KANSAS CITY, Kan. — United States men’s national team midfielder Weston McKennie will start Sunday’s friendly against Uruguay, the first time he’s been in the starting 11 for club or country since breaking his foot in February, U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter announced on Saturday.
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Robinson was held out of Saturday’s training session with what a U.S. Soccer spokesperson described as a “non-Covid related illness.” If Robinson is unable to go, Joe Scally will fill in. The midfield will be comprised of Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, and McKennie. Berhalter added that McKennie will play a maximum of 45 minutes. The Juventus player saw the field for 18 minutes in last Wednesday’s 3-0 friendly win over Morocco.
“He’s at a point now where I think he can he can start the ghttps://www.espn.com/soccer/report/_/gameId/634245ame,” Berhalter said about McKennie during a Zoom call with reporters. “Again, limiting his minutes to 45 and going from there, but I’m really anxious to see how he can do it. I’m a little bit cautious because there is in the back of your mind a little bit of concern. But it’s going to be a competitive game, and there’s no one you’d rather have out there than Weston.”
The U.S. will be looking to build on the performance it delivered against Morocco, one where the attack looked dangerous, but there were some vulnerabilities out wide defensively. Uruguay is coming off a 3-0 win over Mexico, in which Edinson Cavani scored twice.
“It’s continuing on our game model, continue on to be a pressing team,” said Berhalter. “We turned Morocco over a number of times and could have had goalscoring opportunities, so that was important. But then, what I saw from Uruguay is extreme wing play, really good on the wings, on both flanks, dominant in midfield. That midfield trio is a really high level and that’s why I’m really interested to see what we can do, how our midfield matches up.
“I’m not sure if Cavani is going to be starting, but they have quality strikers. No matter who it is, whether it’s Darwin [Nunez] or Cavani, It’s really high level players. For us, it’s going to be a great challenge.”