Weston McKennie Scores Beauty In Preseason Opener; Juve Coach Tells Him He Needs To Score 10

High expectations for USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie with Juventus this season.

A lot of people have questioned Gregg Berhalter for picking a B (or C) team for this summer’s Gold Cup. After a long club campaign, the USMNT coach opted to let most of his Europe-based players return to their clubs for the start of preseason instead of competing for a meh trophy. That decision is already paying dividends for one young USMNT star with a Weston McKennie goal vs Cesena in Juventus’ preseason opener on Saturday.

Weston McKennie joined Juventus on a loan from Schalke last season. He impressed so much in his 46 appearances across all competitions the move was made permanent in March

Now in his first full preseason with the Bianconeri, coach Massimiliano Allegri gave the 22-year-old Texan a start in the first preseason game. It’s clear from his reactions to McKennie’s goal that Allegri expects big things from his young midfielder.

McKennie starting wasn’t a huge deal on Saturday considering many of Juventus’ top players weren’t even available for selection — there was no Cristiano Ronaldo, no stars of the Italy team that just won the Euros. Nonetheless, McKennie made his mark on the match against the Serie C side, collecting a goal and an assist in 45 minutes of play.

Weston McKennie Goal vs Cesena

McKennie’s goal was a delight. He received the ball near the top of the box, danced around a few defenders and slotted a left-footed shot off the near post and in.

After the strike, Allegri could be seen raising 10 fingers toward McKennie, and was reportedly heard telling his player he expects 10 goals from him this season.

Here’s a replay of the McKennie goal along with Allegri’s reaction.

Below are McKennie’s full highlights from 45 minutes of action, including his assist on the first goal. Juventus won 3-1.

McKennie scored six goals in all competitions for the Old Lady last season, including this stunner against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. While Saturday’s performance came against some less-than-stellar competition, it was a good start from someone who American fans will hope scores at least 10 goals.