Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie was sent off the pitch playing for the United States national team on Thursday.
The United States men’s national team played Mexico in a match to decide who would move on to the Concacaf Nations League Final. The USMNT won the match 3-0, but the extensive margin is being overlooked because of the rest of the events that took place in the match.
The match was physical and in the 68th minute, things took a turn when Mexico’s Cesar Montes takes out USA’s Folarin Balogun from behind in frustration. Montes was the first of numerous to be ejected from the match. Weston McKennie would soon follow suit.
In the aftermath of Montes’ foul, McKennie gets ejected along with him.
An uproar began directly following the foul with McKennie finding his way in the middle of seven opposing players. During the scuffle, McKennie put his hand on one of the opposing players’ necks pushing him off while getting into a shouting match with the other team. Both teams were separated and coming out of it the Juventus midfielder was seen with his jersey completely torn off.
McKennie can be seen screaming at the fans while taking off his jersey and getting a replacement. Repeating the score of 2-0 to the crowd. The iconic moment during this is McKennie kissing the flag on the jersey as he takes it off.
During the VAR review, they consider McKennie’s actions to be deserving of a red card and send off the Juve midfielder in the 71st minute of the match. The USA would go on to score 1 more goal to bring the final score to 3-0. Two more players would be sent off by the end of the match making the final card tally 4 reds and 9 yellows.
Weston McKennie will be unavailable for the Concacaf Nations League Final.
Both McKennie and Sergio Dest will be unavailable next game due to picking up red cards in the semi-final match. The USA squad will take on Canada in the final without these two starters in the lineup. The next time we see the Juve midfielder play for his national team will likely be sooner than not when they begin their Gold Cup run. The first match in the Gold Cup group stage is against Jamaica on June 24th.
The future of McKennie at Juventus is still in the air.
McKennie has had many doubters this season while playing for Juventus. His play has been below expectation and was sent on loan to Leeds United to finish out the season. His time in the Premier League was abysmal and the club got relegated. McKennie looked uninterested and like he had no fight in him. Obviously, the American-born midfielder has a lot of fight and spirit in him from what we saw Thursday.
The fighting spirit shown by McKennie is reassuring as to what was seen in him outside of his skill potential. Now if he can consistently show this spirit and skill, Juve fans will be cheering his name in success instead of wanting to get rid of him. This all may be a moot point, as McKennie returns to Juventus this summer there is still a chance we won’t see him on the Bianconeri squad to start next season. There are multiple rumors of other Premier League clubs looking at the American midfielder for a potential move this summer before the next season begins. Time will only tell what the fate is of the current Juventus midfielder.