Americas coach: McKinney’s career is not over despite “violating our policy”

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Wednesday 8 September 2021

10:52 AM

USA coach Greg Berhalter said Weston McKinney’s international career is not over yet, despite the player being expelled from the national team camp for “violating team policy”.

Berhalter refused to talk about the details of the offense committed by the 23-year-old Italian Juventus midfielder, although it was reported that the player received a visitor in the medical bubble that the team is undergoing in light of the emerging Corona virus pandemic.

McKinney was widely criticized and was denied participation in the 1-1 draw with Canada on Sunday evening (Monday morning GMT) in the CONCACAF qualifiers (North, Central America and the Caribbean) qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The US team announced on Monday that McKinney will miss the next qualifier against Honduras on Thursday morning, and will return to Juventus, which raised doubts about his future with the national team.

When asked if McKinney could be in the national team again in the future, Berhalter said: “Of course. This is an open door policy.”

He added: “There is rarely a situation where a player is not allowed to return to the national team. This is not the way we deal with it.”

He continued: “Weston and (McKinney) had long conversations. He is someone I care about a lot. He is an important element of the team, and I am sure that when he performs well (with Juventus) he will return to the national team.”

McKinney was crowned the best player in the CONCACAF Nations League, which America crowned by defeating Mexico in the final last June.

McKinney, the former German footballer, participated in 25 international matches, during which he scored seven goals, including four in the Nations League.

“People make mistakes,” Berhalter said. “Weston apologized to the group, and he apologized to me. These things can happen.”

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