‘Even my canine are acknowledged in Italy’ – USMNT’s McKennie on life at Juve and why he believes he may have made it to the NFL


The midfielder says he’s still getting used to his fame in Europe when he revealed what he would do if he wasn’t a professional footballer

U.S. men’s national team midfielder Weston McKennie says he’s still learning to live with his fame in Italy while talking about his time at Juventus, his young American football ambitions, and his rise to the rivalry with Mexico .

McKennie recently completed his first season with the Italian giants and became a key midfielder for Juve who opted for a permanent move from Schalke.

And later this year, and even with the coronavirus affecting life around the world, McKennie says he still had to adjust to his newfound fame as his dogs even show up as recognizable faces in Turin.

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What would be said?

“It’s obviously the biggest club in Italy right now, so if I go into town, which I don’t do often, I’ll probably get stops every 10 meters,” McKennie told reporters in Dallas as part of the MLS Next Playoff building . “It’s one of the things I like to go out and I love being outside because I like to interact with people, but I also like to enjoy my privacy.

“Even if I wear a mask and a hoodie, people still recognize me. Here [in Dallas] It’s one of the ones I go out with and every now and then someone will recognize me so I don’t look over and try to avoid it.

“In Italy, people will follow you about 200 meters and go into stores you go into and corner you and take pictures, which I kind of feel like part of the job, but it’s also one of the things that they do i just am i want to be alone, just go for a walk or go out with my dogs.

“Even my dogs in Italy are recognizable now, so it’s difficult to just get out.”

Swap soccer for soccer

McKennie was born in Texas but lived in Kaiserslautern, Germany, aged six to nine, as his father was stationed at a nearby US Air Force base.

It was during this time that McKennie fell in love with football, which has led him to the top of the European elite today.

But before devoting himself to football, McKennie was admittedly passionate about American football, and he believes that one day he could have grown up to be an NFL player if he had stayed with the sport.

“Probably play American football, to be completely honest,” he said when asked what he would do in life if he never immersed himself in football. “I played that before I moved to Germany because my father was in the military. That is one of the reasons why I started playing football, because it didn’t exist there in Germany for my age.

“I would probably play American football, sit here like two hundred pounds and stocky.

“I think I could have made the NFL if I had stayed with it. I’m one of those guys who I go all out and try to give 100 percent. So if it was American football, I would have stuck with it.” that and gave everything for it. “

After leading the US to the Nations League title with a recent win against Mexico, McKennie is back in Dallas for a brief hiatus while visiting Dallas FC, the club where he began his career.

McKennie rose through the club’s academy before joining Schalke in 2016 and being the first of several European exports for FC Dallas in recent years.

After being away for some time due to the coronavirus and his own career in Europe, McKennie wasted little time re-diving into the Dallas football scene and jumping into a local pickup game during his summer stay in his hometown.

“Being with my family, visiting my friends, playing in the pit pickup,” said McKennie. “When I come back it’s a feeling I don’t really get across in Europe. I’ll be myself, like a normal Dallas kid.”

Boys to men

McKennie and the USMNT recently defeated Mexico in a programmatic victory as they beat their rivals to claim the Nations League title.

The two could compete against each other at the Gold Cup this summer, albeit with a weakened squad, making the upcoming World Cup qualifiers the next full-strength duel between the rivals.

And it’s a game McKennie is looking forward to as he believes the US is really starting to evolve from a group of talented young players into a team.

“The rivalry we have against Mexico is one of those games that can go either way and football is a game that can go either way,” he said. “You can be at your best one day and not the other.

“We’ve beaten them now, I think twice, and they’ve beaten us, I don’t know how many times, but it’s one of those things that we just have to always be ready to play against them and we always have to be mentally prepared be because we know. ” It’s going to be a dogfight, we know it takes mental stability and everything else.

“I can’t guarantee anything. I think we’ve made tremendous strides in terms of our growth and turned guys on the field into men whenever we play against them. I think it’s definitely going to be an exciting rivalry for years to come.” Come.”

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