While most of the reviews from the U.S. men’s national team’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador were hugely positive, one undeniable negative stood out: Weston McKennie’s badly sprained ankle.
[ MORE: Player ratings from USMNT’s 1-0 victory over Ecuador ]
The 20-year-old midfielder suffered what U.S. Soccer called a “moderate to high degree left ankle sprain,” though Schalke said it was a “a ruptured ankle ligament.” It was already abundantly clear that McKennie wouldn’t be available for Tuesday’s clash with Chile, but now his departure is official.
With fellow youngster Tyler Adams having already departed camp on Friday, we can now begin counting down the days until the June international window, when we’ll get our next look at the “first team” under the new leadership of Gregg Berhalter. RB Leipzig and U.S. Soccer had reached an agreement on Adams’ involvement before he reported for camp.
Berhalter’s squad now stands at 22 players after no replacements were added for neither Adams nor McKennie, nor FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez.
Weston McKennie is set to miss a significant chunk of Schalke’s impending relegation battle after the 20-year-old midfielder badly rolled his ankle during the U.S. men’s national team’s victory over Ecuador on Thursday, the Bundesliga club revealed on Friday.
[ MORE: USMNT star Tyler Adams leaves camp to return to RB Leipzig ]
McKennie was forced off in the 68th minute, not long after he went up for an aerial challenge and landed on the outside of his left foot, causing to the ankle to violently roll over.
From Schalke’s official statement:
“The U.S. (men’s) national team confirmed to Schalke that he hasn’t broken anything, but it looks like he has bruised the bone and damaged a ligament. He will soon see a foot specialist in the U.S. to determine the exact nature of the injury.”
While Schalke didn’t provide an estimated timeframe for McKennie’s return, Tottenham Hotspur and England forward Harry Kane has suffered a series of ankle injuries quite similar to that of McKennie over the past two or three seasons. Kane has generally been out of action for 6-10 weeks, with an additional 2-4 weeks of live action typically required to regain his full form and fitness. For USMNT purposes, the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on June 15, 12 weeks from today.
Schalke currently sit 15th in the Bundesliga, three points and one spot clear of the relegation playoff spot, with eight games left to play.
Schalke and USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie limped off the pitch during the second half of a friendly against Ecuador on Thursday in Florida.
McKennie appeared to twist his ankle shortly after being called for a foul in the match, which stood 0-0 at the time.
[ MORE: Hazard, Real, and the back-up plan ]
He left the match with trainer help, and was eventually carted to the bench while seated on a stretcher.
A key piece of the program’s future, the 20-year-old midfielder has been a utility knife in the Bundesliga, playing everywhere from right back to left mid.
Only six players have played more league minutes for Schalke than McKennie, who earned his eighth cap on Thursday.
- City makes third quarterfinal in four years
- Aguero bags brace
- Sane, Sterling produce electric displays
Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manchester City leveled Schalke 7-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.
Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus, and Bernardo Silva also scored as City collected a 10-2 aggregate win over its Bundesliga opposition to reach the quarterfinals.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Man City opened up the match with control of the ball and the chances, even seeing a goal chalked off for interference as Raheem Sterling’s interference with Schalke’s Ralf Fahrmann is what allowed Aymeric Laporte to slot home.
That’s when City did the thing which would make life mathematically improbable for Schalke: Score a goal.
Jeffrey Bruma took down Bernardo Silva in the box to give City a chance from the spot. Aguero’s conversion meant Schalke would need to score three goals without conceding again to Man City. Tall order.
Fahrmann stopped Aguero from making it 2-0 moments later on a dribble inside the box, but couldn’t manage to repeat the feat when the Argentine was set-up by Sterling in the 38th minute.
Sane helped City to its 3-0 halftime lead with a run past USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie, playing right back for Schalke, to beat Fahrmann.
But that wasn’t all. Sterling used VAR to overrule the linesman when he blasted City in front by five on aggregate just after the break. Sane again played the role of maestro on the goal.
Then Foden became the the youngest player ever to score a Champions League goal for Manchester City, again from Sane, and Gabriel Jesus made it 7-0 before long.
Two intriguing UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg games take center stage on Tuesday, as Man City and Atletico Madrid aim to finish the job off.
[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]
Pep Guardiola‘s City lead 3-2 against Schalke after their dramatic late comeback in the first leg in Germany, but Guardiola has said his City “teenagers” must be wary.
Atletico Madrid take a 2-0 lead to Turin as Diego Simeone’s men have Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. up against it. Surely Ronaldo has some magic left in the tank to drag Juve through to the last eight.
With Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain out, the UCL is all of a sudden looking like a very unpredictable tournament.
Below is the full schedule for Tuesday’s games, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with analysis and reaction from both games.
Tuesday’s UCL last 16 schedule
Manchester City v. Schalke – 4 p.m. ET kick off (Man City lead 3-2 on aggregate)
Juventus v. Atletico Madrid – 4 p.m. ET kick off (Atletico lead 2-0 on aggregate)