Details about what happened with Weston McKennie and how and why he broke COVID-19 protocol prior to a key World Cup qualifying match against Canada on Sunday is still up in the air. In the post-match press conference USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter offered very little in regard to an explanation, stating McKennie “could be out for the game against Honduras”.
McKennie upon arrival at El Salvador stopped and took pictures with the fans, although that may not have been what caused this particular issue. McKennie announced on Instagram prior to the match that he had violated team protocol and was “sorry for his actions. “The Juventus midfielder had a similar issue happen to him at Juventus when he hosted a party for 20 people at his house during the pandemic, which forced him to miss a game for the Italian Old Lady.
One former USMNT great who did not take this lightly was Landon Donovan who on Grant Wahl’s Futbol with Grant Wahl podcast voiced his concern and disbelief that Weston McKennie could be so “selfish”.
Landon Donovan "incredibly disappointed" with Weston McKennie
Weston McKennie may be out of Wednesday’s game against Honduras, and this is his second offense when it comes to breaking COVID-19 protocol. Donovan mentioned on Wahl’s show that he “knows what happened” and would not announce publicly what occurred.
Donovan simply stated: “am incredibly disappointed in Weston, 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 for your country to go to a World Cup. The level of selfishness is beyond me, honestly it’s beyond me.”
The three-time World Cup veteran also went on to state that “he had made mistakes as well in his career”, but McKennie is young but old enough to know “not to put yourself in those situations.” That McKennie should learn from this and that the situation was “almost beyond repair” and he needs to work with his teammates to ensure that the USMNT midfielder never does something “like that again."
Issues over McKennie’s professionalism have come under question at times, once from former Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo, although McKennie did prove himself on the field. McKennie is seen as a leader of the USMNT and this was a huge blow for the team to lose him for up to two key World Cup qualifying matches.