Schalke 04


Schalke’s US midfielder McKennie sidelined with injury

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GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) Schalke teenager Weston McKennie will be sidelined for about two weeks because of a right thigh strain.

The Bundesliga club says the 19-year-old American midfielder had an intensive scan on Wednesday because of problems in his hip flexor that flared up after Friday’s game against Bayer Leverkusen.

McKennie will miss the game at Hertha Berlin on Oct. 14.

Schalke says “when he can return to training depends on the healing process.”

McKennie, who made his Bundesliga debut on the final day last season in May, had started the last three league games for Schalke.

Leroy Sane in Manchester ahead of move to Man City

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Leroy Sane’s move from Schalke 04 to Manchester City is edging closer.

Sane, 20, is close to sealing his $55 million move to the Etihad Stadium as Pep Guardiola continues his rebuild of City’s squad ahead of his first-ever season coaching in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Rooney says “old United” back ]

The German winger has been linked with City over the past few weeks and after plenty of haggling over his transfer fee it appears a price has now been agreed between Schalke and City.

Sane has flown to Manchester to presumably undergo a medical and hold contract talks as Schalke confirmed that he has not traveled to Austria for their preseason tour.

Hailed as one of the brightest prospects in European soccer, the lanky Sane combines blistering pace with an eye for a pass, plus he has supreme dribbling skills and can play in a variety of attacking positions.

In Soccerex’s recent list of the most valuable players under the age of 21 on the planet, Sane was ranked as No. 2. He is already a full international for Germany and he made his debut for Schalke as a 18-year-old and he scored a screamer against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League in his first full season with the first team in 2014-15.

A product of Schalke’s famed academy which has also produced the likes of Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler, Manel Neuer and Max Meyer, Sane is the next big thing in German soccer and Guardiola has kept close tabs on him over the past three years while he was manager of Bayern Munich.

His impending arrival, plus the signing of Nolito already this summer, suggests Sami Nasri, Jesus Navas and even Raheem Sterling will be looking over their shoulders nervously and wondering how many minutes they will get this season.

With an attack of Nolito, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and potentially Sane, Guardiola is building a fluid front-line capable of interchanging just like we’ve seen him do at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Schalke in crisis: Two released, one suspended, Di Matteo’s European hopes in limbo


Kevin Prince-Boateng has now been dismissed by club and country.

The 28-year-old midfielder was sent home early from Ghana’s failed World Cup run, and now has been kicked out of Schalke. Recently tipped for an MLS move to the New York Red Bulls, Prince-Boateng and Sidney Sam were released by Schalke on Monday. Additionally, Marco Höger was suspended for a week.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap ]

Just two months ago, Schalke was contending for everything short of Bayern’s throne. But a run of uninspiring play has seen the club win just one match since February, culminating in a 2-0 loss at Koln that Julian Draxler called “a truly awful performance.”

So manager Roberto Di Matteo has some big, big problems on his hands. Prince-Boateng and Sam had only made 18 starts between them, so it’s clearly a case of separating the wheat from the chaff, but Hoger has started the fourth-most matches on the side, with 25 (tied with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar).

And now they’re in a cluttered bunch working towards European places. With two games to play — against desperate but relegation-threatened Paderborn and Hamburg — can Schalke save its Europa League hopes?

5. FC Augsburg 32 14 4 14 39 40 -1 9-4-3 5-0-11 46
6. FC Schalke 04 32 12 9 11 41 38 3 9-5-2 3-4-9 45
7. Borussia Dortmund 32 12 7 13 43 38 5 8-3-5 4-4-8 43
8. Werder Bremen 32 11 10 11 48 60 -12 8-4-4 3-6-7 43
9. 1899 Hoffenheim 32 11 8 13 47 52 -5 8-3-5 3-5-8 41

It’s a dramatic move, but not necessarily a bad one. The dressing room will understand who’s in charge, and perhaps many Schalke players will be pleased to rid themselves of Sam and Prince-Boateng. In the case of the latter, New York beware, because while this guy’s got the work rate and aggression  of Jermaine Jones, he’s clearly got some demons to exorcise.

UEFA Champions League preview: Real Madrid to finish Schalke; Porto & Basel’s grudge match

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Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons are about to get really fun again, as the UEFA Champions League returns to settle eight round of 16 ties this week and next.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]

First up on Tuesday, it’s the second leg of Real Madrid, defending Champions League winners, versus Bundesliga side Schalke. Following the first leg in Gelsenkirchen three weeks ago, the Spanish giants hold an overwhelming 2-0 lead, including a pair of tie-breaking away goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo scored Real’s two goals in the first leg, the latter a stunning upper-90 strike on the Brazilian’s weaker right foot, but with recent results going against Madrid in league play (zero wins in two) Los Merengues have seen their La Liga lead erased over the weekend and find themselves second in the standings, behind Barcelona.

Luka Modric is set to return for Real after being named in Carlo Ancelotti’s team for the first time since missing four months with a thigh injury. Sergio Ramos, however, will not return to the first team until the weekend.

[ MORE: UCL schedule | Scoreboard | Stats ]

Elsewhere, Porto host Swiss side Basel following a 1-1 draw in the first leg. Derlis Gonzalez netted for Basel while Danilo converted a late penalty to draw the Portuguese side level ahead of the second leg.

With a single away goal from the first leg, Porto have to be considered slight favorites to reach the quarterfinals. Basel were an underwhelming 0-2-1 away from home during the group stage, including defeats at the hands of Real (5-1) and Ludogorets (1-0). Porto, on the other hand, won twice and drew once at home, dropping just four points during the group stage.

Stay tuned to PST for complete coverage of all Champions League round of 16 second legs before, during and after the games.

Bundesliga roundup: Bayern, Wolfsburg in high-scoring affairs; Gladbach go third

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27 goals across six games — that’s the gift the Bundesliga gave to the world on Saturday.

Granted, 17 of the 27 came in two crazy games early in the day — seriously, Bayern and Wolfsburg lost their minds this morning — but the rest of the day offered a 3-2, a 2-1, a pair of 1-0’s and most importantly, zero draws on the day.

Borussia Monchengladbach 1-0 Cologne

The big movers of the day were Lucien Favre’s Gladbach side, who moved into the third and final automatic UEFA Champions League place with a 1-0 home victory over 11th-place Cologne. The three points very nearly never came as the score remained 0-0 through 90 minutes, but Granit Xhaka’s 91st-minute header (above photo) proved to be the winner and, thanks to results elsewhere, enough to propel Gladbach back among Germany’s elite.

U.S. national teamer Fabian Johnson was an unused substitute on the bench for Gladbach.

[ MORE: Bayern and Wolfsburg combine for 17 goals as league leaders cruise on Saturday ]

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 Schalke 04

Schalke find themselves in fourth, two points behind Gladbach but still occupying a Champions League place, following a narrow defeat away to Eintracht Frankfurt. Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon scored the game’s only goal (64th minute), a looping header over the goalkeeper to send Frankfurt up to ninth in the Bundesliga.

Werder Bremen 3-2 Augsburg

Three first-half goals were just enough for eighth-placed Bremen to hold off fifth-placed Augsburg as former Wigan Athletic forward Franco di Santo (23rd minute) chipped in with a goal of his own. Assani Lukimya (16th) and Theodor Gebre Selassie (45th) also scored to cancel out goals by Ragnar Klavan (21st) and Tobias Werner (79th).

Sunday’s Bundesliga schedule

Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg (9:30 am ET)
Hannover vs. Paderborn (11:30 am ET)