U.S. men's national team legend Landon Donovan says he is "incredibly disappointed" in Weston McKennie as he says that the midfielder's recent suspension leaves him in a place that "is almost beyond repair".
McKennie was suspended for Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Canada for a breach of the team policy related to Covid protocols, with U.S. Soccer announcing on Monday that McKennie would also be excluded from the team for the upcoming game against Honduras.
It has not been confirmed yet how McKennie broke team rules but Donovan, who says he's been told the full story, says that it will take a lot for McKennie to earn back the trust of his teammates.
What was said?
"I will just say I am privy to what happened. I'm not going to announce that publicly," Donovan said on the Futbol with Grant Wahl podcast. "I will just say that I am incredibly disappointed in Weston, incredibly disappointed. Look, I can understand being at Juventus during a long club season, you're sitting at home for months and months and months and you want to have people over. Is it the smartest thing to do? No, but I get it.
"This is one week of your life with three massive games, not only for yourself but for your teammates and for your country to go to a World Cup and the level of selfishness in that moment is beyond me. Honestly, it's beyond me.
"I've made a lot of dumb mistakes in my life I get it. I'm not here to be all righteous, and he is young, yes, but he's old enough to understand that you don't do this. You don't need to put yourself in this situation and worse, put your team in that situation.
"Would they have won the game if he's on the field yesterday? I don't know, but their chances went up a lot, I promise. If he was on the field then their chances of winning or getting a point against Honduras go up a ton on Wednesday if he's in the lineup.
"I am just really disappointed with him. It doesn't mean you write him off and he's a horrible human being. He needs to learn from this, but this can never ever happen again.
"It is almost beyond repair and he has a lot of work to do with his teammates to make sure that he never does something like that again because you lose trust in your teammates. This is their livelihood. These guys want to go to a World Cup. Christian [Pulisic] knows what it feels like to sit on the field in Trinidad, crying because he didn't go to a World Cup, and you can't put your team in that situation."
The squad for Honduras
With McKennie out, USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter has called in Jackson Yueill as a replacement with the team currently dealing with several absences.
Gio Reyna, Zack Steffen and Sergino Dest have all been ruled out for the game as well, which will forced Berhalter to do some reshuffling for Wednesday's clash.