USMNT midfielders Weston McKennie and Giovanni Reyna did not play in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier versus Canada, and neither will play in Wednesday’s huge away match in Honduras.
McKennie was dropped from the squad following “a violation of team policy,” a move that was anything but needed from a young team leader.
“It was a team policy and I’m not going to get into specifics on it,” said USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter after the game. “I can’t speak for Weston but I know he wanted to be out there for the boys.”
Berhalter will next address the media at 6pm ET Tuesday. He was asked after the Canadian game whether McKennie will be back against Honduras on Wednesday and did not commit to it.
“That remains to be seen,” Berhalter said.
McKennie was then sent back to Italy, and USMNT legend Landon Donovan expressed major disappointment in Grant Wahl’s podcast, implying that the error was much more significant than the coach let on to the media.
USMNT mainstays Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams tried not to be drawn into the McKennie discipline discussion when asked during post-match press conferences on Sunday.
“We tried not to let that whole situation affect us too much,” Pulisic said. “Obviously we missed him today but it’s about moving forward and trying to win games.
Tyler Adams had a little more bit more to say about it.
“It’s not ideal because he’s such an important character for this team, not just on the field but for what he does to bring us together,” said the RB Leipzig man. “It’s disappointing but it’s that next man up mentality. … To be fair it hurts us but I don’t think it affected the team too much.”
The Juventus man has been a fiery part of the young Yanks attack and his betrayal of team rules will not be viewed well amongst supporters.
Meanwhile, Reyna has a hamstring strain and will also miss the side’s Wednesday trip to Honduras.
These are two huge losses for the USMNT, who got Christian Pulisic back for the 1-1 draw but was still without Zack Steffen and Timothy Weah. This is a monumental letdown from the Juve man, and we’ll have to see whether the issue is a quick return to the fold a la Phil Foden and England or something longer term.
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USMNT’s McKennie sent back to Juventus for rules violation; Reyna out originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source: Yahoo Sports