America Takes Its Shot – Weston McKennie
Newsweek US|December 02 - 09, 2022 (Double Issue)
Current and legendary players reflect, in their own words, on what it takes to win on soccer's biggest stage
By Weston McKennie
America Takes Its Shot – Weston McKennie

By Weston McKennie | AGE: 24 | POSITION: Midfielder | TEAM: U.S. Men's National, Juventus | CLAIM TO FAME: Named U.S. Team's "Man of the Match" seven times in 2022, second most of any player | PERSONAL: Huge fan of Harry Potter

The goal of the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2022 World Cup-as with all 32 teams competing in Qatar-is, naturally, to win the tournament. But there's more on the line for the American players this time than the FIFA trophy. After years of false starts and squandered potential, capped by a devastating failure to qualify in 2018, the U.S. team is out to nab what's been the most elusive soccer prize of all for them: respect.

One of the mottos we had preparing for the World Cup was, 'Change the way the world views American soccer, midfielder Weston McKennie tells Newsweek. Not only for the world to see what we are capable of, but for back home as well. In a way, Qatar represents a comingof-age party for the young team, where veteran star players like McKennie, Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams are just 23 and 24 years old and the most pivotal breakout player is likely to be 19-year-old midfielder Yunus Musah (he'll turn 20 during the tournament).

Only one of the 26 players on the squad, collectively considered the best the U.S. has ever assembled, has even been to a World Cup before.

'WE CAN WIN THE WORLD CUP'

MIDFIELDER WESTON MCKENNIE HAS HIGH HOPES FOR THE U.S. TEAM IN QATAR-AND THEIR MARK ON SOCCER'S FUTURE IN AMERICA

This story is from the December 02 - 09, 2022 (Double Issue) edition of Newsweek US.

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This story is from the December 02 - 09, 2022 (Double Issue) edition of Newsweek US.

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