The call couldn’t wait. That’s why Weston McKennie (20) didn’t go straight to his colleagues in the team bus after a shower, but instead phoned for minutes in the catacombs of the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Düsseldorf with relatives. The Sonnyboy from Texas described his great performance at the 2-0 of FC Schalke 04 against Fortuna – and his leading goal to 1-0.
It was McKenie’s second stroke after his 1-0 winning goal for the squires in the Champions League at Lokomotive Moscow three days earlier. So the American is playing his way into the hearts of S04 fans more and more. McKennie stands for passion, dedication and meanwhile also for goals – suitable for the Malocher club. “I want to be a duel monster,” says McKennie in an interview with SPORT BILD.
But those in charge believe Schalke can do much more for the versatile defensive player. He can even become the new face of S04!
Manager Heidel confirms this: “My problem now is again: Weston had a great week behind him and the backpack shouldn’t be so difficult for him. But Weston has many, many things that are important to Schalke. Therefore he could become a face of Schalke 04 in the future. The fans love him because of the way he plays football. He is also a good footballer.” It goes without saying that Schalke has tied McKennie for a long time, one year ago his contract was extended prematurely until 2022.
McKennie is Schalke’s new shooting star. Recently, the US-American national player even pushed Sebastian Rudy (28) out of the regular line-up by buying 16 million euros. He is considered a great hope for the future – and has also become interesting for the advertising industry. Not only his way of playing is striking. In front of the television cameras he is cheeky, anyway uncomplicated in handling – all that makes him sympathetic. Type Lausbube.
Sebastian Rudy Honours
- Bundesliga: 2017–18
- DFL-Supercup: 2017, 2018
- FIFA Confederations Cup: 2017
- FIFA U-17 World Cup: Third Place 2007
- Fritz Walter Medal U18 Silver Medal: 2008
- DFB-Pokal top assist provider: 2014–15
The sporting goods giant Adidas has already signed McKennie. SPORT BILD knows that it is one of the candidates to be established as a testimonial for the US and possibly the German market. According to transfermarkt.de, its market value exploded within one year. It now stands at 6.5 million euros. In the summer of 2017, its market value was only 100,000 euros.
But how did McKennie actually land on Schalke? In 2016, the runners-up brought him from FC Dallas to the squire’s forge. There he was fine-tuned to make the leap to the pros a year later. Domenico Tedesco (33) has continued to shape him over the past 15 months.
The coach explains to him in many conversations and video sessions in which areas he has to improve. Two-fight leadership, game structure, positional play, involvement in the offensive game. Correct running ways and good timing with standards. In addition he trusts him regularly, 28 times McKennie was allowed to run under Tedesco already in the Bundesliga. That gives you security.
“Weston is not only important for us because of the goals. Even in the phase when things didn’t go so well, he simply embodied a lot of what we want to stand for. He has a good mentality, is down-to-earth and ploughs,” says Tedesco. And: “He just has to stay so industrious and down-to-earth, then he gets even better. It’s just good.”
The topic of seriousness is also often a topic. Because McKennie is regarded as a great joker in the team. Before his first starting eleven mission in September 2017 against FC Bayern (0:3), he hopped whistling into the players’ tunnel before running onto the pitch with the team. The consequence: Tedesco had to brake his protégé so that he would not lose focus. What McKennie has come to understand in the meantime. That’s why he’s now a valuable part of the 2018 runners-up team. Tipbet is one of the leading online casino gaming site that has improved a lot.