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Americans Abroad: Weston McKennie urges younger Americans to take their chances in Europe

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The Schalke youngster wants more U.S. national team prospects to head overseas “if everything makes sense” and avoid MLS to start their careers

Weston McKennie believes that if the circumstances are right, young Americans should take chances with European moves. 

The 19-year-old from Little Elm, Texas, has already made 12 appearances for Bundesliga side Schalke and recently earned his first cap with the United States after turning down FC Dallas and making a move to Germany in 2016. 

McKennie, along with Christian Pulisic, is a shining example of an American teenager breaking into a top club in Europe, and while the transition has been smoother for him than for others in the past, the midfielder believes more young players should try their luck in Europe. 

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“If you have the opportunity, I would say for me … 100 percent take it,” the McKennie told the Bundesliga’s website. “If it’s the right choice, if everything fits, if everything makes sense, I would say come. You don’t want to start in MLS and always have the question in the back of your head if you could have made it over there? I didn’t want that.”

McKennie and Pulisic are two of the main reasons the future looks bright for U.S. Soccer despite a stunning failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. 

Other young players, like 17-year-old Josh Sargent, have also opted to take on playing in Europe rather than starting their careers in Major League Soccer. 

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That failure to qualify for the World Cup has sparked plenty of conversations about how best to develop talent while also costing U.S. manager Bruce Arena his job. 

The U.S. national team will also have a new man at the top, with Sunil Gulati announcing that he will not run for re-election as U.S. Soccer president in February. 

 

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