Serie A giants Juventus have confirmed the signing of USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie. The 22-year-old budding United States star originally joined Juventus on a loan from Schalke 04.
Luckily for McKennie and Juventus, the loan contract included “option rights.” That meant that Juve could sign him permanently. It cost Juve 18.5 Million Euros ($22,338,380).
What does this mean for soccer going forward in the United States? Well, it means a couple of things.
Other Americans in Europe
During the 2019 January Transfer Window, Chelsea signed USMNT midfielder Christian Pulisic for roughly $73 million. That made him the most expensive US soccer player ever. Unfortunately, injuries, inconsistency and coaching changes have made life in England difficult for the Pulisic. Since Thomas Tuchel took over Chelsea on January 26, 2021, Pulisic has seen his minutes drop dramatically. Pulisic will need to make a decision about his future. Considering the Hershey, Pennsylvania native will be the USMNT Skipper one day, he needs to get quality playing time.
Pulisic is the richest American in Europe, but he’s not the only American in Europe. Sergino Dest could eventually be the richest American soccer player. At the young age of 19, Lionel Messi-led Barcelona signed the American fullback from Ajax for 21 Million Euros. His buyout clause with Barca is upwards of 400 Million Euro. So if another European team wants to scoop him up, they will have the back up the Brinks Truck to do so. Giovanni Reyna, the son of US soccer legend Claudio Reyna, is only 18 playing in the top-flight German league for Borussia Dortmund. Another American in Germany is Tyler Adams who plays for RB Leipzig.
Zack Steffen, the USMNT goalkeeper, is 25 and has made 11 appearances for Manchester City. The fact that Americans like Reyna, Dest, and Mckennie are in top -form at some of the biggest clubs in the world is a sign that good things are coming in the future for soccer in the United State.
Why is the Weston McKennie Deal is Huge For Americans
In the past, we have seen players like Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan at different clubs in Europe. Those guys were never first-team guarantees, and they played smaller roles for smaller clubs. McKennie has been in outstanding form this season, appearing in 27 matches and scoring five goals with two assists.
McKennie, Reyna, Adams, Timothy Weah and Josh Sargent are all home-grown talent that are thriving in Europe. In a world where football overshadows soccer so much in America, it is great to see a group of young players, that came from United States soccer academies, doing so well in Eurpoe.
After missing out on the 2018 World Cup, the United States has put a lot of effort towards growing soccer in America. Other than maybe the Super Bowl, the World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. With a core of young players, like Pulisic, Mckennie and Dest, the USMNT shouldn’t miss the 2022 World Cup. Not only should they advance, but they should be a real threat to make a deep run.