USMNT midfielder describes Bundesliga restart
US Men’s National Team and Schalke 04 midfielder Weston McKennie described the German Bundesliga restart this weekend as not feeling like the “real deal”.
His side were hammered 4-0 away to rivals Borussia Dortmund as the German top flight became the first major soccer competition to restart following the COVID-19 pandemic. The league had been suspended for two months.
The game was played in front of an empty stadium in a game that would usually attract the Westfalenstadion stadium’s full capacity of over 70,000.
McKennie told on FOX Soccer’s YouTube channel:
“It doesn’t feel 100 percent like the real deal.”
The 21-year-old went on to discuss his future and said he needs to get in better physical shape before Schalke 04’s next match on Sunday versus FC Augsburg at the Schalke Arena. The team had been back in training for just over a month before the weekend’s game.
Weston McKennie is one of four American players who participated in the German Bundesliga’s restart over the weekend. Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf) were the other three.
The 6’1” central midfielder has 19 caps for the national team, scoring six goals. He has been playing in Germany since he moved to his current club from FC Dallas back in 2016 and has so far gone on to make 68 league appearances, scoring two goals. He has been a regular in the Schalke 04 first team since 2017, having also spent time briefly in a centre-back role earlier this season due to a significant number of injuries in that position.
Schalke 04 currently sit seventh in the Bundesliga table, but are 14 points outside the UEFA Champions League places and will seemingly battle for a Europa League spot for the rest of the campaign.
The 2020 Major League Soccer season was only two games old when it was suspended on 12 March. There has been no official announcement when the league will resume yet and rumours are that it could even restart in a World Cup-style tournament.
USA has seen many more cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any other country worldwide. In contrast, Germany are among one of the top countries in Europe to have handled the crisis.
Elsewhere in Europe, France and the Netherlands cancelled their 2019-20 seasons, whilst England, Spain and Italy are all aiming for a restart of their leagues in mid-June.