5 12 -7 0-0-2 0-1-1 1
 Hertha BSC Berlin 4 0 1 3 3 10 -7 0-0-1 0-1-2 1

USMNT’s McKennie off to strong start under Wagner at Schalke

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The hand-wringing in USMNT critical circles over whether Weston McKennie would be used at a different position for club than country — Gasp. How would he deal with that? — can be eased a bit now.

Schalke’s young mainstay, 20 for another two days, has played all but five minutes of the club’s first two Bundesliga matches, and manager David Wagner likes what he’s seeing from the central midfielder.

[ MORE: Not time for Man Utd panic ]

His 3.5 aerial duels won per match is tops on the team, his 3 interceptions per match behind only Omar Mascarell. On a team which could struggle to score goals, he’ll be a big part of getting the ball from point A to point B and is leading the team is passes completed. Small sample size, of course, but promising.

“He’s an outstanding talent on the No. 6, No. 8 position. He has a real working mentality and he is brave on the ball as well. He has a very good header. He’s 20, 21, so there’s a lot more to come but we are very, very happy to have him in the team. This is for sure one of the top players for Schalke and one of the top players for the Bundesliga for his position as well.

McKennie signed a new five-year deal with Schalke this summer, and we knew the club’s next hire would be huge for the USMNT (as bold as that sounds, yes, the entire team). So far, so good, even if Schalke is 0-1-1 after a tricky first two matches versus Borussia Monchengladbach (draw) and Bayern Munich (loss).

Schalke appoint former Huddersfield boss David Wagner

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GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) Schalke is bringing former United States international David Wagner back to the Bundesliga as coach.

[ MORE: Tottenham pull off second amazing UCL comeback in two days ]

The club says the 47-year-old Wagner, who previously coached Huddersfield in England’s Premier League, has signed a three-year contract through June 2022.

Wagner will inherit a side low on confidence after a lackluster season in which it only avoided Bundesliga relegation with a goalless draw against Augsburg last weekend. Schalke, which finished runner-up last season, hasn’t had a worse season since it was relegated in 1982-83.

The club fired Domenico Tedesco as coach following a 7-0 loss to Manchester City in the Champions League and turned to former coach Huub Stevens as an interim solution for the last eight games of the Bundesliga.

As a player, Wagner won the UEFA Cup with Schalke in 1997. He previously played for Mainz.

[ MORE: Tearful Pochettino hails Spurs “heroes” after another UCL comeback ]

Wagner’s coaching career began when he took charge of Schalke rival Borussia Dortmund’s second team in 2011, helped by friend and former Mainz teammate Jurgen Klopp. He was appointed Huddersfield coach in November 2015 and led the side to promotion in 2017.

Wagner performed a minor miracle by keeping Huddersfield in the Premier League the following season, but Wagner and the club agreed to part ways in January with the team last and eight points from safety with 16 games remaining.

Wagner, a former forward, made eight appearances for the United States.