USMNT send Weston McKennie back to Juventus

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR – SEPTEMBER 2: Weston McKennie #8 of the United States looks for an answer during a game between El Salvador and USMNT at Estadio Cuscatlán on September 2, 2021 in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Juventus’ Weston McKennie has been sent back to Italy following a breach in the Covid-19 protocol with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

While the specific breach was not given, it was severe enough to where he was not selected for their 1-1 draw against Canada over the weekend.

Following the match, manager Gregg Berhalter said it “remained to be seen” whether or not the midfielder would take part in the midweek clash against Honduras. We now have the answer.

“Weston will return to Italy and will be unavailable for the match against Honduras due to a violation of team policy,” Berhalter said via a statement. “There are high expectations for those who are a part of the U.S. Men’s National Team, and in order to be successful it’s important that everyone in the group is accountable.”

Source: ESPN

Not the first time Weston McKennie has been punished for such behavior

The pressure continues to mount for Berhalter and the USMNT who would have benefitted had McKennie been available against Canada. However, this isn’t the first time McKennie has breached Covid-19 protocols.

He did something similar back in April with Juventus. He was fined by police, alongside two of his teammates, for hosting a party so he does have a history.

There is only speculation as to what the 23-year-old did but it appears to be severe as former national team legend, Landon Donovan, called the transgression “almost beyond repair” in a podcast with American journalist Grant Wahl.

This is the last thing the U.S. needed as they face as close to a must win game just three games into qualifying. They are already set to be without Zack Steffen, Giovanni Reyna and Sergiño Dest.

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Jackson Yueill has been called in to take McKennie’s place. With only two points out of a possible six so far, should the U.S. fail to win against Honduras the criticism is likely to increase for not just the manager, but McKennie was well.