US Men’s National Team manager Gregg Berhalter will now have even less options for a starting lineup for this week. This all comes with the recent announcement of midfielder Weston Mckennie being dismissed from the squad. The dismissal is due to the player breaching the team’s Covid-19 safety protocols. This came just right before Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier clash against Honduras.
Mckennie was suspended for the match against Canada on Sunday. The USMNT ended up drawing with Canada 1-1. A one match suspension speculation came out at first. But the U.S Soccer Federation then announced on Monday to extend the suspension out further. Berhalter shortly afterwards released a statement saying: “Weston will return to Italy and will be unavailable for the match against Honduras due to a violation of team policy.”
The manager added, “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.”
Facing Criticism from Former Legend
The exact nature of Mckennie’s breach is unknown, but one critic has spoken out. Former USMNT player Landon Donovan openly criticized the midfielder, saying he was “incredibly disappointed in Weston”.
“I will just say I am privy to what happened,” Donovan said via a statement. “I’m not going to announce that publicly. I will just say that I am incredibly disappointed in Weston.”
But the USMNT legend did not stop there. “I can understand at Juventus, during a long club season, you’re sitting at home for months and months and you want to have people over. Is it the smartest thing to do? No, but I get it. This is one week of your life with three massive games. Not only for yourself, but for your teammates, and the rest of your country to go to a World Cup. The level of selfishness is beyond me, honestly it’s beyond me.”
Back to Turin, Italy
Mckennie will now fly back to Italy where he plays for Italian giants Juventus FC. Earlier this year, Mckennie and a handful of his fellow Juve teammates were fined for holding a party. McKennie held a party in his home in Turin, and a noise complaint was filed by a neighbor.
As reported, McKennie’s party had over 20 people in attendance. The Italian government then unsurprisingly fined McKennie and his teammates for violating the safety protocols. In addition, the Serie A gave the players and McKennie a one-game suspension. The midfielder did issue a public apologies for the April scenario. For this week’s breach, the player took to Instagram saying he is “sorry for his actions”.
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