Weston McKennie signed a contract extension with Schalke this summer to continue playing in the Bundesliga through 2024, per Sports Illustrated. McKennie’s salary and contract terms were undisclosed other than the fact that it was a two-year extension. Transfer Markt estimates McKennie’s value is at $22.8 million and ranked him as the No. 60 player in Bundesliga.
McKennie’s new deal keeps him in Germany for another five years. The USMNT star called it an “easy decision” for him to make.
“It was an easy decision as I have constantly received incredible support from the fans,” McKennie said, per Sports Illustrated. “The management was also always behind me. I’m looking forward to everything that comes.”
McKennie’s path started in the United States with the Dallas Academy before joining the Schalke 04 U-19 team. Prior to the 2017-18 season, McKennie moved up to the standard Schalke squad, per Transfer Markt. McKennie has come on strong in the second half of the Gold Cup and discussed the team’s approach in the tournament.
“I think this is a big opportunity for many of the guys on the team to, I guess, start a legacy, to make a stamp on U.S. Soccer and the fans and the country, to be like, ‘This is who we want to be and this is how we want to work with things going forward,’” McKennie explained to The Athletic.
Weston McKennie Is Good Friends With Christian Pulisic
McKennie’s path is familiar to USA soccer fans who watched Christian Pulisic grow his game in the Bundesliga before his recent decision to join Chelsea in the EPL. The two are good friends, and Pulisic describes McKennie as a “big dominant presence.”
“Weston’s a really big dominant presence,” Pulisic noted to Bundesliga.com. “He’s really good at winning balls. He wins everything. He’s also good with the ball, whereas I’m not as much of a ball winner but more of a creator and dribbler. I think [we’ve] worked really well together.”
McKennie admits there are similarities in their paths, but noted there is one major difference. While Pulisic emerged as a force at a young age, McKennie noted he has had to prove himself a bit more.
“He’s a young sensation; a really humble kid,” McKennie explained to Bundesliga.com. “He’s fun to be around, but he’s definitely a dedicated player. I’ve known him since I was like 13 or 14 years old. So we’ve kind of grown up in the system together. Different paths, obviously. He was always a star ever since he was a young kid. I was always the one shoved off to the side; had to find my way to come back in here.”
As Pulisic heads to England, McKennie signed a contract extension which means he is committed long-term to play in the Bundesliga. USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter spoke glowingly about the experience some of his players are getting in the Bundesliga.
“It’s great [having so many Americans in the Bundesliga],” Berhalter said, per Bundesliga. “The Bundesliga’s a very athletic league, it’s a very high tempo league so the players are forced to make decisions very quickly. It’s been fun watching our guys. It’s been great following them.”