Like most kids born in Texas, football was one of Weston McKennie’s first loves. But football took over everything when he moved to Germany when he was six years old.
His father, John, served in the Marines and Army, and young Weston had to move with his family to Europe for three years. rice field.
But that was when the US national team was in town and playing a World Cup warm-up game against Poland in Kaiserslautern where McKennie really got into football.
The crowd consisted primarily of US military personnel, and the young McKennie was able to meet two USMNT stars, Landon Donovan and Carlos Bocanegra, before the game.
24-year-old midfielder Weston McKennie is one of the key players on the USA team.
Living in Germany at the age of six, he met American stars Landon Donovan (left) and Carlos Bocanegra.
Knowing he could represent his country, the young McKechnie turned professional
“It was a life-changing experience for me,” McKennie told Bundesliga.com years later. “I didn’t know you could play for the national team. You can’t do that in football, so when I met them I was like, ‘Wow, you can be bigger than just playing for a club.’ thought.
USA defeated the World Cup in Germany in the group stage, but a future tournament star was born. We made it to 16 and impressed people all over the world.
This USMNT group is young and full of potential, and McKennie is at the heart of it.
Together with 20-year-old Yunus Musser and 23-year-old captain Tyler Adams, he formed a dynamic midfield 3 nicknamed ‘MMA’.
McKechnie, 24, already has 41 caps and nine goals, making him the most experienced of the three players thanks to playing club football for Italian giants Juventus.
He returned to the United States when he was nine years old and was soon scouted to Dallas. However, as a 17-year-old, Juventus quickly made a move after German team Schalke made him an offer and catapulted him to the top of his squad.
McKechnie joined one of Europe’s elite Italian teams on his 22nd birthday.
And it was there that he forged a friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo. They played for the same team for a year before Ronaldo’s ill-fated return to Manchester United.
McKennie returned to Germany as a teenager with Schalke and soon became a regular
On his 22nd birthday, McKennie made a dream move to European heavyweight Juventus.
It was in Italy that McKennie spent a season with Cristiano Ronaldo
“Cristiano is amazing. He loves his job. He has a different way of taking care of his body,” McKechnie said. So much so, I was training the next morning.
“The other members went to the locker room, changed clothes and went home.
“He said to me: ‘Come with me, it’s good for you. If you don’t want to do five minutes, do twenty to thirty seconds. Let’s stay here and talk’.” I couldn’t say no! We stayed there and talked about the match.
“He’s a really loyal guy, he’s straight, he wants to win. He has a great mentality. We even joke – he calls me Texas Boy!” For a player who has achieved everything in his career, he may be snobbish and stuck, but he is very open and warm.
McKennie himself is in good shape, as the World Cup has shown. He entered the tournament after being sidelined for a month due to a thigh injury.
He recovered in time for Qatar, but not 100%. Despite starting all four of his games for the USA national team, he missed the full 90 minutes of his career.
McKennie initially joined Juventus on loan, but the move soon became permanent.
Away from football McKennie, he enjoys making music and may release his work one day
Before the World Cup started, Brad Friedel said in a DailyMail.Com column, “He’s one of my favorite players the United States has ever produced.
“Wes is the type of kid who keeps the ball away in his own box. He has the cunning and skill to get out of tight areas, the range of the pass, the powerful shots at him, the powerful offensive headings – kid. Everything. I have.
Away from football, McKennie relaxes with music. He can play the piano and has his own studio in his home.
“I like to write rap lyrics and do everything else. I have a lot of songs, but I’m waiting for the right time[to release them],” McKennie told GQ.
The best story of McKennie’s career is yet to be written. His Cup at the Worlds in his home country in 2026 is now his next long-term goal on the international stage, by which time he will be peaking at his 27-year-old.
He could be a big influencer in the growth of football across the United States. For years to come, future Weston McKennies won’t have to move to Germany to catch the football bug.