In-Depth Feature

The making of Weston McKennie: How America's most unique talent reached the top — and the team behind the scenes who helped him along the way

Weston McKennie is one of soccer's most unique talents. Even on the world's biggest stage, the 24-year-old American stands out in the middle of the pitch with his all-action style, covering every blade of grass, arriving first to every contested ball and occasionally looking like a one-man midfield out there.

But Weston would be the first to admit that his meteoric rise to playing for Italy's biggest club and representing his country on the world’s stage is grounded in the help, commitment and sacrifice of teammates, family, friends, and coaches.

Ranking the best forwards playing at the 2022 World Cup

Every four years the World Cup brings together the world’s best players and Qatar 2022 will not be an exception.

On the attacking front, the exotic winter tournament brings us a combination of new talent, legendary strikers, generational wingers and a pair of GOATs.

In celebration of the World Cup being so close, we rank the forwards who are most likely to make an impact at Qatar.

Can an African team win the World Cup?

Many football lovers hope an African team will finally win the men’s 2022 FIFA World Cup. The world has been waiting for this since the great Brazilian player Pelé predicted (in the 1970s) that an African country would win before the year 2000. That didn’t happen, but it didn’t stop Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football, from saying (in 2021): "An African team must win the World Cup in the near future."

Team-by-team guide: 2022 Morocco World Cup preview

To prepare you for the tournament, The18 has launched team-by-team previews for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Here's the Morocco World Cup 2022 preview. The Atlas Lions will play in Group F against Belgium, Canada and Croatia.

Morocco World Cup 2022 preview

World Cup appearances: 6th

Best Finish: Round of 16 (1986)  

Who's on the plane to Qatar? Our final 26-man USMNT squad prediction

Monday, Nov. 7, marks exactly two weeks until the USMNT opens World Cup play against Wales at Al Rayyan Stadium. The event is almost upon us, and it all becomes very real Wednesday when manager Gregg Berhalter reveals his final 26-man roster at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

There are still plenty of question marks to discuss in our final USA World Cup roster prediction. Berhalter just wrapped up a nine-man fitness camp for MLS-based players, and he'll spend the next 24 hours gathering all the latest intel on European-based guys who are suffering with lingering injuries.  

UNOZERO adds gorgeous Turf and Futsal to its boots offering — we've got an exclusive discount

The noise is unrelenting. From the moment we wake until our day's complete, we're exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads that enter our consciousness and demand consideration. The market around the game of soccer is no different, where footwear brands promise innovations that can make you stronger, faster and more powerful than you'd ever imagined — only to declare them obsolete just months later as the newest product is rolled out. We get swept away by technological "advances" and spend hundreds of dollars wrapping our feet in unforgiving synthetic plastic.

MLS Cup predictions for Saturday's clash of the titans

For the first time in far too long, MLS Cup is a meeting between the premier teams in the Western and Eastern Conferences. If it feels like we've been waiting a while for this sort of heavyweight clash, the anticipation is only heightened by two sides that make creating a 2022 MLS Cup prediction feel like a fool's errand.

Both teams and their respective squads have been steadily building towards this moment for years, and the pain of falling agonizingly short time after time has been eased with a first-ever MLS Cup appearance for both clubs.

The American Outlaws prepare for two World Cups in one year

Soccer is nothing without the fans. Traveling to games to be part of a collective; a group to support your team, whether it’s home or on the road. Fandom brings people together and breeds community, fostering relationships that may not have happened without the shared bond of sport. This is what the American Outlaws do best. 

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