McKennie leaving USMNT camp with ankle injury

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The Schalke midfielder will miss the U.S. national team's match against Chile on Tuesday, returning to Germany with an ankle injury suffered Thursday

Weston McKennie will miss the U.S. national team's friendly with Chile on Tuesday, returning to Germany to receive treatment for the ankle injury he suffered in last Thursday's USMNT friendly against Ecuador.

A source confirmed to Goal on Saturday that McKennie would be departing the national team's camp in Houston before Tuesday's friendly.

USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter also confirmed to ESPN on Saturday that McKennie would miss the Chile match.

"McKennie is out but there's nothing broken," Berhalter told ESPN, easing fears after the midfielder's injury, which took place when he jumped up for a header and landed awkwardly, badly twisting his left ankle. McKennie was taken off on a stretcher, and ESPN also reported that he could be seen wearing a walking boot and using crutches.

The fact McKennie stayed with the team as it traveled from Orlando to Houston is a good sign the Schalke midfielder avoided a major injury. The exact nature of the issue isn't known yet and is unlikely to be made public until McKennie is evaluated by the medical staff at Schalke. McKennie will leave for Germany before Tuesday's USMNT friendly.

The USMNT's 1-0 win against Ecuador marked the first time McKennie, Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams started together in the same USMNT lineup, but the 20-year-old's injury put a damper on Thursday's victory and will leave the United States without another key starter for the match against Chile on Tuesday. Chile is coming off a 3-1 friendly loss to Mexico on Friday.

The United States will also be without Adams, who left camp to return to RB Leipzig after a strong showing in the win against Ecuador. Adams made his first start at right back for the United States, impressing in the right back/defensive midfielder hybrid role.

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Though Yedlin is the most experienced right back remaining in the U.S. camp, Berhalter could also turn to Nick Lima take on the job after he impressed in that role in victories against Panama and Costa Rica earlier in 2019.

Berhalter is expected to make several changes to the USMNT lineup that defeated Ecuador when his side faces Chile, with Cristian Roldan and Yedlin the leading candidates to replace McKennie and Adams in the starting lineup.

Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath and defender Matt Miazga are other candidates to earn starts after not playing against Ecuador.

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