Weston McKennie Becomes Eighth American To Score In Champions League With Thrilling Match Winner
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— Schalke 04 USA (@s04_us) October 3, 2018
Weston McKennie had never scored for Schalke despite joining the Bundesliga club in 2016. He picked one hell of a time to break his duck.
McKennie rose above all other defenders to head home a corner kick in the 88th minute to send Schalke to a much-needed 1-0 victory over Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.
After a home draw against Porto in the UCL opener two weeks ago, in which McKennie supplied a superb assist, Schalke needed to assert itself in a balanced Group D. But Schalke’s second match was at Lokomotiv Moscow and traveling to Russia is never easy (just ask Real Madrid).
The match was scoreless heading into its late stages when Schalke earned a corner kick. Up went Die Knappen’s big center backs — and McKennie, a 6-1 Texan.
It was McKennie who leapt like a salmon to reach the ball and head in the winner. It was the first ever McKennie Champions League goal.
The McKennie Champions League goal was just enough to get Schalke past Lokomotiv and send the German club to the top of Group D (albeit before Galatasaray and Porto played Wednesday).
Weston McKennie vs Lokomotiv1 goal
72% pass accuracy
2 key passes
1 tackle won
8 aerials won
20 years of age. pic.twitter.com/uM3kNC41Gx
— FootballTalentScout (@FTalentScout) October 3, 2018
The native of Little Elm, Texas, (basically north Dallas) became the eighth American to score in the Champions League, joining the likes of Jovan Kirovski, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson and Christian Pulisic. Not bad company for a midfielder who just turned 20 in August.
Even more elite, McKennie joined this group of players.
This is one of my favorite lists ever.With today’s start, Weston McKennie (temporarily) joins the list of U.S. internationals to play exactly two UEFA Champions League games:
— Paul Carr (@PaulCarr) October 3, 2018